Isn’t it Spring Time??

Why is it still freezing out?!?!?!?

On the first day of spring my area of Maryland got its one and only good snow storm of the year. And it wasn’t even all that great! But we did get a snow day out of it so I suppose it was acceptable. But the fact that it happened mid march….and now in early April it’s below freezing when I’m waking up….that is incredibly unacceptable in my book. Yes, when it’s 90 degrees and humid a month from now I will also complain about that!!

So today I went for a three mile walk around a local quarry with a friend around 8am. It was about 30 degrees and chilly but it was a gorgeous walk and it was great to catch up with my friend and hang out with her and her cute pup. Sadly my shin splints were crushing my soul for the first two miles. However, they usually adjust a couple miles into any walk or run and that’s exactly what they did today. So the third mile of our walk felt great and my legs were all warmed up for the hike I had planned for after the walk!

After leaving the quarry I headed over to local hiking trails at Soldier’s Delight Natural Environment Area. I’ve hiked here before but I decided to mix up my route this time and try a trail I’ve never done before. I parked at the visitor’s center and hiked northeast on the Serpentine trail until it hit the parking area on the road and then crossed the road and made a large loop combining the Dolfield, Red Run, and Choate Mine trails, circling back around again to the parking area and then back to the visitor’s center using the same route I came in on. All in all it came out to be about 3.6 miles. It was mostly flat but had a good bit of water and mud to hop around and some hills here and there.

I only saw one other person out on the trails which was great, having nature to yourself is always the best. I love seeing other people enjoy nature, especially kids, because I think it’s so important to get out into the woods….but man do I hate hearing other people when I’m out hiking!! I don’t wear headphones while I’m hiking because 1. I want to try and soak in the calming sounds of birds and wind and 2. I don’t want a murderer or bear to sneak attack me from behind!! Today when I passed the only other trail-goer I had my cell phone pre-dailed to 911…too cautious you say? Oh definitely, for sure, but I’d rather be safe than sorry later!!

So we’re 14 weeks into the year (HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE!? Wasn’t it just New Years Eve??!!). If I were averaging 3 miles a week I’d be at 42 miles hiked. I’m currently at 28.4 miles for the year, putting me 13.6 miles behind schedule. I’m realizing that if I want to make longer hikes a priority I have to schedule them in advance since they take up such a long chunk of the day between the drive to the hikes and then actually completing the hike. I’m going to work on pre-scheduling some longer hikes so that I can work on catching up to and passing my weekly goals so come winter I’m ahead of schedule!

Here are some pictures from today’s gorgeous hike!

Week 14, Goal: 42, Hiked: 28.4

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2018 Hiking!

So every year Chris and I come up with goals for the year. Last year I realized how much I missed getting out into nature and hiking, so I decided one of my 2018 goals would be to hike 154 miles within the year. (Another goal was to write more, hense you reading this) That’s an average of 3 miles a week. I figured it would be slow at the beginning of the year and then I would get ahead in the summer during the nicer months.

So we’re in the 13th week of the year and that would put me at 39 miles. I’m actually at 25 miles, so I definitely have some to make up in the summer. Luckily it seems like the weather may have finally turned towards spring time!!

Another of my hiking goals is to hike the entire Maryland portion of the Appalachian Trail this year. Not all at once but in sections. Yesterday I had Chris follow me to drop my car off at the Fox’s Glen AT parking and then he drove me to the 70 AT parking lot. I hiked from there along 6 miles of the AT back to my car. So, leg one of the MD AT done yesterday!! This was the shorter of the legs I’ll be doing but had some pretty tiring uphill sections. My feetsies are still breaking in these boots and unfortunately it was blister city. I could feel them forming while I hiked but they didn’t actually bother me very much, they just look real gross!

It was a gorgeous day for hiking and I can’t wait to get out and do more!

Here are some pics from the hike!

