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Blog Love: My Fascinating Life

My favorite day of the week in blog land is Tuesdays because it’s Blog Love day! I get to share with you one of my favorite blogs!

This week’s blog is written by a woman named Caroline who I had the pleasure of meeting a week ago at our Tampa Bay Lady Bloggers meet-up in St. Petersburg. It’s always fun to meet people who share your love of blogging. She was also in charge of planning the meet-up at The Hooker Tea Co. in downtown St. Pete. She runs, she swims, she works out, and she is mom to two boys.

So, this week’s blog love goes to… My Fascinating Life

One of the things I love most about Caroline’s blog is that she updates it often and there are always a lot of photos. She goes to a lot of local places and events and it’s always fun to read about her experiences. She is also very active on Yelp and Twitter.

I hope you’ll check her blog out, I know you’ll enjoy it!


Bloody eye!

What a way to start the week…. I looked in the mirror this morning and saw a bright red bloody eyeball looking back at me. It really freaked me out! It is not cool to see blood in your eye. I got as close to the mirror as possible and opened my eye as wide as I could to try and figure out what the heck was going on. I even touched my eyeball to see if the blood came off. It did not.

I went and looked at my pillow to see if there was blood on it and there was not. WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED? How does one wake up with blood in their eyeball and not know where it came from?

Normally I would consult Dr. Google but I was too freaked out about the blood in my eye to even try that, deciding if it told me I had a brain tumor or something like that, I would freak out even more. So instead, I went to the eye doctor when they opened. As if the blood in my eye was not bad enough, I made the decision to not wear eye make-up to avoid further irritation. I rarely go out of the house without eye make-up so I’m not sure if the no make-up or the blood was worse.

I had my mom go with me in case they had to do anything weird. Good thing she went with me because they had to dilate my eyes. They checked my eyes, did the irritating thing with the puff of air in each eye (the anticipation of that is awful) and then they dilated my eyes, informing me that the eye that was bleeding was going to burn when they put the drops in. GREAT. Thanks for the heads-up.

After careful inspection of my eye with a bright light thingy that I was sure was going to blind me, I was reassured that I was going to live and that this is fairly common. It’s called a subconjunctival hemorrhage, basically a broken blood vessel. It can be caused by coughing, sneezing, lifting something heavy, straining, rubbing your eyes, and more. He said mine was a pretty “good” one, likely with the help of the sinus pill I took Saturday and the wine I enjoyed last night – both of which thinning my blood. (On a side note… my dad had a similar thing happen to him several years ago and because he was on blood thinners at the time, it was literally bleeding down his face. Very scary.)

It will take several days to clear up and could very well look worse before it looks better. Things I am NOT supposed to do include drinking alcohol (damn!), taking any medication such as aspirin/Tylenol/Aleve, heavy lifting, strenuous exercise, etc… The real kicker is that I should sleep on the same side that the hemorrhage is on otherwise it will look much worse just from blood flow. How in the world will I keep myself from sleeping on my left side?

I have drops to put in many times a day to keep my eyes moist. It feels a little funky and looks even funkier. It is BRIGHT red. Wanna see? Here it is…..


bloody eye

True Confessions Tuesday

I know, I say this every week… Is it Tuesday again already? No getting around it, time to get on with my confessions…

