November 17, 2015

At The Park // From The Treetops

It's finally beginning to look and feel like Fall around here...and I'm loving it SO much! I don't know about you guys, but when I know I'm going to be heading out with my camera...I want to take practically every piece of equipment I own. I've got a backpack that I can pretty much fit everything into, and I usually tote it around with me every time I'm going to be doing something outdoors. I cringed at the idea of taking my camera, my 50mm lens, and nothing else...but decided to challenge myself to use just one lens. I'm always afraid that if I don't have everything with me...I'll spot something incredibly photo worthy and not have the right gear. Is it just me, or does everybody feel that way? Although my 50mm did just fine (and I LOVE my 50!), I definitely want to keep lugging everything along with me for now.

My favorite finds of the day were the GIANT green leaf and the wasp nest!  I found a few really fun DIY projects involving leaves, and the size of this one is absolutely perfect for a particular project I saw.  Definitely going back to get some of them this week to try out :)

November 12, 2015

Derby Diary 2

So. Much. Has. Happened in the past month you guys!!!  Since my last Derby post, I've had several "on-skates" practices, learned tons of new cool stuff, and have gotten past the nervous stage of socializing with people (okay maybe not completely past that stage...but I'm getting there!). When I first became interested in joining the program, my goal was to be drafted to a team by the end of the session in January.  I'll be super stoked if that happens...but my new derby goals are to just get fit, have fun, and not fret about whether or not I'll pass assessments or get drafted in January.  I'm having too much fun to worry about anything else right now :)

My first practice was SO tough!  I got so incredibly tired, and although I was having fun skating...I couldn't wait for it to be over.  I felt like I was skating through mud.  I hadn't been on a skating rink floor in such a long time and I didn't know if it was just the floor I was skating on, my wheels not being the right softness/hardness, or if it was just because I'm so out of shape.  I didn't discover the problem until after practice was wheels were too tight!  I had switched them out the night before and didn't loosen them enough.  I felt like such an idiot when I realized that was the problem.  Wheels are supposed to be loose enough that when you slap them they keep spinning...when I slapped them after practice...they weren't even budging!  I spent two hours skating on my wheels like that, and was so winded at the end of practice that I was coughing excessively for 4 days!

The second practice was so much easier.  The warm-up still killed me because I have zero cardio endurance, but skating felt amazing.  When I first got my skates, I went a little crazy and ordered several different sets of wheels including hybrid (inside/outside) and outside sets.  I'm so happy I did that though, because I realized within 5 minutes of being on the rink that my rainbow set was a little too slippery for me.  I tried doing a cross-over when I turned the corner and ended up falling and sliding like 6 feet.  I asked the coach if she thought I should switch out my wheels and she recommended just switching the outside ones to a more grippy wheel.  I immediately got off the rink to switch my outside wheels to my new set of Poison's.  They were exactly what I needed.  No more sliding and I feel a lot more confident turning corners now :)

My third practice was a bit rough on my feet.  I felt a lot better about my skating in general, but we did a lot of footwork and tried walking on our toe-stops.  I already had blisters on a couple of my toes, and after doing the drills we did-I knew I had to do something to protect them the next time around.  We also got to practice falling and getting up.  Aside from my lack of endurance, my second downfall is falls and getting up.  I'm not a confident faller.  There is a correct and safe way to fall...and I'm not particularly good at it all.  It's definitely something that I can spend more time working on at home.

