Ready

I’m going to blow past the fact that I haven’t posted here for over two months and just jump right into what’s been happening, okay? Okay.

I haven’t felt particularly inspired to post lately, and I haven’t really had the time. I’ve been too busy working, worrying, dating (!!), and more importantly, living. My weight has stayed steady. I’ve made healthful food choices, but I’ve also indulged. Probably more than I should. I’ve been doing a lot of yoga. Like, a lot. And getting back into running. I’ve been taking more time for myself and clocking more hours at work. Basically, what I’ve been doing, is working to find balance.
IMG_20140515_193007 IMG_20140518_190529 IMG_20140518_191626 IMG_20140520_175521 IMG_20140519_190456IMG_20140502_225241 IMG_20140523_085827IMG_20140530_205124 IMG_20140602_191342Earlier this week, I started services at The Emily Program. In my initial conversation with one of the therapists, we talked a lot about my preoccupation with losing weight, body image, exercise and food. She asked me, “How much of your day do you think you spend thinking about this stuff? Honestly?” I gave it some thought and, if I’m being completely honest, a good 90% of my thoughts revolve around:

  • How my hair/makeup/outfit/fat rolls look at any given moment.
  • What my next meal will be and when I will eat it.
  • When my next chance to workout is.
  • How to schedule unexpected social and work obligations around my meal/workout schedule.
  • If I’m having a particularly weak day, how soon I can leave work and binge and what foods that binge will consist of.

After re-reading my last post, I think this is borderline obsession is something I’ve sub-consciously been aware of, and frustrated by, for awhile. And it’s probably why I’ve been shying away from blogging. I don’t want a life all consumed by being A Person Trying To Lose Weight. It’s frustrating and it’s unsatisfying. I fully understand that it needs to be a major piece of my life, but there can, and absolutely needs to be, a measure of balance and flexibility as well.

Speaking of The Emily Program, at my appointment this week I was officially diagnosed with an eating disorder. I mean, obviously it’s not a surprise, but still. I can’t help but feel that it’s yet another huge obstacle I have to overcome on this freaking never ending journey. But, on the flip side, I’m incredibly proud and grateful that I chose to formally address this issue and take steps to fix it.
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They  say admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery, right?

That thought flooded my mind earlier this week at my intake assessment, as I filled out form after form, test after test, and shared very personal information during  an incredibly, horribly uncomfortable conversation with the intake therapist.

We were having a pleasant, happy conversation, going through my background (how’s your relationship with your family, what are your hobbies, what do you do for a living) and suddenly she comes at me with this gem:

What does a typical binge look like for you?

An eating disorder, like any other substance abuse problem, is something typically done in secret. I’ve become an expert at hiding my eating from friends and family. I’ve never shared my dirty little tricks, habits, or menus with anyone.

To sit down with someone and walk them through my eating rituals, step-by-step, bite-by-bite…well, it felt like I was confessing to heinous murder. I was waiting for the Law & Order detectives to walk through the door and arrest me.

My anxiety soared. But, like with most difficult things, the more I talked about the problem, the better I started to feel. The more in control I started to feel.

I have an appointment next week to discuss my treatment plan going forward. And I can’t wait to dig into all this new uncomfortable stuff 🙂
IMG_20140531_191120And finally, speaking of uncomfortable, I picked up my bridesmaid’s dress for the wedding I’m in this fall. Let’s just say, I’m not entirely comfortable in it. So, Operation Bridesmaid is now in full force. I’m going to do my damnedest to get back on a consistent workout schedule and mostly Whole 30-type eating plan. I have set some great balanced goals for the summer (which I’ll share in an upcoming post), so it’s time to get going.

I am ready.

Crazy Person

This summer has been one of the best of my life. I’ve been conquering fears left and right and, for the first time since I can remember, I’ve actually been able to enjoy all this fleetingly short time of year brings: sleeveless tops and dresses, swimsuits and beach time, running, biking, swimming, moving (and being comfortable doing so) outdoors.
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IMG_2824Now that all this amazingness is slowly coming to a close, I want to go out with a bit of a bang, and bite off something I’ve wanted to do for awhile. There’s a high-end chain boutique-type yoga studio around here called CorePower Yoga that offers a free week of classes to new students. I’ve wanted to try this place for years, especially once they built a studio literally two blocks from my house.
IMG_20130804_160359So since I’ve fallen in love with yoga this summer (see above), and I feel more comfortable exposing my body in that way, I’m finally going to give it a go.

