#keepingitreal

Today I read an incredible article posted by Runners World, addressing the recent blog post from Lauren Fleshman, professional runner, at Ask Lauren Fleshman.

ImageWhile I hadn’t read the original blog post before reading the article from RW, I have to admit that I was much more moved by her follow-up piece as compared to her first post. The article was written so that Lauren could compare two different photos of herself for her readers. The first photo is of Lauren walking the runway for the Oiselle show (running wear company) during fashion week; one in which she is tanned, toned, and strong. However, as much as those images could evoke jealousy (and for some, motivation) she does not consider it a true representation of herself. The other photo was one of her from a recent practice, in which her little pooch was left to do as it pleased. Take a look!

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Now, obviously she is a beautiful woman who is blessed with an amazing physique, with or without a little belly. While her original article was short but sweet, Lauren shared her vulnerabilities with her readers so that woman know that what is displayed on the runway or in magazines, is not a true representation of the female body. Instead, we should be proud of the lumps, dumps, curves, bones, wrinkles, and stretchmarks that make each one of us real and unique.

Since going viral with that post, Lauren wrote a follow-up article to Runners World in order to further address the questions, concerns, and praises from her original article and what we are left with is something beautiful and I’m encouraging all of you readers to participate in whatever way you feel comfortable but I think is necessary for us to help change the way we look at beauty.

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If you really want to be able to submit the photo, you can actually post it here.

Britney Spears posted a similar photo, when she finished shooting a Candies Shoe ad several years ago. I was shocked by the difference in her body after being retouched. I can’t believe I spent most of my teen years comparing my body to hers and being so angry and negative with myself for never being strict or dedicated enough to look like she did, as much as I was obsessed with doing so.

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Amazing, right?

I guess this is the point in my time with you, where I share an unflattering photo with all of you, since I have challenged everyone else to keep it real.  Well, here goes nothing… Drum roll please….

A flattering picture of me with all my made up glory.

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What I actually wake up looking like every morning.

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I have blonde eyebrows and eyelashes. I draw them both on every day. I hate the wrinkles on my forehead, so I wear side swept bangs to keep them hidden. I grew up with the nickname “Dog face” throughout middle school, and started to wear makeup the minute my mom let me in 9th grade. I’ve never looked back. I can get upset with my looks and stay steer clear from swimming underwater in pools or oceans, because I don’t want my mascara to run off. I also hate being in the rain without an umbrella for fear of the same thing. I didn’t know how I would ever meet someone to love me for me, as I had this face to present to him every morning he wakes up.

Well, thankfully I did (and it did take some work on my part in order to be ready to be comfortable with myself first). The best part, I can look like this some days and Chris will ask me if I’m even wearing makeup. That’s how you know you have a keeper. He also tells me I’m beautiful no matter how I feel or look.  I wish I treated myself with that much kindness and adoration.

So ladies, do you think you can help me in #keepingitreal? Take the challenge, I promise you won’t regret it.

Five Things Friday

1. I’m all for meat. Don’t get me wrong. I grew with an extended family that hunts, and while you would never see me touting a shotgun, I think hunting is important for animal control (um hello overpopulation of deer much) as well as helping to provide my family with enough meat to last almost the entire winter season. I have also moved into a lower carb/low dairy diet to help with my food intolerance issues and you better believe that meat has become a huge staple of my diet.

However, I watched this video that one of my friends posted on facebook today. Be warned, its totally heinous and actually left me feeling a little overwhelmed and upset. In just a few minutes, you are reminded of the horrific practices of the food industry, which feeds into the dietary habits of the people purchasing their products.

I have been doing a lot of research on the food industry as of late, and its completely overwhelming to think about how food can impact your health. I can’t even begin to afford the costs of eating sustainable, organic, hormone-free, grass-fed, non-gmo foods. I do my very best with the budget that I have, but thinking about what happens to animals before I consume them is making me rethink how I purchase meat in the future.  I don’t ever see myself moving away into a pescatarian/vegetarian lifestyle, but the amount of hormones and pesticides that are being pumped into and consumed by animals before they are slaughtered is MOST CERTAINLY making an impact on our emotional/behavioral/physical health. Its really gross and overwhelming to think about.

2. The six-minute clip is only a small portion of the movie, Samsara, which is described as “is a Sanskrit word that means “the ever turning wheel of life” and is the point of departure for the filmmakers as they search for the elusive current of interconnection that runs through our lives.  Filmed over a period of almost five years and in twenty-five countries, SAMSARA transports us to sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial sites, and natural wonders.  By dispensing with dialogue and descriptive text, SAMSARA subverts our expectations of a traditional documentary, instead encouraging our own inner interpretations inspired by images and music that infuses the ancient with the modern.  “

If you are interested in watching the rest of the movie, you are able to do so via Amazon Instant Video. You can rent it for only $2.99, or $3.99 if you have a hankering for the HD version. I will most definitely be inserting this into my weekend schedule, by clicking the link here.

3. On a lighter note, I want Chris to make this for me this weekend.

Oh, look at that. It’s vegetarian. I would probably add some protein to this, because it would not be enough to sustain me for an entire evening. Looks delicious though and is a part of an article tweeted out today on 20 Amazing Paleo Avocado Recipes, although the original post was written by Gina from Running to the Kitchen.

4. I’m also curious if any of you readers or Boston-area lurkers are going to participate in the inaugural Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon Weekend. 

