Sunday, July 27, 2014

If Only People Knew...

This post is going to be a little ranty. You've been warned.

Since hitting my goal weight ten months ago (That long already? Wow.), I've gotten more than my share of "If I was your size..."

Let me just say one thing (okay, scream): YOU HAVE NO F&*KING IDEA WHAT IT TOOK TO GET TO BE THIS SIZE!!

Whew. That feels better.

Seriously though, I wish people did know what it took.

They have no idea about the sacrifices that I had to make in terms of both food (not being able to eat what I want when I want) as well as time (two hours in the gym when I would rather be chilling).

Nor do they know that being my size will be a battle forever. I probably won't drink soda ever again (as much as I want a root or eat bread bowls of soup whenever I want (third of my day's calories and then some). In addition, I will probably have to keep busting my ass at the gym when I would rather be home watching NCIS reruns.

Do I get jealous of people who seem to be able to eat what they want and not break out into a sweat yet don't gain an ounce? Sadly, yes. I wish was one of those people.

However, I think that if I was, I wouldn't be as thankful for the body I have now. Nor would I be as proud of it. So what if I don't have a "perfect" bikini body or a thigh gap? I busted my ass for five years for this body! It's real, it's mine, and I'm damn proud of it!

So, next time people say "If I was your size...", I will simply think to myself that I'm glad that I am my size and will keep doing what it takes to stay there.

Oh, and I will probably never say that to anyone again.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Product Review: Flapjacked Protein Pancakes

Disclaimer: I received no monetary compensation for the following review and bought the product myself. Pictures and opinions are my own.

Happy Saturday, friends! This week seemed to go a little slow, and I'm just glad it's the weekend!

Over the course of about a month or two, I was hearing about this awesome protein pancake mix called Flapjacked. The mixes come in three flavors (Buttermilk, Banana Hazelnut, and Apple Cinnamon) and have about 15-17 grams of protein per half-cup serving. So, basically, they will keep you fuller longer than your average pancake.

It was about a week ago that I ordered my own bag and gave these pancakes a whirl myself. I was lame and went with the plain buttermilk, but I plan on trying the other two soon enough!

If you noticed on the package, they said "No Artificial ANYTHING!"

Say WHAT?!

That's right! All-natural ingredients!

I can pronounce everything on the label! Yay! 
Oh, and did I mention how easy they are to make?
All you have to do is add some water to the mix, let sit for a few minutes to thicken up, and cook on a low heat setting like you would any other pancake! That's right! If you don't believe me, here's proof that the company even said so! ;-)

So, on Monday night, after an intense cardio kickboxing class, I decided to make these!

One of the company's tips that I saw on their Instagram was to use a food scale to measure the mix since a half-cup is equal to 56 grams. Plus, people tend to pack their cups, so they end up with WAY more than a half-cup without realizing it. So, that's what I did. I put my mix right into the bowl though, so I saved myself a

Anyway, once the mix was measured, I added my water, mixed it, and let it sit for about five minutes while the griddle heated up.

After about five minutes, my mix was ready to go, and I scooped it onto the griddle. Half a cup of mix will get you quite a few pancakes! I was surprised at this!

I love how the company even puts on the label to cook until there are no more bubbles in the pancake. Some pancakes can be hard to tell when they're done, so having this helpful hint was awesome. Not that I'm kitchen illiterate or anything, but still, it helps. ;-)

Less than 10 minutes later, I had pancakes! The company has all sorts of recipes for each mix, but I was simple for my first time out, and just topped mine with some syrup. One word: DELICIOUS!

Oh, and yes, I was full for the rest of the night. So, there. Protein does keep you fuller for longer!

Since they take less than 15 minutes to make from start to finish altogether, I might be making these for breakfast before work during the week! Maybe adding some yogurt or turkey bacon to make them a more complete meal!

Next time I make these, I plan on being more adventurous and using some of the recipes on their site, but they're just as delicious on their own!

The company occasionally runs sales on their items, so be on the lookout for them! Still, a full bag will run you about $12, plus S&H, which isn't too bad, considering how yummy and filling they are!

Have you tried Flapjacked pancakes?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Showing Myself Some Tough Love: Be Yourself!