  • I CONFESS that I want to eat everything in site right now. I am doing extremely well at not giving into this desire, but it’s hard. Picture this… On one shoulder is the good me, giving me the look that says “you have to weigh-in in 2 days, don’t blow it”. On the other shoulder sits Evil Bloated Woman who has been hovering for several days now. She’s telling me to ignore the voice of the good me and just eat. Seriously? Wasn’t she here last week when I did my confessions? She needs to go away. I don’t like her. In fact, I may have to change her name to Really Evil Bloated Woman.
  • I CONFESS that I am pretty darn proud of myself for running the past 2 mornings. This is not an easy thing for me to do. I value my time in the morning and don’t like to be rushed. When I run, I end up rushed. But man it feels great to have it done and over with before work. I don’t have to worry about doing it when I get home and making sure there’s time to do it. Plus, I am a much better runner in the morning when I am not tired from the day at work. Despite all the pros I could list for running in the morning, it is still a challenge to do it. That is why I am so proud of myself.
  • I CONFESS that I was not my best with sticking to my points over the weekend, especially when we went out to dinner Sunday for my brother’s birthday. We went to Hooters. I don’t care what anyone says, Weight Watchers or not, when I go to Hooters, I am having wings, fries, and beer. There is no getting around it. I will accept the guilt that may or may not follow, and move on.
  • I CONFESS that I seriously need to cut out my Starbucks habit. It’s not so much the calories of the drink I get, which is a grande soy latte, because I budget for those points. It’s the cost. Good Lord, it adds up. Seriously, I need to cut it out.
  • I CONFESS that I need to add some strength training into my routine. Running will only get me so far. The problem is, I so enjoy getting lost in my run and tuning things out and don’t really want to give up a run. But I need to.
  • I CONFESS that  I enjoy races WAY too much. I am already thinking about my next one, even if it’s just a 5K. The whole process of planning for it, the excitement of picking up my race bib before, going to sleep the night before one knowing what’s ahead, getting up the morning of and getting ready, crossing the start line and giving it my all, and the thrill of finishing and being acknowledged for my achievement, no matter what my place is. It’s addicting. If I give up 8 grande soy lattes from Starbucks, I can register for another race. Is it right to give up one addiction for another?
  • I CONFESS that my mind is a blur this past week and full of thoughts and anticipation of things to come. I am in meed of more information and a plan. I don’t do well with not knowing.

Just breathe…

What a week this has been. It’s been busy, crazy, overwhelming, and I was not at my best when I caved into the evilness of the Pizza Hut Dinner Box on Monday. I still say it was DE-LISH but it has had me stressing over my weigh-in this week.

This morning was my weigh-in and my moment of truth. Let me start by saying that I wasn’t as fearful of the scale this morning as I was earlier in the week when thinking about it. I own everything I do and eat, so there is no one to blame but myself for a gain. I am accountable for anything I do. And a gain this week would CLEARLY have been from the evil pizza/breadsticks/cinamonn sticks.  There are times when the thought of seeing a gain due to a really bad meal will stop me from that meal, it’s enough for me to make better choices. There are times when I just don’t care, or I care less at that moment.

With that said, I weighed in this morning at the EXACT same weight as last week. I maintained. And I couldn’t be happier about it. Whew!

Yesterday was a hard day. Without getting into it just now, just know that had it not been the day before weigh-in, I would have eaten everything in site and probably would have thrown in a few drinks as well. Somehow this morning’s weigh-in outweighed (no pun intended) the emotional eating that I could have very easily given into. That’s my thing, emotional eating. Stressed, upset, scared, hurt, you name it – it sends me straight to the nearest food or snack or drink that is bad for me.

Today starts a new week, with new choices to make. I’ve already indulged in a McD’s lunch because I have the extra points for it, and that’s what they’re there for. It’s all a balance of not depriving myself and choosing what to have and if it’s worth the consequences. Today it’s worth it.

Just breathe will be my mantra today and in the coming days.

What a great tattoo!

True Confessions Tuesday

It seems that I missed my confessions last week. No worries there, though,  because I am sure to make up for it today. Here goes.

  • I CONFESS that I am afraid of weighing in this week. I’ve had a loss every week except one (which was a minor gain of 0.4). I have not made the best choices this week, totally on me, and while I have been active, I feel that some of it is out of my hands. I’m going to blame Evil Bloated Woman. Remember her? She’s been nice enough to have a few mentions on my blog before.
  • I CONFESS that despite my fear of weighing in this week, which started yesterday morning, I still chose not to run yesterday. I just did not have it in me. My legs were tired. I made myself read my post from last week about listening to my body to remind myself that it is okay. And while I *mostly* believe that, there is still that nagging voice in my head telling me that I should have done it.
  • I CONFESS that in addition to my lack of running yesterday, I made a BAD decision for dinner. I made the mother of bad decisions. Pizza Hut. It was all my idea, no one to blame but myself. I had such a craving for it – or shoud I say Evil Bloated Woman had a craving for it. It sounded so good. And it was good. We got the $10 Dinner Box. Pan pizza (ham and onion), breadsticks, and cinammon sticks. It was so bad and so good all at the same time. I felt guilty as I was eating it but it sure didn’t stop me. But, what’s done is done, and it’s time to move on. Today, I have stayed within my points.
  • I CONFESS that today’s run was H.A.R.D.. I knew all day that when I got home, I was going to change and get out the door as soon as possible so as not to change my mind. My legs were still tired and heavy today but I was not going to let it stop me. I had to undo the damage I did last night. I ran 3.11 miles in 40:38 and in all honesty, I’m surprised it didn’t take me alot longer. My legs felt like lead weights. I ran and walked in short spurts, fighting the urge to just walk it. And it was HOT outside. I was so happy to be done and I am proud of myself for pushing through it.

