Monday, May 26, 2014

Average, Healthy, Happy.

I'm not even going to call this a Mindful Monday because, let's be honest, it's just a rant.

This summer, compared to last, has felt so different. I am baffled by my complete lack of motivation and okay-ness with just being a normal human and not obsessing over weight loss. I guess that's a good thing?

I was scrolling through Tumblr, and I saw someone's post with just rows and rows of before-and-after photos. Some of them really struck me. Like these...

 Of course, when I saw them, I had the predicted reaction: Wow! She looks so much better in the second picture. But then I stopped for a second and looked at the photos again. And I thought What is wrong with how she looks in the first one? And the answer is nothing

I bet both of those girls were in a pretty healthy weight range before they lost all that weight. Why do we, as a society, have to make those girls feel like they need to lose 20 pounds to be beautiful? And if we didn't have these stupid ideals and photoshopped-media influences, I bet we would all think the girls on the left looked better, healthier, happier. 

I bet, after losing all the weight and posting these photos, those girls were showered in compliments. (As they should be, absolutely, because losing weight is hard and they worked so hard to achieve those results, I'm sure!) But, before that, maybe they never received any compliments at all. So they think now that they're thin, they're truly beautiful and truly happy. And every chance that comes up to get ice cream with friends, they panic inside, and think that they can't indulge or they will lose everything. If they aren't thin anymore...what are they good for?

So, for the time being, I'm okay with just being average me. Being thin obviously isn't everything, and I don't need to lose 20 pounds to be a special, important, beautiful person :)


Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Fiasco

Today involved some kayaking, some walking, and some scrumptious peach upside down cake.

Josh and I decided to turn my one-seater kayak into a two-seater by squeezing in together. It started off fine. Smooth sailing. Then, catastrophe struck. Our rudder was broken or something (?) so, despite our best efforts, we couldn't row our way back to shore. We just kept going in circles. We were STRANDED!

Well, luckily, we weren't really stranded. There was a dock sort of in our circular path. So, we ran straight into it, which was our only option at the time. We braced ourselves for a flip. But, miraculously, we were able to grab on to the dock and jump out unscathed. We did have to carry the rather heavy kayak and oar quite a distance back to the car. But hey! At least we weren't wet and covered in murky lake gunk.

That's my story. Certainly spiced up my day :)

Have a great Saturday evening, and Memorial Day weekend!


Friday, May 23, 2014

Fab Friday

I got a great workout in by hiking [for several hours] around a beautiful art trail with Josh! The highlight of it, for me, was seeing "Funky Bones," a work of art made [semi]famous by the book The Fault in Our Stars. 

Another "feel good" moment of the day occurred at my local Starbucks. I experienced their chocolate smoothie [nonfat of course] and it was soooo yummy. It's not the healthiest per say, but it does have whey, a banana, and fiber powder [what's fiber powder?]

I'm getting stir crazy being home. I miss my crazy[ish] life back at school. I have enjoyed watching "Breaking Bad" and hanging out with my cat. But there are so many things in Btown that I miss. Which isn't my usual summer mentality. Maybe that place is growing on me. Can't believe I have to say goodbye to it so soon.

Anyhow, camp planning starts next week! Can't wait to get out of the house and go back to the job I love.

Enjoy your Friday!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Tasty Wednesday? - Quinoa bites!

Who says I can't cook healthy food just cause it's not Tuesday? :)

I'm stuck inside today because of crazy hail and thunderstorms. What better way to spend my day indoors than baking?!

I decided not to make anything sweet because that's kind of my weak spot. It's hard to stop eating sweet treats!

Instead, I made these delicious quinoa broccoli cheddar bites!

Cute, tiny, and so yummy! And--the best part--you don't have to stop after just one! These go for only 70 calories a pop! Treat yo' self and eat 2 or 3 ;)

Recipe: (Click here!)