At about halfway the trail crossed through Washington Monument State Park

This was pretty much the only good view of the hike, the rest was mostly in the woods

I hiked from US 40 (Annapolis Rocks) to Reno Mnt Rd

Just a pretty church near a road crossing

I checked out the back packing camp while I was walking through

South Dakota’s Proposed Adoption Bill

There are a lot of political issues these days that I find pretty upsetting. I’ve wanted to start writing out some of my thoughts on them but I haven’t known where to start. It’s all just so overwhelming. Yesterday I saw this article and I knew this would be a good place for me to begin because it really hits home. Here’s an excerpt from the article in case you don’t feel like reading it in its entirety:

“SB 149 would allow state-licensed and taxpayer-funded child-placement agencies to disregard the best interest of children, and turn away qualified South Dakotans seeking to care for a child in need — including LGBTQ couples, interfaith couples, single parents, married couples in which one prospective parent has previously been divorced, or other parents to whom the agency has a purported religious objection…The measure would even allow agencies to refuse to place foster children with members of their own extended families — a practice often considered to be in the best interest of the child…It would also allow agencies to refuse to provide appropriate medical and mental health care to LGBTQ children if the agency has a purported moral or religious objection to providing those services. Shockingly, under SB 149, an agency couldn’t lose its license or contract as a result of subjecting a child to abusive practices like so-called conversion therapy if it claimed such “therapy” is compelled by religious belief.”

Why does this hit home? My husband and I are both non-believers (as in we aren’t religious) and we are also on the wait list for adoption as I type this. (If you didn’t know that, surprise!!) Our decision to adopt was based largely on the fact that we believe we can make a positive difference in the life of a child who might not otherwise get that opportunity. We believe we will be incredible parents when our child arrives, whenever that might happen (hopefully soon!!!).

However, if a bill such as this one was to pass where we live, in Maryland, adoption agencies would have the freedom to reject us as adoptive parents, despite the fact that we would be paying into the tax dollars that fund said agencies. Hmmmm, that sounds like fucking bullshit. Because we believe morality doesn’t hinge upon religion beliefs, because we believe that you can be a good person while simultaneously questioning humanity’s origins, because we think our LGBTQ friends have the right to marry and adopt kids of their own,  we could be denied the opportunity to GIVE A CHILD A HOME. To be clear, they would rather a child stay homeless than folks like us give that child a home.

This bill is of course not the first of its kind. There have been and continue to be others like it around the country. With the current administration these bills are unfortunately getting more love and attention than they have before. Love and attention that could be going towards helping children, instead of denying them the right to a forever home.

It is my hope that in writing this, just maybe, I’m bringing some small amount of attention to this issue. With all the shenanigans surrounding politics these days it is easy to let important issues like this slip through the cracks unnoticed. While America focuses on who used what email and who spoke to Russia when, children are being negatively affected.

If those supporting these bills are going to go around jamming “America First” down everyone’s throat, let’s actually put all Americans first and not just a select few.

Here is a link to the actual proposed bill.

My Road Rage

I have road rage. I’m talking fly-off-the-handle, from zero to one million, steam coming out of my ears, hardcore road rage. And it happens in the blink of an eye. My husband and I can be having a very pleasant conversation about cats (that’s right) and someone gets on my tail….or cuts me off….and I lose my fucking mind. God forbid someone gets on my tail and FLASHES THEIR LIGHTS AT ME. Are you kidding me? Do you see that THERE IS SOMEONE IN FRONT OF ME TOO?! WHERE ARE YOU PLANNING ON GOING!!!!?????? I’m getting a little heated just thinking about this fictional situation. Here are some non-fiction examples:

Last weekend I turned around in the driver’s seat and flipped off an old lady who was laying on her horn (and had been for 20 minutes in dead stop traffic.) We were at a red light in the right turn only lane. There was a sign that said No Turn on Red. But that sign didn’t matter because there were also throngs of pedestrians in front of us I would have had to run over had I abided by her wish for me to get the fuck out of her way. Shall I run over the people? Maybe I should ram my car into these barriers so you’ll have room to pass? OR MAYBE I should turn around in my seat and yell obscenities at you and flip you off. Because the first two options of murder and death don’t appeal to me. Let me just add that my husband had yelled at her first and I said let’s not yell, it’s not that big of a deal! And then I saw her yell back at him and that was that.