Do you have any confessions for this Tuesday? Now’s the time to ‘fess up!


After 6 weeks back on WW, I hit 10 pounds today – 10.2 pounds to be exact. I can’t tell you how happy this makes me. What has it taken to get to this point?

  • Being mindful of what I eat MOST days. I am not perfect everyday. I have my little splurges, and I don’t feel guilty when I do.
  • Make the best choices I can whether at home or out. There are plenty of options and if you are not afraid to ask for something to be cooked or prepared a specific way, you can absolutely eat healthy just about anywhere.
  • When in doubt about what I’m eating, if I’m unsure of the actual points, I add an extra point. Better safe than sorry.
  • Use my extra weekly points. As silly as it sounds, it’s important to use up every one of the 49 extra points on top of the 26 daily points. You would think that by using fewer points, I would lose weight quicker. Not the case. Especially the more active I am.
  • Drink ALOT of water. In my world, there is no such thing as too much water.
  • Be creative when cooking. When I am not on WW, I eat whatever is fast and easy. When I’m on WW, I take more time on food planning, preparation, and cooking. I enjoy the process. I like coming up with a recipe that is low in points, delicious, and filling. I eat a lot more fruits and veggies when on WW and I enjoy them.
  • I only get on a scale once a week, at WW. In my OCD-world I live in, being the all or nothing girl that I am, I cannot get on a scale during the week. I can’t have one at home. I would get on it every day. And in my world, my weight can fluctuate by 3, 4, or 5 points in a day. The scale at WW, once a week, works for me.
  • Go to the meetings. In the 6 weeks I’ve been back on WW, I’ve had to miss 2 meetings and I miss them when I do. By listening to other members talk about the same struggles I have, it is comforting. We are all there for the same reason – to make better choices and to enjoy the journey. It’s not always easy, but when you are in it together, it really helps.
  • Be active. I am a firm believer in being active, Find something you like and do it. Running, walking, Zumba, tennis, TaeBo, etc… Just do it. If I were to do WW only and just try to lose weight by changing my eating habits, I would not be as successful. It’s a team effort between the healthy choices and being active.

I still have a long road ahead of me to get to my goal, but the 10 pounds I have lost will go along way to keeping me motivated and doing the best that I can. I already feel better in my clothes and can feel the difference when I run. I didn’t gain it all in a few months and I sure won’t lose it in a few months. But it will all be worth it when I reach my goal!

Listen to your body

Normally I take Wednesday and Friday off as rest days. By the time Wednesday gets here, I am done and ready for a day of no running, walking, whatever. This week, today is that day. And it’s only Tuesday. I should be out running or walking right now, but honestly I don’t have it in me. And it’s hard to listen to my body when it’s telling me it needs a break.

I ran Saturday morning, Sunday morning, and yesterday evening. I felt great Saturday and Sunday and had great times (being the competitive person I am with myself). Yesterday, I could feel it in my legs. They were heavy and tired and sore, and it was a hard run. But I did it.

As I was driving home today, I thought about ignoring the little voice in my head that was saying “skip your run today and just relax”. I thought about getting home, changing quickly and getting out there to do it and get it over with. I’d be fine once I started. But when I walked into the house, I decided I was not going anywhere. Taking one day off won’t hurt. Right?! Or will it?

This is the part I struggle with. I am an all-or-nothing girl. Whatever I’m doing, I have to give it 150% or it’s not worth doing. The minute I start to slack, my thoughts start to stray. “Well, I skipped yesterday, may as well skip today”. You get the idea.