I highly recommend this healthy, protein packed snack! 
- Ellen


As you probably guessed, I'm so not into blogging or fitness or anything lately. I'm a bump on a log. I've tried everything to get myself to get back on track, but right now, it's just not happening. It's okay, though, I'm not sad or anything. Maybe I'll actually weigh myself in the morning tomorrow. That will likely be a big wake up call. So, as I don't have much to report, here's a quote to make you smile:

Sunday, May 18, 2014


Hiya! So, the whole healthy lifestyle thing... Sort of forgot about that this weekend. Or, rather, chose not to think about it. It's so hard for me to get "back on the horse" and be conscious about my health again. Months of bad habits are harder to break than I expected.

The plan: Tomorrow I am going to join a gym (woohoo!) and try out one of their workout classes. I am going to go grocery shopping and buy veggies, fruits, and some other must-have items on my healthy shopping list!

If anyone has any motivation tips, please clue me in. Til then, I will stick to the fitness propaganda on my Tumblr.

- Ellen

Saturday, May 17, 2014


Please text A7 to 74666 to vote for my chalk art!! Thank you! And tell your friends! It's based just on text votes and I can win $150! Voting closes at 5pm!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Is it summer?

Ahh! Sorry I skipped yesterday. Totally spaced it.

Today for Thankful Thursday, I am so grateful for all of the people I consider family. I had a bonfire tonight with all of Josh's siblings and we just had a wonderful time. It's so much fun to hang out and talk with all of them. And even enjoy a Reeses s'more or two...

My workout this morning was the silliest thing anyone's ever seen. I started by running on the treadmill for like, 2 minutes. I couldn't handle it anymore. I hate running. Then I did like 8 minutes of a workout video. So boring. I looked down at my heart rate monitor and saw I'd only burned like 122 calories. Duh. It had only been like 10 minutes. So I said to myself, Look, Ellen, I know you feel super crappy today and you're hilariously unmotivated. Just burn 300 measly calories and you can be done. So I just turned on some loud music and started dancing around. I did some grapevines, there was some samba-ing going on, maybe some knee repeaters...[lawl] and I just did that until I burned like 350 calories. So weird. But it's all I could get myself to do today.

Is it SERIOUSLY summer? Because it's literally 39 degrees outside right now. I've wanted to run every day this week but it's been cold and rainy. I'm livid. And you might say, hey, just run on the treadmill! But it's not the same. I hate running, but the only bearable part of it for me is that you get to propel yourself forward and end up in a different place. Treadmills are horrifically boring. Hate them.

I can't wait for this weekend!! Lots of fun and exciting things to come :)


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

It's May 13th!

It's our anniversary today! 6 years of dating bliss :) A special day to remember how we met, how we have changed over the years, and how we have grown to love each other more and more each day. I am so thankful for my amazing relationship :)

Tasty Tuesday is supposed to be about me creating a healthy snack or recipe, but, today was a special day, so my tastiness came from my delectable dinner at The Melting Pot. So. Delicious.

My workout of the day was a 30-minute Cardio Kickboxing session from the irritatingly named "Sport Skool" thing on my On Demand. Good session! I love kickboxing, so I enjoyed it. Tomorrow, since it is going to be rainy yet again, I have to do another basement workout. When will the day come when I can run outside??

Sleepy, so I'm going to bed a little early. Tomorrow is Workout Wednesday, so I'll be sure to kick it up a notch or try something funky, like maybe Pilates!


Monday, May 12, 2014

The earth without art is just "Eh."

I did one of my very favorite things today! Chalk! I didn't do any major artwork, but I did a few monograms, which I copied from the Lilly Pulitzer app. I want to work on texts and words more in the future! I usually stick to cartoons, but I have always loved letters. (I realize that I'm speaking as if I'm an actual chalk artist. Let it be known that the only people who see my chalk art are my next-door neighbors and Facebook friends. Haha.)