I haven’t signed up as of yet, but I’m definitely thinking of doing it (and more so before March 6th because the price increases at that point). I think any event put on by Runners’ World is going to be top notch, and I can only imagine the local running celebrities and experiences that will be available to all those participating.  The whole weekend is split up into different components, with a 5k, 10k, and half marathon all in one weekend.  You can also participate in the Five and Dime or the Hat Trick if you are really feeling wild. I’m not so sure I am (mostly because I have to go to a graduation on that weekend).

PLEASE RUN WITH ME!

5. Last, but not least… I have officially rented my first two dresses from Rent the Runway.

Each dress is retailed between 300 and 1000 dollars!!! You can rent them for a weekend for about $35+ (some are as low as $35 while others can be as high as $400). Even better, necklaces worth $800 can be rented for only $10. Its RIDICULOUS! I have my first black tie event and wedding rehearsal dinner (super fancy) that I felt needed the appropriately fancy frock, and decided that instead of spending hundreds of dollars on a dress I would only wear once, I would instead rent it. AND YES, I realize that wearing a dress only once is ridiculous but that’s what you get in the day of Facebook, Instagram, blogs, and Twitter.

First time renters at Rent the Runway can also use a $25 promo code:  FIRSTRTR25X7947

 Enjoy your weekends, you little noodles!

Today, I ran outside in shorts.

It was the CA raziest thing ever. I ran outside in shorts. Granted, I had a long sleeve base layer and compression sleeves, but I didn’t have on long pants, earmuffs, and mittens, and that makes a girl super happy. Not my best run with all of the snow still on the road/sidewalks, but I got ‘er done.

I’ve actually been on par for my training this week, although I did cut the speed workout on Tuesday a little short. I just realized that I am in no way Hungry Runner Girl, and 9 miles of speedwork are just not happening.  Instead, I did 7 miles doing a 2 mile warm-up and 3×1600 repeats with a cool down in between and then a final cool down of 1.75 miles. Wasn’t the longest speed workout, but I freakin’ did it and that’s ALL that counts. I overheat like a small dog, so 7 miles was my limit when logging runs at the gym.

See! Look how red my face was! and that was 20 minutes after the run ended.

Yesterday, I ran 5 unbroken miles on the ol’ mill, then did a quick leg workout. Nothing special, made sure to go slow, but again, I’m proud of myself for getting it done.

That evening, I helped to babysit Chris’s niece and then headed with Baby Snake and another friend to grab some quick bites and watch The Hypocrites’ Romeo and Juliet at the Oberon Theater in Harvard Square.  It was an amazing show with only 4 cast members and a very intimate stage. The whole thing lasted an hour, with patrons having access to the bar throughout the show and were greeted with fortune cookies upon arrival.  The mix of Shakespearean language and today’s colloquialisms made for a fun twist on the original show. I highly recommend Bostonaians going out of the experience, as it was only $20, although you have to be fairly well versed in the original play to understand some of the transitions among the characters (as they play multiple parts) in addition to changes in script, such as having Mercutio take some of Juliet’s lines in order to play on the relationship between Romeo and his friend.

As was mentioned previously, I was able to get outside for a 5 mile run, making the total for the week 17 miles.  I have a goal of completing another 24 by the rest of this weekend (6 on Friday, 12 on Saturday, and 6 on Sunday). Let’s see how that goes, because you know how bad I am at long runs.

I’m off to a family party and then to head into the city to see one of Chris’s bestest (not a real word, I know) friends. Time to have some more fun on this vacation week!

This winter is making me die a slow death.

Seriously, this winter has been pretty awful. When it’s not around 13 degrees out and finally hits above the freezing mark…it’s snowing at least 5 inches (and its snowing as I type this post).  It’s driving me bananas. It’s really difficult to run around outside in this mess because most of the sidewalks aren’t cleared and running on the road in the city is just not a choice.  Even my favorite bike paths are completely a mess, banishing most of us runners to the ol’ mills. I think I speak for every one of us that this is getting CRAY. I see the same people with me at BSC night after night, trudging along on the treadmill.  Yesterday, I decided to take an active recovery day and give myself a break from running.  

I split my time up amongst three different cardio machines, including a spin bike that has a workout video for you to follow along with.  It was actually pretty tough because you had to make sure your heart rate and cadence were within a certain range (given the original goal I had set based on my fitness level, age, and weight).

30 minutes later I took to the weights (for another 30 minutes of random exercises) and I decided to call it a day.  I will say, it is nice to have the time over this vacation to go whenever I want and tag along with Chris. Peanut Butter Fingers put up a post suggesting that when couples sweat at the same time together, they are more likely to stick to their fitness goals.

Because I have also been a shut in since break started, Chris and I decided to meet up Baby Snake and her husband in order to grab some eats and play some trivia at Bull McCabe’s in Union Square.  I didn’t think we would stay as long as we did (thus, why we named ourselves, “We might not stay”) but we were doing pretty well up until the end!  The winners at that point had a perfect plus score, so we knew we had no chance of winning. The best part was that I knew 7 correct answers for last nights’ game, which has never happened to me before, in the history of Lauren’s life of trivia. It. was. awesome.

(That…kind of looks like me? Remember me at 27?)

I slept in this morning, watched some trash tv, and ate a few things.  I’m currently delaying the gym even though I have every intention to go. I don’t know what it is about the 9 miles of speedwork that is sounding awful. The schedule calls for a 2 mile warm-up and 5 miles speed (at 10 seconds faster than goal pace) and then 2 mile cool down. I’m going to try to break this up somehow, because I think 5 miles at 7:50 is going to present itself as a challenge on the ol’ mill. Inspiration PLEASE!