But it’s important to listen to our bodies. If my legs are heavy and sore and I’m tired, then it’s trying to tell me to ease off. The last thing I want to do it push myself and end up hurt or injured.

Taking a day off from time to time is not the end of the world. I will not instantly gain 5 pounds if I don’t run today. My eating habits won’t change overnight if I don’t run today. I won’t wake up tomorrow and decide I never want to run again because I didn’t run today. What it will do is make me feel better tomorrow. So today, I am listening to my body.

Listen to your body...

Things I learned from my first half-marathon…

  • No matter how cold it is outside, you will wait outside in the dark and in the wind for it to start.
  • No matter how early you have to get up, you will do it and be excited.
  • You can never have too many pockets for stuff to carry – GuGel, tissues, gloves after you take them off, headphones…. If only I could find a wasitpack that does not ride up and irritate me more than it helps me.
  • Gloves are a must on a cold day.
  • Having a GPS watch is a must. I am still loving my Garmin Forerunner 110 and don’t know how I went so long without it.
  • You will think of everything under the sun while you are running. No matter what you are worried about or stressed over,you know it will all work out because you are strong enough to run a half-marathon.
  • You will laugh and cry and everything in between.
  • You will wonder why you waited so long to take part in such an event.
  • You will be amazed at your strength and perserverance and your motivation to keep moving.
  • You will take in the beautiful scenery as you never have before.
  • The endorphins will stay with you well into the next day.
  • No matter how hard it was to cross that finish line, you will already be thinking about your next half-marathon the minute you finish.
  • It doesn’t matter if you are a pretty runner. You are doing it. Enough said.
  • No matter how much you hurt or how cold you are, you will feel more alive than you ever have.
  • Seeing the faces of loved ones will be part of your memory forever.
  • You will wake up the next morning and the first thing you will think is “I ran a half-marathon yesterday!”.
  • It doesn’t matter how fast you run or what place you come in. It will only matter than you did it.





My first half-marathon!

Today was a very a special day. I will remember it for a very long time. Back on December 29, 2011, I registered for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in St. Petersburg. I was determined to do it. I walked and ran in preparation. I expected to walk most of it and run what I could.

This past week was full of anticipation. It was all I could think about. After I picked up my bib, shirt, and swag bag on Friday – I couldn’t contain my excitement any longer. This was the weekend I would finally become a half-marathoner. All day yesterday, I wanted the day to pass quickly so I could go to sleep and wake up this morning. Like a kid on Christmas Eve waiting oh-so impatiently for Christmas Day.

The alarm went off at 4am this morning and I was ready to go. I showered, dressed, ate a good breakfast, got my stuff together, and we were out the door at 5:20am to beat the traffic to Tropicana Field in St. Pete. The only thing I was worried about was the weather. IT. WAS. FREEZING. With the wind chill it felt like it was in the 30’s and it was windy. I was shivering all the way to my bones. I started out in 2 shirts, a jacket, and gloves.

Finally it was time. The first corral started at 7:30. I was in Corral 12 based on what I thought my finishing time would be. We had to finish in 4 hours and I projected 3:25. We started at 7:46:23 am. Within the first mile, I could not contain myself and I started running. I ran off an on through the whole race. I wasn’t running to beat others or to finish by a certain time. I was just running because I could and because I was on an adrenaline high. This was the farthest mileage I’d ever put in where I was running a good portion of it. I’m not a fast runner, but I run.

Hubby received texts on his phone as I crossed certain points: 5k, 10k, 10 mile, and finish. I saw him three times during my run – right at the start,  the 5k mark, and at the finish line. He took some great photos for me.

There were bands and music throughout and lots of wonderful people cheering us on, handing out water and Gatorade. It all kept me going.

By the 5k mark, I was ready to take my jacket off, as I had finally warmed up. The gloves would stay on the rest of the way.

At about the halfway point, I realized that I was really going to do this. I was going to finish this and finish it good. For me. It was very emotional experience. I cried many times during for many reasons…. This was a HUGE thing for me, it was HARD, and I was so proud of myself for taking it on, and riding out the determination of doing it as the weeks passed leading up to it. I didn’t let my insecurities get in the way or focus on all the what-ifs, and my downfalls. I cried from the sheer beauty of the route, especially as we ran along the water. I cried because I knew there would be so many people who would be proud of me for accomplishing this. And I cried because I wished more than anything Daddy was here to hear all about it, to tell me how proud he was of me.