This is a post I've been meaning to write for some time, but not exactly in this format.

However, in the post-Fitbloggin span of about two weeks, I've been seeing a lot of "tough love" posts. Basically, as bloggers (and friends), we can be a little too easy on each other, and not push as much as we know we should, which in turn, lets us keep living in a bubble of "It's okay." Truth is, it's not always okay, and we need to call ourselves out on crap.

Recently, I came down with a huge case of "Keeping Up with the Joneses" syndrome. In a nutshell, I spend a lot of time comparing myself to others and feel like my life is an epic fail because I'm 29 (almost), not married with kids, still living with my family, and not having a "real job." Oh, and not to mention the fact that I didn't go from couch potato to marathoner in a blink of an eye. Yes, I know things can always be worse, but I was in a mindset of "I'm already at the bottom. There's nowhere else to go." Not exactly what I want to be thinking.

My friend Dani of Weight off My Shoulders wrote an awesome post about this some time ago (which you can read here). The whole point of the post was that everyone has their own journey, and we just have to live our own. I reread it yesterday and realized that I needed to call myself out on this big time because I'm not doing that at all.

So, here's to showing myself some tough love!
Dear Tracy,

You've been spending a lot of time comparing yourself to everyone else around you, right? I thought so.

You think that because you don't have a real job or a marriage and kids, and still live with your parents, your life is an epic fail at almost 29, right?

Well, guess what? IT'S NOT!!

Epic failure would be not having any sort of job AT ALL! At least you have some way to make money to pay your bills and feed yourself! Yes, times are tough, but there are people who don't have any sort of job! Be thankful you have one, even if you're asking people if French baguette is okay with their meal!
So what if you still live with your parents? Do you have a roof over your head? A warm bed at night? Yes on both? Good! Then, you can't say that you have nothing. You have someone who cares enough about you to let you stay with them!

Oh, and this whole thing about not being married with kids at 29? So what? Those people were ready! You weren't! You still had to focus on yourself!

Speaking of which, you are a ROCKSTAR just for doing what you did by losing over 100 pounds and still keeping it off! Honey, there are people who would LOVE to do what you did and are still doing!

Are you getting it now? You are? Good.

The whole point is that no two people live the same life!

Our journeys are all so different, and we need to follow our own in the best way for OURSELVES. Comparing yourself to everyone else won't do that.

Yes, I know it's so easy to get wrapped up in trying to keep up with everyone else, but really, at the end of the day, the only person who matters is YOU!

I mean, really, would you have lost over 100 pounds if you didn't love yourself? NO WAY! That alone says a lot!

So, instead of saying "I'm not as good as everyone else," try saying "Why would I want to be like someone else? I can be a kick-ass version of myself and love it!"

I needed to get this out for a long time and already I feel better about myself.

Physically, I'm the best I've been in a long time. I've completed two 5K's this year, and planning at least two more. Mentally, I'm in a much better place than I was. I love myself and realize that if I had the same life as everyone else, that would be boring.

So, I've decided to stop dwelling on everyone else, stop trying to keep up, and remember that I am the only person that matters at the end of the day!

I mean, isn't it all about taking life one step at a time? No matter how long it takes, it's still a step!

I know I'll get to where I'm meant to be, but for right now, it's about letting it fall into place, enjoying the ride, and being that kick-ass version of myself without worrying about other people!

After all, success is a JOURNEY, not a DESTINATION!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

July Goals!

Happy July, everyone! Hope everyone had a fun 4th and is enjoying your weekend!

I finally managed to come up with some goals for the month. Theme for the month is challenging recovery (if that makes sense...haha). Here's what I came up with:

1) Put at least $50 into savings. I put $25 in when I got paid on Tuesday, so I'm already halfway there! Yay!

2) Blog at least once a week. I'm in a rut...AGAIN! I want to get myself out of it. Anything you guys want to see on here? I'm more than open to suggestions!

3) No running AT ALL. You read that right, folks. I mentally and physically need a break from the road and 'mill. Plus, I want to focus on my cross-training a little more, so I'm going off the road and back in the gym for a bit.