A couple summers ago I was on my way to a friend’s house and I was making a left at a green light. I didn’t have the arrow so I was just waiting for a break in traffic. One came and I went. Well…I sort of cut off a motorcycle. I know. You have to be extra careful for the motorcyclists. I KNOW. And I really am. I’m a good driver and things like that don’t happen to me. It wasn’t serious, though, and everything was fine, but of course I felt horrible about it. Until he passed me on a double yellow line and screamed at me through my window that I was a bitch. Well shit. Without thinking I took both hands off the wheel and flipped him the double bird. I yelled out my window that he should go eff himself (oh I used the real word, don’t you worry). Did I mention he was with a pack of other motorcyclists on Harley Davidson-like bikes. I yell at men in biker gangs.

A couple of weeks ago I was leaving a gas station and almost put my car into park and got out to pick a fight with a cab driver. We were both turning right. However, there is a light directly to the right of the exit, so if you turn out into the right lane, you then get stuck in the right turn only lane, and then you’re fucked into turning right. So although there was nobody in that lane, I needed to wait for a gap in the second lane that went straight through the light. Well, Cabby McAsshole didn’t give a FUCK where I needed to go. He started laying on his horn pretty much immediately after I stopped at the exit. It was as if he expected me to just shoot out into traffic without even stopping. I did not do that so he kept ooooon that horn. Much like the lady in Philly. I lost my shit a lot earlier in this situation, though. You drive for a goddamn living. You can’t figure out why I’m stopped here? He started gesturing and yelling, I could hear him over my music (and I listen to dance pop music really loudly in my car, otherwise I can hear the strange noises my car makes and it’s stressful). I was THIS CLOSE to putting my car in park and getting out and asking him WHAT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW!?!? But he decided he’d had enough of me and zoomed around me and into the right turn only lane. Where HE needed to go. Fuck everyone else and where they needed to go.

30 Day Beach Countdown

Ok, so I started counting down to the beach…somewhere about 80-90 days out from the actual vaca. I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited for a vacation. I’m not sure if it’s because I genuinely NEED a vacation (I do), or because I’m SO EXCITED to hang out with AWESOME people, or because it’s THE BEACH, or because I get to subsist solely on quesadillas and BUD LITE LIME…it’s probably all of those…but I am way more excited for the beach than I usually am.

However, in preparation for the beach, I’ve been trying to lean out a bit, or at least maintain my current physique (that word makes me sound like a badass, maybe a better description would be ‘current body status’) … and it is NOT going as planned!! For one, I have an extreme case of Adult Senioritis. This is something I’ve just made up. And it doesn’t really make sense, since it’s not like work is ending and I’ll be out for the summer. But in my head, that seems to be the case. All I want to do is summer activities like barbecue, eat bad food, drink margaritas and rum runners and bud lite limes, and play yard games. And yet, I’m at work Monday – Friday, only dreaming of these activities. So when the weekend comes, it’s hard for me to drink water, eat well, and exercise it up. Like I said…all I want to do is eat, drink and play.

I decided I needed something that would keep me in check, so I signed up for group training at my gym (#bestgymever). Knowing that I would have to keep a food diary, and would be working out hard, I thought that would help me stay in line. OMG I couldn’t have been more WRONG. Pretty much as soon as I was starting to track my food, the Stanley Cup Playoffs started. Well, my husband and I have no cable, so we have to go out to bars to watch. And then my teams started losing. So clearly, I drank like a fish and ate wings like a boss. Fail #1. Then, husband and I went on a weekend trip to Chincoteague & Assateague Islands, in VA (you know, with the wild ponies). We had a GREAT relaxing and fun weekend. But it involved fried seafood and mimosas and ice cream sundaes for dinner. So basically the best weekend ever, although clearly not helping me on my goals to fitness before the beach. Fail #2.

When we started the group training program at the gym, we were supposed to write down some goals for ourselves. Mine were drink no more than 2 glasses of wine per week and no other alcohol (fail), stop eating cheese (extra fail), drink 100 ounces of water/day (semi fail). Clearly there is work to be done in the inhaling of food department. However, my lifting goals are going well. I wanted to increase my weight on Turkish Getups, which I’ve been working on diligently, and I wanted to make my way to 25 pushups (real ones) in a row, which I’m SO CLOSE to. So, overall I guess everything isn’t a wash, since at least I’m making strength progress.