The times I'm drawing with chalk are some of the only times I like to be alone. I usually can't stand it. My mom makes fun of me to this day about how I'd cry when my friends left the morning after a sleepover because I hated the feeling of being alone without my loved ones! But, when I'm drawing, or--even better--singing, I don't really feel alone. The arts have always brought me such joy, and I hope that, even though they aren't the main focus of my career, I will be given the freedom to incorporate them daily in my teaching. Art saved me as a kid. Really. And I'm so happy when I get the chance to draw or sing or dance. A day with one of those things in it is usually a good day.

*              *              *              *              *

 That was my mindful moment of the day :) I'm proud of myself because I got out of my laziness rut and started working hard again. The idea of doing a workout DVD just seemed so awful to me, so I decided to try one of the On Demand workouts on my basement TV. It was in a series called "Sport Skool" (which makes me cringe. That's not even clever) and it's kind of a kickboxing/dancey cardio session that's an hour long. I did 45 minutes. 

I probably should've just gone ahead and finished, but all the chasse-ing and the arabesque-ing just made me feel like an idiot. Like, HONESTLY. I'm not a great dancer, but I'm okay, like I've taken lessons and done musicals before. But it was just silly. I don't need to do a Broadway dance audition to get my cardio in, so stop making me, silly Sport Skool lady! I felt like she was Brooke Wyndham and I was that lady in the bend-and-snap scene with the blue jumpsuit. (I'M SO GLAD THIS GIF EXISTS)

But, I burned 420 calories in 45 minutes. So, good job, Brooke. And I did a wonderful job limiting my calories today. I indulged in a beautiful iced (nonfat) caramel macchiato, so that was my treat for the day. But, other than that, my choices were pretty nutritious!

Tomorrow is a special day I can't wait to blog about.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day!

This summer fitness thing took off a whole lot better last year. This year, it's kind of a "failure to launch" situation.

Last night, I made the silly mistake of psyching myself out and being scared like a little baby. As a result, I didn't sleep. Like, really. I dozed off from 3:30am-4:30am, but other than that, my eyes were open until the sun came up. When the sun rose, I suddenly felt very safe and decided to sleep from 7am-11:30am. Needless to say, I was pretty exhausted all day. NO SLEEP = UNHEALTHY :(

I planned all along on taking Sundays off as rest days, but, as it's only the second day of my fitness plan, I feel like I shouldn't have rested. But after a sleepless night, I was worried I would pass out or something if I worked too hard.

Sigh. I need to get on this! Tomorrow morning I am totally either running or doing a workout DVD. If I don't, someone please come rap my knuckles and force me onto a treadmill or something.

On a bright note, I spent some quality time with the lovely moms in my life. I hung out with both of my grandmas and my darling mother herself. I also may have indulged in some of the yummy brownie dessert said moms ordered at Eddie Merlot's. No regrets there, it was heavenly.

Goals for tomorrow include: Eat a lot of protein, burn a lot of calories, and have a lot of fun.

Have a nice night, and send up a prayer that I can actually fall asleep, please.


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Day 1: You Gotta Start Somewhere.

What better way to spice it up than by doing an activity I haven't done in years?! Well, friends, I biked. You probably do that every day, or you did it last week, or something. But I never ever do. I somehow came to hate it over the years. I think it reminded me of being really self-conscious during the summer wearing shorts and riding a bike. Also, it just always seems sort of uncomfortable and monotonous.

But I tried it again today, just gave it a whirl, and ended up having a great time! Unfortunately, it burned shockingly fewer calories than I imagined. About 45 minutes of "light" biking burned less than 200 calories :( Sad day.

But, I'm proud of myself for getting active and trying something I thought I didn't like. 

I also limited my calorie intake to about 1300 today! It wasn't the most nutritious 1300, but it was 1300 nonetheless. 

I really need to put my nose to the grindstone and start burning serious calories and eating seriously healthy food. You gotta give it your all, or you might as well not give anything at all. Right? Right.