4) Plank-a-Day...again. I was doing good when I had this as a May goal...then fell off the wagon a few days into June. So, I'm going back at it!

5) One movie day or night a week. Whether I go to the movies, pop in a disc, or watch something on HBO, this will be my time to unplug and relax! I need a few hours a week to myself, and this is a good way to do it!

Reward for this month is another Alex and Ani bracelet. Shocker, I know. ;-) This one will be a Yankees one with a navy background. It's gorgeous, shows my fandom...and is also $38. I figure this would be a good reward for an awesome July as well as a birthday present (My birthday is a little over a month away, on August 7).

Here's to an awesome July!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

June Goal Recap

Hey, everyone! Where did June go? I felt like it just started! I hate this whole time going too fast thing! I'm not having THAT much fun!

Anyway, remember that time when I set a bunch of goals for this month? Well, I figure that since the month ends tomorrow, I might as well recap today!

Here's the full list in case you forgot...

Well, how did I do? Here's the full breakdown:
1) Limit soup to three days a week. I nailed this three weeks out of the month. There was one week where I had it four times (Lemon Chicken Orzo is so damn addicting!), but it was MUCH better than me eating it every day.
2) No weigh-in AT ALL. I made it three weeks, then cracked last Saturday and today. So this was a bust.
3) Back to measuring everything. Nailed it! Once I started doing this, I realized my portions (especially milk and peanut butter) were getting a little out of hand! Looks like I'll be sticking with this!
4) Plan my solo weight training workout and write it down. Nailed this too! It did feel like homework, but knowing that I had a plan going into the gym, it made it that much easier to get my workout done! Plus, it helped being able to make notes throughout the workout!
5) Put at least $25 into savings. Not a total fail, but not a total success either. I got $20 in. Given that I had to help the family out a bit, plus one smaller than usual paycheck, I'm glad I got something in. I'll call this a win.
Overall, this month wasn't perfect, but not terrible either. I wanted to get back to basics, and I think I made steps in the right direction. I think a lot of this will stick with me for awhile. The damn scale thing is the biggest problem. I did get over the daily weighing thing though, so at least it's something.
I'm planning out my July goals and will have that post up in the next two days. Happy Sunday Funday!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Union Beach 5K (Union Beach, NJ)

It's been almost a week since this race, and I'm just now writing the recap! You would think that since it was an awesome race, I would have done it right away. Whatever. At least it's getting done.

It was in this particular race last year that I wound up with a personal worst, but learned that this whole running thing is about more than making good time. This particular race was about showing that a small town is stronger than a storm. Even though it was a PW for me, I knew that I would be back because it was an amazing event.

Sure enough, I found myself registering for this race a few days after I ran an awesome race in Middletown on May 17.

I picked up my race bib and shirt the night before so I could get Flat Tracy ready as much as possible. Plus, it saves time on race day! I got my bib and there was one thing that made me excited: TIMING CHIP!!

Lack of timing chips was my one complaint about last year's race, and this year, we would be chip timed! For those who are unfamiliar with race speak, chips mean that the runners get timed based on when they cross a mat, instead of just a clock. This wouldn't be perfect (more on that later), but at the time, I was relieved!

As usual, I laid out Flat Tracy the night before, mostly to show what I would be wearing, to make it easier for any of my friends who happened to be spectating (none this year). As you can tell, the Sparkle Athletic skirt stayed! After my then PR in May, I wasn't racing without that! I chose purple for the rest of the outfit, mostly because I loved the shirt that I picked out.

This race started at 9:00, but I still had to be up at 6:30, so I would have time to eat and such before leaving around 8, since the race site was about 15-20 minutes away. I won't bore you with all my ritual crap, since you've seen it all before. Before I knew it, I was on my way to race!

Once I was in the area, I had to park a few minutes from the start, since street parking in Union Beach is really limited. I managed to find a spot in a lot about three minutes down the road, and walked over. Different experience than in the past, but hey, first time for everything?

As usual, after I got to the site, it was all about staying loose until race start. I walked over to the start and noticed that there was no start mat, just one at the finish. Not perfect chip timing, but it would have to do. Again, this was more than they had last year, so it was something.