I’ve gotta get it together in the nutrition department, though. Unfortunately, as much as it is annoying to hear, it’s incredibly true when ‘they’ say “Abs are made in the kitchen.” For sure they are. And I can tell you they are NOT made at the liquor store, nor at the chinese buffet. But wouldn’t it be AMAZING if they were?!

So, since I’ve been real lazy about blogging as of late, I’m gonna try and up my game in both nutrition AND blogging, and try to keep up my progress as we near beach week. OMG beach week WHERE ARE YOU, I need you now.

Did I mention I want to buy a skim board to use at the beach? Probably a bad idea, as I will most likely end up with a broken something or another, but they are SO FUN.

Here are some pics of my epic fail meals. Not only do these delicious treats keep me from my goals, but they make my body punish me in a hardcore way. I certainly paid in pain for all of these. But sometimes, the pain is worth the snack delight.

 

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Fried clams, fries, and hush puppies…what?!

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Pineapple sundae with almond joy icecream. holy yum.

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Is that a Ledo’s Pizza with sausage and bacon and a gluten free crust?! Yes it is.

The War FOR Gluten

I’m annoyed. This post is a little TMI and full of swearing. Just a little disclaimer.

I’ve posted before about how my dumbass body decided a few years ago to stop tolerating several different kinds of foods. Gluten being one of them. I would get sick. Curled up on the couch moaning in pain sick. I stopped eating gluten, among other things, and I DO NOT get sick anymore. Not ever.

And I didn’t make that decision based on a fad that I heard about on my Facebook feed. I went to the friggin doctor, and he told me I had Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity. Which was basically like going to the doc’s and having him punch me in the stomach. No more pizza, pasta, paninis, etc, etc…it was saddening. Some people don’t love food. I’m not one of them. I LOVE FOOD. And it loves me back. The doc also told me to cut back on dairy, and to limit processed foods. His reasoning for this? Simply because the human body was made to process certain foods, and weren’t meant for others. He said NOT EVERYBODY has this issue. (Clearly, or everyone would be shitting their brains out all the time, since the American diet is so processed foods heavy.) But obviously, I didn’t make the cut, and got a crap system that only craves meat and veggies and rice and saddness, while I crave pizza with extra cheese, a plate of nachos, and fettuccine alfredo.

So adjusting to this diet has been a serious challenge for me. It literally MAKES ME SAD that I can’t eat things that I like. When I go out to eat it SUCKS that I can only order a very small number of menu items, all the while being terrified that it will make me sick and ruin my time. When I go over a friends house, I’m embarrassed about these issues, and I don’t want to be a HUGE PAIN IN THE ASS, telling them they can only serve me meat and veggies….Hello, I can only eat expensive shit, do you still want to hang out?!

So here’s why I’m annoyed:

I’m annoyed for 2 reasons in regards to this video.

1. These idiots clearly don’t double over in pain when they eat gluten, and they have probably just jumped on the GF train to lean town, because IT’S TRUE, cutting gluten out does help you lean out. Just like eating low carb does. Cause gluten is found in a lot of carbs. HOWEVER, the dumb bitch who says RICE has gluten in it is misinformed, because rice is the SAVING GRACE of eating gluten free!!! (cause it’s gluten free, get your facts straight)

I’m not saying this isn’t funny. I love the second guy with the strange creepy cough thing going on. But all of you, stop making gluten free look like such a frivolous thing. Not all of us are trying to get six pack abs (Ok, that’d be awesome, and I clearly do care about fitness, but let’s be honest, if I could eat pizza without feeling like crap all the time, I WOULD DO IT)

Anyhow…

2. Why the eff do I need to know what gluten is to know that it hurts me? Do you ask cancer patients to explain their disease to you? (shut up, I’m not comparing my issue to cancer, IT DOES NOT COMPARE, calm down) Do you ask kids who are allergic to nuts to explain what makes them allergic? No. Because if something doesn’t work inside of you, if you are broken in some way that causes you pain, people aren’t supposed to grill you about it.