Enter The Yoga Challenge.

I somehow convinced my good friend to attempt this feat with me, so at the very least I’ll have someone to giggle with as we attempt to turn out bodies into pretzels.  Starting next week, we’ll be trying a new class every day. There’s a spin-yoga combo class, sculpting weight-based classes…and for our final class, we’ll be attempting the infamous hot yoga, where studio temps are 105°. Side note: I may very well be crazy. And in case you need further proof of that, I’m also planning to continue my 5K training for my upcoming race on September 7.

Nutso.

As always, I urge you to follow me on Twitter and Instagram for what will inevitably be a good chuckle at my expense (you’re welcome, dear readers). I’m MandaKayMakesIt on both. I will be posting (hopefully daily) on here, but there will undoubtedly be some extra goodies popping up on social media.

I’m really excited to see how I handle this. I’ve really been digging yoga lately, but I feel like this is a whole other ballgame. Should be an interesting week, to say the least…

Hooray for new challenges! 

#MandaKayBikesIt

Hi y’all! Just popping in to remind you that I have my first ever bike…cycling…whatever race tomorrow! 26 miles, baby! Let’s do it!

The alarm is set:

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The tapered spandex size XL jersey actually fits:

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And I am ready! Don’t forget: I’ll be live tweeting and Instgramming this thang, so follow me at both spots if you’re…interested/super bored/needing cheap amusement/hungover. @MandaKayMakesIt. And, of course, I’ll be back around these parts later this weekend for a full recap!

Thanks for the support, guys! I’m excited and nervous–it’s going to be great!

Summer Bucket List Update: Up North

Slowly but surely, I’m attacking this year’s summer bucket list! This past weekend, I spent a few days Up North (as we say here in Minnesota) on the lake with my aunts and cousins. It’s a yearly little tradition, this girls’ weekend, and it’s always a fun time.
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While up there last year, I attempted paddle boarding for the first time. Last summer, I was heavier, less toned, and definitely had issues with my core and lack of stability. I felt so awkward and exposed on that paddle board. But this year? Piece of cake! I had no problem getting–and staying–up. My aunt and I spent about three hours on the water one morning, paddling from one horribly windy and wavy side of the lake to the other.
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A few things of note:

1. Please note that I’m the only one in my swimsuit. No shame, so proud.
2. My thighs have officially replaced my arms as my least favorite part of my body. Ugh.
3. I contemplated photoshopping out the cellulite on said thighs in the above photos, but that wouldn’t be right. I want to always be honest with you guys, and more importantly, with myself. I have ample cellulite. It sucks, but that’s me.

On to the real reason for this post: my attempt at waterskiing!

I haven’t even attempted to ski since I was in 7th grade–the peak of my thinner days. I couldn’t get up then, and despite great effort, I can’t get up now.
2013-07-20 14.04.582013-07-20 14.17.592013-07-20 14.14.482013-07-20 14.12.192013-07-20 14.11.10I tried three times. It almost happened. And even though it didn’t, I was glad I tried. Old Manda Kay, even the Manda Kay of last year, wouldn’t have tried. And please take notice of the pissed off look on my face in the last photo. Yeah. Being dragged behind a speed boat because you forgot to let go of the rope even though your skis already fell off and you got about a gallon of lake water up your nose, in your lungs, etc…that’ll do it.

After the literal failed but psychologically victorious waterskiing attempt, I treated myself to a giant plate of my new favorite food: zucchini noodles! I think I actually like them more than pasta (blasphemous!)
2013-07-21 18.28.21So there you have it! Two bucket list tasks down, only eight more to go…I better get cracking! Up next: I’ve got a 26 mile bike race to dominate next Saturday. Start praying, friends!

Color Me…Happy!

20130714_101237This weekend, a giant group of my loud, crazy, fun extended family descended on my town to join me in The Color Run. If you haven’t heard of this run, the self-proclaimed “happiest 5K on the planet”, do yourself a favor and sign up for a race. You will love it!