Unlike my May race, time before start seemed to FLY! It was at that point that I decided that I was going for the personal. Conditions were perfect, and I knew that as long as my body was cooperative, it was possible. I just had to stick to my strategy of running when I felt comfortable, since that's how I trained, and I wasn't sure if the humidity would end up kicking in later (BTW, it didn't).

Soon enough, we lined up, all the usual pre-race speeches were made, and at promptly 9:00, we were off! My seventh 5K was under way!

Despite another 600+ person race, I didn't find start crowding to be an issue this year. I was a little more in the front than I would have liked, but I would manage. I think this may have been an advantage later on, so I worked with it.

I found the adrenaline kicking in, and running a little more than I wanted in the beginning. After previous races where I went out too fast, I reeled it in a little, and hit my first mile in about 10:40 (Endomondo was a little off, so I didn't rely too heavily on it). Exactly what I was aiming for. At this pace, I would PR for sure! all know I STILL haven't learned my lesson, and completed the second mile about a minute slower than the first. I always have trouble with the second miles of a race. Probably because the adrenaline kicks in at start, and picks back up with about a mile to go. Strange.

Anyway, this is an exclusive to my blog, as I was a little hesitant to post on Instagram. Here's my failed attempt at a mid-race selfie (clear sign that Dani is a friend of mine...haha). Damn headphone wire got in the way. Would have been perfect otherwise. =P

I knew I had to dig deep in the last mile if I wanted to PR. I wound up doing a minute of walking, minute of running cycle. This seemed to work perfectly. I finished the third mile a few seconds faster than the second. It wound up being a SPRINT to the finish, and next thing I knew it, I had crossed the finish line! #7 was in the books!

After I crossed the finish, I immediately stopped my Endomondo (which strangely decided I was playing baseball; explains why I was off a bit) and Polar. App had a time of 34:35, Polar had 34:39. I knew I either had the personal or was about five seconds slower. Either way, I wasn't disappointed. I had a solid race and felt awesome!

Once my timing devices were off, I grabbed a bottle of water and granola bar, and kept walking to keep loose and cool down. Calf and shin pain were not an issue, since I wore my Zensah sleeves again, and it paid off. Note to self: EVERY run requires them, training or race!

Since the race was chip timed, results came back fast. I scanned them, and saw my official time was 34:36.13 (11:09/mile). PR by 3 seconds! I was shocked, but in a good way! It was close, but it's still a personal!

I hung around for a little bit, watching the kiddie races and just soaking in the atmosphere. I also was able to get a post-race pic, since I couldn't get one before.

After I left the race, I immediately went for a chocolate chip bagel (my newest fav post-race meal) and my iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts. Chocolate milk would come later.

Overall, this has become one of my favorite races. Perfect atmosphere, flat course, and now chip timing! I have no complaints other than the lack of timing mat at the start. Still, for only the second running, it was awesome! As long as this race keeps going on, I'll be back!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Thinking Out Loud

I haven't done one of these in awhile, and haven't blogged in about a month (damn you, real life), so I decided it's time for a Thinking Out Loud post! Just a quick shoutout to Amanda at Running with Spoons for the idea!

What am I thinking this week?

1) My last 5K of the spring season is on Saturday in Union Beach! I'm hoping for better conditions this year than last, but will just remember the reason for this race.

2) I'm still in denial about hockey season being over. Is it October yet? I'm ready for more Rangers hockey (not to mention the hotness that is Carl Hagelin...haha).

3) My digital food scale busted on me just as I was going back to measuring everything. Thank goodness for an old-school dial scale. Still, I need a digital one, and ordered this American Weigh Scales Black Blade Digital Pocket Scale from Amazon (Thanks to Dani over at Weight Off My Shoulders for sharing this with me!)

4) I recently tried on a bikini for the first time ever! It wasn't perfect, but I still felt great! Yes, I know this isn't a perfect bikini body, but it's real, it's mine, and I'm damn proud of it!

5) I applied for FitFluential and Sparkly Soul ambassadorships. We'll see what happens!

6) Just glad tomorrow's Friday! It was a rough week at work, and I'm looking forward to the weekend!

What are you Thinking Out Loud today?