Yes, these people had it coming, because they are dumb. However, this attitude towards people who are gluten free is going to permeate throughout society, until everyone assumes that if someone says they are gluten free, they aren’t doing it for health reasons, they are just following a “fad.”

Let me tell you, it isn’t a “fad” that I’m following when I don’t eat gluten. It’s a sad fact of my life that now my body doesn’t WORK PROPERLY.

So, yes, I’m annoyed when being gluten free is referred to as a fad. And I get angry when people assume I’m just trying to lose weight (I usually am ANYWAY, but that’s not the point). And it saddens me to see people posting this video all over Facebook with negative comments about individuals who have to eat gluten free. Maybe instead of having an opinion on something you know nothing about, you should be thankful you can eat a SANDWICH without worrying about how much time you’ll have to sprint for the bathroom.

Hm, I feel a little better now that I’ve gotten that off my chest. Here’s what set me off in the first place:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/05/14/gluten-intolerance-fake_n_5327420.html

Good thing we have the Huff Post around to give us such stellar medical advise. The quote at the bottom: “There are a lot of people that hear from their friends, ‘I got off gluten and I sleep better, the sex is better, and I’m happier,’ and then they try it and they feel better, too. The power of suggestion.”

To this man I have a few things to say…

1. Who the eff would give up pizza and pasta for better sex and sleep. That is ridiculous. If you can’t make those happen on your own, you’re a complete ass.

2. How about this instead? “I got off gluten and I didn’t feel like I was going to shit my pants anymore.”

More convincing?

I thought so.

 

 

 

The Slippery Slope of Hangover Snacks

Who saw my pics on Facebook from my friend’s wedding last Saturday night?! Omg so much fun. Unfortunately, it was also so much FOOD AND DRINK!!! I swear it took me until Wednesday to recover. Not just from the hangover, either…well…maybe, but also from all the snacks. Attending a wedding, drinking the bar dry, and stuffing my face that night, as well as the entire next day, in hopes of alleviating the feeling of death I caused myself, is not really the smartest decision. Yes, I was living in the moment and having a great time and creating some awesome memories, but damn I’m just too old for that shit now. The alcohol seriously makes me SO ANXIOUS. For at least three days afterwards I’m bothering my husband every five minutes asking if he’s mad at me. (hint: when you bother someone with this question every five minutes…they WILL eventually be mad at you, even if they weren’t before!) (in all seriousness, my husband could win awards for putting up with my bothering, he’s pretty awesome.)

The alcohol causing anxiety thing is not really new news, I’ve known for awhile that if I have a good bit of wine, I’m going to regret it in more ways than just craving McDonald’s the next day. I’m going to get that McDonald’s and then feel anxious about eating it. And then feel anxious about feeling anxious about it…anxiety is so annoying like that. I really need to remember to remind myself this before I start imbibing, and not the day after.

However, as of yesterday, my body seems to have fully recovered. Sadly, my bathroom scale says otherwise. What a pesky little thing it is. It’s all flashy and red, it calls out to be stepped on, which is when it snares you in it’s trap. It’s not really friendly at all. In fact, it’s really only there to say HA! I KNEW YOU HAD NO WILLPOWER AND WOULD STEP ON ME THE DAY AFTER EATING HANGOVER FOOD!!! Which I did, of course, and of course I should have known better, because the number was ridic, and shouldn’t be a number that the scale is allowed to display.

For me, letting myself have a night like I did on Saturday is such a slippery slope. I definitely am like, “It’s just for tonight, it’s a special occasion,” in my head, and then the next day when I feel like poo warmed over, I think, “well, it’s just cause I feel so awful today”…and then I feel awful for two more days…and then being bad becomes a bad habit again! Slippery slope…more like icy ravine where healthy eating goes to die.

I’m so clever with the metaphors. I just had to google ‘metaphor’ to make sure that was the right word…

Here are some pics from Saturday night. Such a pretty bride!!! As I ate the food, I thought to myself that I should take a pic of it for the blog…but then I ate it all. IT WAS AMAZING.

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