By the fourth practice, I was over the "socially nervous" bit for the most part, but I was having a bad day and 100% did NOT want to go.  I felt grouchy and tired and had no interest in doing anything but having a nice bath and going to bed early.  Matthew wasn't about to let me miss practice though, and I'm so glad I forced myself into the car.  As soon as I laced up my skates and got on the rink...I was happy again.  This practice turned out to be one of my favorites so far.  I learned a couple different ways to stop, we did a lot of 180's and 360's in our skates, and we started backwards skating.  I felt a lot more confident doing these things than I did at most of the previous skills we've gone over.  By the time practice was over, my attitude had done it's own 360...which I'm sure Matthew appreciated ;)

This weeks practice...didn't happen.  I had every intention of going and was so excited to learn about whips and practice more on what I've learned so far.  I woke up Monday morning feeling a bit queezy + no appetite, which didn't get any better as the day went on.  I got off work at 2 and was asleep within the hour and didn't wake up until 5.  I NEVER take naps, I actually hate them.  I always wake up feeling like I've taken a sedative or something, so for me to need a massive nap like that-it was evident that I wasn't feeling well.  I'm all better now, and will be so excited for next weeks practice.  I'm hoping to go to one of the local rinks after work this weekend to get in some extra skating time.

I can't wait to find out what I'll be learning at Monday night's practice!

November 10, 2015

Backyard Adventures // Buzz Buzz Buzz

Our backyard is currently covered in weeds and yellow flowers....which means it's also full of butterflies, bees, and a variety of other insects :)  I had plans of going hiking yesterday, but they fell through and I had to make due with exploring the back yard instead.  Which was fine-because I love insects :) I've always wanted to get a nice shot of a giant bumblebee, but they tend to buzz away before I'm able to get close enough.  This one was nice enough to crawl around just long enough for me to get a few shots before it decided it had had enough.

I've only seen a few honeybees this past month, so I was happy to see this girl:
Matthew currently has an ingrown toenail, and our hiking plans have been taking a backseat while it's healing.  I hope it gets better soon!  I'm ready for lots and lots of hiking!

November 5, 2015

Food + Fitness

After my first two hour Roller Derby practice, it was more clear than it ever has been...I really need to commit to making fitness a priority in my life.  I said goodbye to my healthy weight range about 4 years ago, and it's been such a struggle to stay motivated to make the right choices for my body.  Getting involved in Derby has really gotten me motivated to not only lose weight, but to make my body strong and healthy.  I knew I would feel sore after practices (and I do!!!), but I'm not as sore as I thought I'd be.  My biggest struggle so far has been stamina.  Each practice begins with a quick warm up that's mostly cardio...and you would seriously think I was having an asthma attack or something.  My fitness priority right now is definitely going to be building up my cardio endurance. I plan on working out 5 days a week (including Derby practices), with Tuesday and Wednesday being my recovery days.  For now, my workouts will consist of a mix of cardio training + skating/derby drills. I recently decided to make a lifestyle change and am gradually converting to a vegetarian diet.  I challenged myself early last week to eat a vegetarian menu for at least one week to see how it would go.  I didn't complete my challenge, but I'm happy to say that I only ate meat at two of my meals.  I'm trying new foods and have become really excited about Collard Green Wraps.  Maybe I'll even share one of my favorite recipes soon!  Making an effort to switch to a Vegetarian diet has forced me to plan my meals in advance, which keeps me from eating fast food and pizza all the time.  Seriously...the Ninja Turtle diet was definitely getting out of hand...I LOVE PIZZA!  I've also cut out soda for the most part.  I've been drinking more water, unsweet tea, and lemon water is my new favorite thing.  Every now and then I have a Vanilla Cream Root Beer from's my YOLO treat for sure :)  Aside from the health benefits, my choice to switch to a vegetarian diet is also fueled by my love of animals and the environment.  Not only am I starting to feel healthier, but I feel happy about not eating meat.  I even picked up a couple of Vegan cookbooks to try out a mix of Veggie and Vegan meals :)

 November Goals:

  • Reach goal weight of 145 pounds by December 1st.
  • Start a cardio routine
  • Find at least one new Vegetarian/Vegan meal that I love to prepare.
  • Find and sign up for a January 5K Race.

November Challenge:

  • Eat Vegan for one whole day.

I'm so excited to get serious about my veggie and fitness journey!  I'll be checking in every four weeks to share my progress and add new goals and challenges.

Current Weight: 151 // November Goal Weight: 145 // Final Goal Weight: 125

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