Keep It Movin’

I don’t think it’s a secret that music can make or break a work out. I recently found myself wondering just how people worked out before the invention of the iPod? The Discman? The Walkman? The Boombox? If I don’t have a solid playlist on my pod (as I affectionately call it), and have to skip around trying to find a good song, I’m done. And if I get to the gym and realize I forgot my pod or headphones at home? Best believe I’m calling it a night and heading home.

I’m constantly reorganizing and even renaming my workout playlist (current name: Bad Ass), trying to find the perfect mix of warm-up and high intensity songs. Here’s the current incarnation that keeps me moving:

Carrie Underwood, Good Girl (this was cranked up quite often on our TX road trip!)
Fun., Some Nights (obsessed with the Queen/South African vibe!!)
Sara Bareilles, Let the Rain
Sugarland, Down in Mississippi
Of Monsters and Men, Little Talks
Neon Trees, Everybody Talks
Ingrid Michaelson, Do It Now
Kelly Clarkson, Stronger (really, anything this girl makes kicks ass)
Oh Land, We Turn It Up
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Heads Will Roll
One Republic, Movin’ On
The Avett Brothers, Kick Drum Heart
The Ting Tings, That’s Not My Name
Sia, The Girl You Lost to Cocaine/Clap Your Hands/Never Gonna Leave Me (like Kelly, Sia kicks ass)
Queen, Fat Bottomed Girls (ahem)
Adele, Rolling in the Deep
Demi Lovato, Break Your Heart (such a freaking guilty pleasure, this song)

Those are my current obsessions. But I’m always wondering what others are listening to on their runs/at the gym. So out with it. What is your favorite song to rock out to while working out?

A Vacation in Photos II

While in Texas, we ate good BBQ and Tex-Mex, found a vending machine that sold pecan pies, climbed a legit mountain, a task which I’m immensely proud, celebrated my mom’s birthday with a giant sombrero and a mariachi band, did our fair share of wine tasting, and visited a farm and the nation’s largest wildflower farm. We also drank a lot of coffee and clocked some serious miles on the good old Ford.

More photos from my road trip vacay to Austin, TX!

Welcome Back, Me!

Hiya everybody! It’s me! I’m back! Finally!

Apologies for the two-ish week absence. Between leaving my old job (finally!), road trippin’ to Texas (Spring Break ’12–woo hoo!), and starting a huge, new, amazing job last week, I have been exhausted in every sense of the word. I was burned out and really just needed a 100% complete break from life. Which I took. And now I’m ready to just kill it.

I’ll be sharing more photos and such from my awesome trip to the land of George Bush and Tex-Mex (my least fav and fav thing in one state), but tonight, in the vein of my recent post about regaining focus, I want to share my plan to really kick this weight loss bullshiz into high(er) gear. Here we go!

Ok, so I did a lot of math-y stuff today trying to figure out what is a feasible amount of weight for me to lose by my birthday in September–I even called my soon-to-be-accountant brother for a little help. I decided that by the time I blow out 28 candles on my vegan sugar-free cake, I’d like to be at a total of 100 pounds lost. So another 60 or so pounds. There are about 25 weeks until my birthday, which averages out to about 2.4 pounds/week. Since I started this challenge, I’ve lost at an average of 3.1 pounds/week. And as I’ve clearly documented here, I haven’t been as consistent as I could have been. So even given plateaus, and scheduling, and maybe the occasional slight slip-up, I think it’s totally doable! And it’s basically summer here in Minny, which brings loads of fresh produce, a healthy blogging challenge with my bestie (more on that later!), more opportunities to be active, more daylight, more sweet, sweet, sweat and basically just more awesomeness.

1. Take a look at my goals page. I’ve got some new ones and they’re goodies. Here’s one of ’em:
2. I’m signing up for my first 5K. I had planned to do the Color Run (which I am definitely doing next year!), but it filled up before I could register. So, I happened upon a tweet from one of my fave bloggers, Lindsay over at Lean Green Bean, who mentioned the Dirty Girl Run. It’s a mud run but only for chicks. And it looks badass. And me and the girls are totes doing it.

3. I’m going to be meticulously tracking my food. Obsessive may be a better word for it. It needs to be that way for awhile. PS I love myfitnesspal.com. It is such a great app/website for tracking calories, measuring progress, and connecting with others losing weight. Oh, and you can follow me on there, if you’re so inclined. I’m at MandaKayMakesIt, natch 🙂

4. Inspired by those Friday night lights down in Texas (lord, I miss that show…and my vaction), I’m implementing two-a-day workouts. That means I work out in the morning and then again at night. 6-7 days a week. No excuses, no more bullshit, no more days off because I don’t have time or want to watch reruns of The Hills (LC, come back!).

Here it is:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
AM – run (once it’s light enough outside) or 7 miles on the bike
PM – cardio and weights at the gym, then home for planks/abs and more bike

Tuesday, Thursday
AM – spin class
PM – 5 miles on the bike, planks/abs and free weight circuits

Saturday, Sunday
AM – spin or yoga
PM – 5-10 miles on the bike, planks/abs and free weight circuits

Every month I’ll be reevaluating and switching things up so I don’t get bored or burned out.


So there you have it. Back to life, back to reality, back on my grind!

Greetings From Kansas

Our spring break road trip to Austin, Texas is underway! We left Minnesota around 6 pm last night and made it to Missouri before calling it a night. Now we, my mom, aunt, cousin, and I, are meandering through the great state of Kansas on our way to Austin, Texas, after a somewhat successful morning of visiting a few of the world’s largest–meat cleaver, shuttlecocks, and boot spur.

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It’s doing wonders for my spirits and my soul to feel a little warm sunshine and see a little green in the grass.

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I had a quick sandwuch at Subway last night (turkey, spinach, honey mustard) and whole wheat toast with peanut butter and an apple for breakdast today. I’m really trying to keep my water intake up, too, while remembering that we’ll never make it to Texas if we’re stopping every 20 minutes for a restroom 🙂

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More to come soon! Hope everyone is enjoying some beautiful weather!

Do you take a spring break trip each year?