When I hit the 10-mile mark, it felt SO close. Never had 3.11 miles felt so far or so close all at once. When the route was closest to the finish line and I could here the music and people cheering, it made me want to push myself farther and harder. When I rounded the last corner in mile 12 and saw the 13 mile mark and the finish line just past that, I was in tears again. I was so close to finishing, so close to completing this goal I had set for myself.

I saw hubby just before the finish line and that made me cry more. He was there for me as he always is. He supports me and I love him dearly for it.

Crossing over the finish line was a blur. My official finish time was 3:11:33, coming in 6503 out of 7006. I was handed a medal, given a blanket, a bottle of water, and a banana. My picture was taken with my medal on. It was then that I realized I had not stopped my watch. I texted hubby to tell him I was waiting in the family area and waited. When I finally saw him, I was so excited. And then, I saw my mom and Jenna! What a surprise that was. I had just texted my mom to tell her I had finished. I had no clue they were there, even though I found out afterwards that they were standing right by hubby at the finish line. Me and my tunnel vision…

Again I was crying, overwhelmed at finishing, seeing hubby, and seeing my mom and Jenna. they had balloons, and were so proud of me. It was a moment I will not forget.

The day could not have gone more perfect. I started the race with my good friend Terrie, knowing that she was doing it in honor of two very special people as part of Team In Training. I ended the race, feeling extremely proud and strong and loved. And I was so excited to hug Terrie and enjoy the moment with her, knowing we both finished. We did it.

The afternoon was topped off perfectly with a great lunch, with Nick and Autumn joining us. I am exhausted and sore beyond belief, but it is still a wonderful thing. And tomorrow, the 13.1 decal will go on my car. Finally.

Terrie and I in the freezing cold this morning. Brrrr!

Starting line!

At the 5K mark.

A beautiful day for a half-marathon.

What a view!

Approaching the finish line - determined!

So excited to see everyone!


Feeling very accomplished! Terrie and I did it!!

A well-deserved beer at the end!

True Confessions Tuesday

A few of the blogs I follow do a True Confessions Tuesday post. It’s a chance to confess to things I need to, to get things off my shoulders, hold myself accountable, or acknowledge something I need to change or well, just let the world know. Here goes…

  • I CONFESS that I did not walk Sunday, yesterday, or Tuesday. I was beyond exhausted Sunday morning and I used that as an excuse to sit around in my jammies and redo my blog before we all went out to dinner in the afternoon. Also since Sunday, we have been a vehicle short as hubby’s truck is in the shop. My morning starts earlier to take him to work and then I pick him up in the evening. So, no walking. Mind you, the last three weeks I’ve walked ALOT and I certainly don’t think it’s the end of the world that I haven’t walked the past 3 days.
  • I CONFESS that while I am SUPER excited about the half-marathon on Sunday, I am also a little bit nervous. I can walk like there’s no tomorrow and I plan to run part of it as well. The part I’m nervous about is how I’ll feel as the majority of the participants run right by, leaving me in their dust. However, I know that I will do the best that I can and will be super proud of myself for completing my first half-marathon.
  • I CONFESS that I’m still a little bit miffed that I am 40 years old. I know, it’s just a number and it shouldn’t matter. But a part of it does. It’s that little reminder how my body has failed me in a very important way.
  • I CONFESS that I LOVE Zumba. This from the person who swore she would never do it. It’s ironic, I know. I didn’t make it to class last night (due to previously mentioned vehicle issue) and I missed it. It’s fun. Whether or not I can do the moves, I am still out there moving and having fun. Having a fantastic instructor (Tiffany!) and the company of my sister (Jenni!) helps also.
  • I CONFESS that I may be obsessed with my Kindle Fire. I have so many books to read on there and I keep adding to it.
  • I CONFESS that I am tired of wondering what everyone thinks of me. Sometimes I am super confident and other times I assume everyone thinks the worst of me. From here on out, I choose to not care. I am who I am and it is impossible to please everyone all of the time. Take me as I am and we’ll get along just fine.

That’s all for this week! Is there anything you’d like to confess?