I truly believe that in order for any sort of long-term exercise plan to be effective, you need to: 1. find fun ways to be active, and 2. find fun people to have that active fun with. This Color Run was exactly that.

So, to extend all that happy and fun, the night before the race, the whole gang met up at Sea Salt–an amazing restaurant at Minnehaha Falls. We enjoyed some libations, delish sea food, and a beautiful Minnesota summer night.

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Broasted salmon with dill yogurt sauce, fennel orange salad, and melon

Instagramming while drinking. It should be a punishable offense.

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During the actual race, I kept pace with my brother. He was so great about pushing me to go further, go faster. I ended up actually running the majority of the course (which surprised me), and I finished strong by joining my cousin and her friends (who are much speedier than I) to cross the finish line. It’s safe to say my love-hate relationship with running is officially back on the “love” side of things.
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And then post-race…obviously more drinking and eating must happen. Obviously. And it should probably be on a patio somewhere where you can enjoy the sunshine and really bake that color powder into your pores.
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Oh, and blowing my nose more than 24 hours later? Like a rainbow 🙂 Thanks for a fantastic weekend, Family and Color Run!

Blissed In

Today was the day I reconnected with something that used to be such a huge part of my life. Something I’ve missed terribly. Today was the day I did something I haven’t done since I was maybe 12 years old. No, I did not bleach my blonde locks with Sun-In. Or crush on Jim Smith…but, true story. Call me, Jim.

No, today I went to a public beach in a swimsuit. A swimsuit that showed my cellulite-ridden thighs. And then I shared a few laughs with a friend, worked on my tan, listened to some good tunes, ate lunch, and splashed in the water…all while wearing my swimsuit.

And it was glorious. I teared up while laying alone on the beach, waiting for my friend. I was so proud of myself. My confidence, while it wavered a few, small moments, was sky high. And after tackling the beach today (one of my biggest fears), I made plans to go back tomorrow to do some paddle boarding. Looks like I’m going to be a beach babe once again! 🙂

Summer Bucket List

1. Run 2 miles
2. Attempt to water ski
3. Put myself out there physically
4. Complete a bike race
5. Go hiking in a state park
6. Lose 20 pounds
7. Purchase a pair of pants from a “normal” size store
8. Move everyday
9. Go to a beach in a swimsuit
10. Save enough money for a trainer

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Rhubarb Streusel Bread

This recipe was born out of pure necessity. But it’s delicious. So I don’t mind 🙂
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While home for the Memorial Day weekend, my mom mentioned that she received a bunch of rhubarb from a neighbor and she would like me to whip up something delicious, please and thank you.
20130623_174455After some discussion and much Googling, we settled on a decadent rhubarb streusel bread from the Taste of Home website. No longer being one to cook with ingredients like oil, butter, and all-purpose flour, I put my own spin on the recipe and healthified things a bit/a lot.
IMG_20130623_183200This bread (which also, obviously,works as muffins) in so incredibly moist thanks to the Chobani—not to mention the extra punch of protein you get, too. Over the weekend, in between thunderstorms, stifling humidity, and losing power, I made a big batch in muffin-form to enjoy for breakfasts and snacks all week.

Enjoy!

 

Rhubarb Streusel Bread
Makes 2 loaves or 16 muffins

Ingredients
1 1/2 C rhubarb, chopped (and thawed, if frozen)
1 Tbsp. granulated white sugar
1 C brown sugar (or 1 C granulated white sugar + 1 tsp. molasses)
1/2 C Greek yogurt, plain, nonfat (I always use Chobani)
1 egg
1 C milk, skim
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 C all-purpose flour (I use gluten-free)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt

Topping

3 Tbsp. granulated white sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Directions

  • Add rhubarb to colander over a sink or paper towel, and sprinkle with a tablespoon of sugar. Let sit for up to one hour. This helps draw out any excess moisture and any bitterness in the rhubarb.
  • In a large bowl, combine sugar and yogurt. Beat in egg, then stir in milk and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into yogurt mixture until just combined. Fold in rhubarb. Pour into lined muffin tins or two greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pans.
  •  For topping, in a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon, then sprinkle over batter.
  • Bake at 325° for 30-35 minutes (12-16 minutes for muffins) or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans.