Mud and Cheesecake

by jennifer10. November 2012 01:03
I haven't had a MNO in forever. Literally. Forever. Tonight that all changed! I was invited to take a sneak peek of the Pretty Muddy race course in Dade City, FL along with 5 other Tampa bloggers, all women, and I had 1/2 a slice of Pumpkin Cheesecake. I am living life on the wild side. I met up with Denise of RunDMT and we drove out together. Turns out she lives only a few miles from me, and we have lots of other things in common too. She's a pretty cool chick. And tomorrow she will do her first mud run ;) I promised her that she will LOVE it. I am a huge fan of the "keep calm" manta, so this was only fitting.   Having a few mud runs under my belt, I can tell you that THIS mud run really looks like a RUN! The course is much wider, and the obstacles appear to have more distance between them. But I can run, so it's really not a problem. I just really like obstacles. And mud. Makes me feel like a kid. This is the finish pit. No diving into the mud pit. Someone better hold me back   At dinner I split a piece of HOMEMADE pumpkin cheesecake. It was GOOD. I have food rules when it comes to desserts. I won't eat anything dessert-y if I can go up to my local Publix/Target and buy it. It needs to be homemade and it needs to be unique. This dessert fit the bill perfectly. I did not have the whipped cream because it did not fit into my food rules And thinking back, my last dessert was Key Lime Pie homemade by the historic Rod and Gun Club in Everglades City in JULY. So over 4 months ago. Talk about moderation. I did not carb load. It's only a 5k LOL.    

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Jenny

Living a Pure Life....

by jennifer8. November 2012 15:33
Living a pure life can mean different things to different people and even to the same person it can mean different things at different times. In my current mindset, living a pure life means that I am authentic. What you see is what you get. I am honest, I wear my heart on my sleeve. I'm not afraid to cry, to show weakness, to ask for help. But I am also strong; physically, mentally, emotionally. I'm not afraid to take make changes, take risks, and live a life worth living. It also means that I eat pure foods. Foods that help energize and nourish my body. I rarely eat processed anything. And when I do, I pay for it by not feeling pure. I feel dirty, contaminated, not the real me. I have had the opportunity to do some amazing things in my 41 years on this planet. I am farily well-traveled, and in 1995 I was able to spend some time in beautiful Costa Rica. Costa Rica is a breathtaking place (minus the potholes that are big enough to swallow a SUV.) The people are authentic. Genuine. They walk around with a smile on their face. And that smile is contagious. I often think about the time I spent in Costa Rica and recently I've been thinking more and more about that special period in my life. Why? Well, you know I'm going to tell you, right? A short time ago a friend of mine (hi LuAnne!) told me that an indoor cycling studio was going to open in Wesley Chapel. I filed that information away in my brain, not really thinking too much about it and then another friend (hi Julie!!) and I were chatting one evening while our kids were in gymnastics and she reminded me about the studio. We sat together loooking through their Facebook page on my iPad and I went on the "About Us" tab. And this is when it all clicked for me. The name of the studio is Pura Cycling Studio and they incorporate the Costa Rican mantra of Pura Vida into their cycling/business philosophy. The studio opened a few weeks ago, but due to my previous schedule I was never able to get in there and try out a class. But now that my life has charted a new course, I was finally able to make it in today. And I am so glad I went. The studio is beautiful. I am used to cyling in a room that is refered to as "the pit" or "the cave." Today I cycled in a room that would never be called those names. I am used to cycling on bikes that are old, rusty in many areas, and frankly have seen much better days. Today I cycled on a brand new bike. I am used to cycling in a dark room never really knowing what I look like when I am on a bike. Today I cycled in a room with beautiful lighting (not bright by any means, it was actually the perfect amount of light), but here is the kicker...THERE ARE MIRRORS!! I could actually see what I looked like on the bike. And anyone who works out knows how important it is to be able to see yourself. Not for vanity, but for form and technique. You can really hurt yourself if you are not exercising with proper technique. And I must say....my form ROCKS (now I am being vain ) Here is my honest review. Pros: The studio is beautiful. The bikes are smooth. It smells good. The stereo system and mic actually work.  It is an encouraging, motivating environment. I know many of the instructors and they are top-notch. I loved being able to watch myself and work on my technique. Cons: Cost. It's $70 (and that's their grand opening price, it is going to go up) for a month of unlimited cycle. But the owner did tell me that they are working on a Groupon, so I'll be sure to post that when it becomes available.  But they have several packages available, so maybe there is one that would better fit your budget. I know for me, I love to cycle. Love it. And would do it every single day.  But at $70 per month, it's just not in my budget when I have other gym memberships that I am paying on. So I'll likely wait for the Groupon and participate for how ever long the Groupon is good for. Showers. There are none. This isn't an issue for me, but it might be for someone else. But they do have a nice bathroom Childcare. There isn't any. Again, this isn't an issue for me. Though I have heard that they might be working out a deal with Monkey Bizness at Wiregrass Mall to provide OFF-site care while you cycle. Schedule: I would want a mid-morning class every day. Though I expect as membership grows this will happen. Overall, the only thing holding me back from joining is the cost factor. But enough of my rambling, let the pictures speak for themselves.     The cycle room is just beautiful. Wood floors (I forgot to ask what type of wood but I'm guessing bamboo??) And notice the mirrors? So nice. Here we are post-ride. Stephanie, the owner, is the one in the jeans. She didn't cycle today. And next to Stephanie is my friend, LuAnne. The other woman was there trying it out. We've cycled together for years at LFF/LAF. There were others there, but left before I got out my camera. Lucky them. And the instructor for today's class, my friend Julie. And the calorie burn. BOOYAH! 770 dude, 770.   And then I came home and made this wonderful lunch. Romain lettuce, steelhead trout, apples, cucs, tomatoes, avocado, green onions and feta. It's pure, it's delicious. **I received no compensation for this review. All opinions are my own.**

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Jenny

Removing the Chaos

by jennifer7. November 2012 17:21
Anyone who really knows me knows that I am somewhat of a pack rat. And since I've spent the last four years working outside of the home, the clutter around my house has really gotten out of control. Adding to that, we have 5 people living in a 2,000 square foot home and three of those 5 people are kids who are also pack rats, and they don't pick up after themselves without a lot of nagging encouragement from me. And my husband isn't much better. It seems as though we all have stuff that we like to collect.  When I began my weight loss journey in 2008, I had to do some decluttering. Not of "stuff" but of people. These weren't bad people, they were just people that had their own issues and I needed the time to focus on ME as I tried to navigate through the peeks and valleys of a drastic lifestyle change. It was hard. I went from having a lot of friends, to virtually having none. Now as time has gone by, I have made new friends, but I am longing for that "best friend." I haven't had one in over 4 years. My mom, my sister and my husband are my sounding boards, and as awesome as they are, I still miss having that one great girl friend that I can sit around and chat with.  Did I remove too much chaos? Maybe. But if I hadn't would I have been as successful in my transformation? Who knows. Do I regret it? Not one bit. I had to do what was best for me at that time.  And today I started to remove the chaos in the areas around me. I'll take it in baby steps, just like I did with my weight loss. One drawer, one closet, one room at a time. Today I did my car and one of my closets. It's a start. I didn't lose 212 pounds in one day, and I won't remove all the chaos in one day either.  All my "hair pretties' for the gym are now in one place around my shifter. My cycle shoes and HRM are nice and neat in my center console.     The dreaded closet!! Here it is before:   After!!    Then I helped to declutter my fridge by eating the rest of last night's dinner for lunch. It was good!  Speaking of decluttering, my current gym LA Fitness has decided to declutter the Spinning room by removing 17 bikes. Leaving only 12 behind! I hope my favorite bike survived! I can't wait until Strive Athletic Club in Wesley Chapel reopens with a larger group fitness room and will be adding LES MILLS™ RPM™ to their group fitness schedule!  And yes, this is me this morning! Then I decluttered some extra calories from my body  Today was a good day, though I wasn't able to find that perfect coffee cup. The quest for that will continue tomorrow.

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Jenny

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