Have a great Momma's Day tomorrow and I'll check in again in the evening. Thanks for reading :) 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Another Summer of Fitness!

It's summer! I'm home from school! I'm with my family and my cat again! ALL IS WELL.
Except, y'know, like, my waistline...

It's not like I've gained a million pounds or anything, but, my weight just hasn't been my main focus lately. Which is fine. I'm young and life is short and if my weight were always my main priority than I'd probably be a pretty unhappy person.

However, it has been on my brain lately. Reflecting back on last summer, reading through my blog (here), and thinking about my brother's rapidly approaching wedding have prompted me to start my "healthy lifestyle" lifestyle back up again. I felt so much healthier when I took time to be mindful, eat wholesome foods, and exercise. Plus, I felt so confident watching the pounds melt away!

This summer, I want to focus more on the exercise portion of the weight loss system. I was all about diet last year, strictly limiting myself to 1200 calories a day. I exercised, too, six days a week, but only about 30 minutes on a typical day. Here are my ideas for this year:
  • Run around the block or around the lake 5 days a week
  • Do an exercise class or spend 45 minutes on an exercise machine 6 days a week
  • Eat 1400 calories a day
I think that I can make this work. It's going to be difficult in May, because I have to go out for Mother's Day dinner, my anniversary dinner, and I'll probably have some obligatory feast to attend for Memorial Day. Also, I don't start work until the end of the month, so my lazy butt is going to wanna sleep all day and be lazy. I need to start getting up early, drinking a ton of water, and energizing myself so I can make it through this workout program!

Like last year, I plan on blogging every day.  You can click on the links to see some examples from my blog last year!
I can't wait to start! I know I will start feeling better and looking better in no time :) Wish me luck!
- Ellen

Sunday, May 4, 2014

"Get Fit!"

No offense to anyone who has used this phrase or any variation of it before. You obviously had good intentions. I'm sure I may have even said it on occasion, in bouts of exercise-induced enthusiasm.

But, I decided today that I really don't like it.

Obviously, if you know me, or if you've read my blog in the past, you know that I'm a big proponent for leading a healthy lifestyle. Even if I am sort of inconsistent and I don't always make the world's healthiest choices, health has come to be an important value for me over the last year or so. So why would I oppose the sentiment "Get Fit!" ?

Well, to be honest, it just seems a little bossy. Of course I want to get fit, but telling someone else to just doesn't seem right. It's kind of like saying "Get Educated!" "Get Regular Check-ups!" or "Get Happy!" Just by telling someone to change their life in a pithy little way, you're not going to change their mind about the importance of the thing you're proposing.

When it comes to fitness, at least in my experience, every choice is a very personal one. If I wake up on a Sunday morning and choose to squeeze in a workout class that day, it's because, on that particular day, I feel that going to a workout class is a good choice for me. Maybe the following day, I look at myself in the mirror and think Okay I'm looking fiiiiiine today. And I'm feeling...lazy. Then I'm not going to go to the gym, obviously! If someone literally said "Get fit!" to me on that day, I would probably give them the Chloe face ^

...because whether or not I want to get fit is completely up to me. I've been overweight before. And I'm sure people have looked at me and thought I should probably go "Get fit." But "fit" for you is not the same as "fit" for me, and my "fit" isn't the same as my grandma's "fit" or my best friend's "fit". Little victories are victories. And just because you may look at someone and think they're not fit...looks can be deceiving.
< I can't do that.

Just remember, statements like "Get fit" can be awesome for self-motivation. But, before you pass on these sentiments to someone else, think about the impact your words might have.

For all you know, that person is already hella fit. Or they simply don't want to be.

Health is a personal choice. Make your choices, and use those to set an example for the rest of the world. Be the best you can be, and the world will look at you and think "Damn. I need to get fit." ;)

- Ellen