Tag Archives: Nola

My First 5k Saints Kick-Off Run

Yesterday I briefly mentioned how uncomfortable it is to weigh as much as I do right now, and I mentioned how much easier certain things would be if I were smaller. I’m really looking forward to proving myself right about that over the next 12 months. My journey to a healthy weight will be much longer than that, but my goal is to participate in the same race I did over the weekend again next year.

Saturday morning I woke up at 5:30 am, and I did a little cleaning, showered and prepared for the 5k that my boyfriend, his brother and I were doing later that morning.

When Michael arrived at my place we walked to the Superdome, and I kept a pretty good pace getting there. We had walked about a mile in total before the race began, and we started in wave 19. (There were people who had finished he 5k before we even started.)

When we crossed the starting line we walked down the same street we had just walked to get to the race, then we continued into the French Quarter. I live two blocks from the Quarter, and I love to walk through it early in the morning. It was beautiful, but it was already sweltering too.

french-quarter-5kAs I made it to the halfway mark I was sweating my guts out, but my heart rate was fine. I felt good, but I soon realized that I would be the last person to finish the race.

Michael refused to run ahead of me even though he could have completed the race a few times in the amount of time it took me to finish, and at that point I was glad he was there. I knew I was going to be last, but I also knew I had to finish.

I didn’t talk, and I didn’t stop to take in the scenery. I just walked. At that moment I had to face the reality that the weight I’m carrying was weighing me down. Most of the time I don’t notice. I mean, I’m always aware of my weight, but I don’t think about it often. I walk slower and make stops more frequently, and for years I’ve oscillated between trying to lose it and just dealing with it.

It was important for me to get the medal at the end of this race. It looked cool, but the closer I got to the Superdome the more I wanted to be on the 50-yard line. I wanted the medal at the end too because it would become a daily reminder that I can do hard things, and I figured as long as the police escort was behind me I’d make it to the finish line (and get the medal.)

The second half of the race was quiet, but as I approached the Superdome I got discouraged. My body felt fine, but I had blisters. I wanted to cry as I saw droves of people walking out wearing their medals, but I never once considered not finishing.

In the last mile I told myself that we could just take an Uber home even though it wasn’t far at all. I told Michael too, and he said we could do whatever I wanted to do. He also encouraged me, of course, which made my want to cry tears of joy too.

Seriously, God gave me exactly the kind of man I dreamed of being with, and He placed him in my life at precisely the right time. These are the things that got me through the last mile of my short, yet blister-inducing race.

As we walked around the Superdome the last few hundred yards felt nearly impossible, but people cheered me along as they walked out. I stopped a few times for a few seconds, and Michael lovingly reminded me that I could do it and that I wasn’t quitting.

superdomeWhen I finally entered the Superdome the air conditioner made me feel like I had just reached
heaven. At that point I said, “Go run the last 40 yards. I need to do this by myself,” and after some convincing he ran. The jerk wasn’t even sweating. Ha

I tried to make myself rally, but I didn’t run at all. I simply walked the last 40 yards, just as I had walked the rest of the race, and when I crossed the finish line Michael was waiting there to place my medal around my neck.

That was an amazing moment for me. I felt tired, my feet hurt from the blisters, but I felt proud too. As I saw myself on the Jumbotron I heard that announcers talking about me as I finished, and there were people cheering for me as I crossed. It was a good moment, but all I could think about was how thankful I was that Jesus gave me strength to finish and that Michael never left my side except when he ran ahead to get water for me. He even held it, so I could just drink it as I needed it.

saints-kick-off-2016After I downed the Gatorade that Michael got for me I realized that he and his brother weren’t wearing medals. Apparently, there were people going up and getting multiple medals when they  finished, so his brother got one for me because he knew how much it would mean to me to receive it. Michael is awesome, and his entire family is just as wonderful. They could have gotten in line and had medals mailed to them later, but it didn’t matter to them. They just wanted me to have mine, and I got it thanks to his big bro.

If I had known how challenging this race would be for me I would have made excuses to not do it, so I’m glad I didn’t know. Michael and I walk around the same path often, but we stop to look at pretty things and often walk through the Riverwalk Outlet Mall so I can cool off.

I wore my new sneakers too, which were largely responsible for the blisters. (Rookie mistake, I guess,) but I felt tired after the 4.75 miles of walking I did, including the race. I can definitely walk that far without feeling achy or needing to stop, which makes me feel good about my body. It was also much harder than it needed to be because of the extra weight I’m carrying.

img_3808It feels so good to know that I completed the race and that I’m loved by a man who understands exactly where I am. (He used to weigh 140 pounds more than he does now.) It also felt good to know that his brother grabbed the medal because he knew how much it would mean to me.

I wouldn’t have done this race if Michael hadn’t asked me to and signed us up for it before I had a chance to say no. I’m so glad he signed me up for it, and I’m already looking forward to doing the same race next year.

I’ve wanted to do it every year since I lived here, and now I can say I did it! The medal and my blisters are both reminders that I can accomplish things even when they’re not easy, and I need that reminder right now more than ever.

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What’s Your Favorite Brand for Sneakers?

I’m doing my first official 5k race in a few weeks. I’ve walked many 5k’s, but I’ve never received a medal at the end of it. I don’t mind walking, but the idea of paying money to wake up early on the weekend to exercise in the heat has never really appealed to me. Ha

When my boyfriend asked me to do it I said yes without hesitation. I’ve always dreamed of being with a kind, loving man who will show up for races with me, and now I have that. My guess is that he’ll run the race, then wait for me at the finish line. I don’t want to slow him down, but I’ll be happy to see him waiting for me when I finish.

I’ve wanted to do this race every year since moving to New Orleans. Most of the cool races happen in my neighborhood, so it’s convenient, but this one is always appealing because it ends on the 50-yard line inside the Superdome.

I’ve been to Saints games, of course, but there’s something about jogging through the tunnels and onto the finish line, where I’ll receive a metal, that excites me. (What can I say? I have a flair for the dramatic.)

I’m looking forward to walking the race even though it’s going to take me over an hour to finish it. The timing doesn’t matter to me. I just love any opportunity to remind myself that I can do cool things.

I’ve been walking a lot over the last week or so. (Thank you, Pokemon Go!) And I realized even before walking all over town chasing Pokemons that I need new sneakers…badly.

Over the last few years I’ve moved away from Nike to New Balance, Asics, then Brooks. I loved the Asics so much that I wore a hole in one. I’m not particularly fond of New Balance, but the Brooks weren’t bad. I’m just not sure which brand I’ll choose now.

Do you have a favorite, go-to brand for sneakers? If so, which one?

 

Saturday at the YMCA and More…

Don’t ask me why I suddenly love to blog on the weekends. I’ve been doing this for nearly a decade (over seven years on this site,) and I know that nothing really happens on the internet over the weekends. I also know that after taking a pretty significant break from blogging regularly, there’s not much happening here during the week either. I’d like to think that someone still reads what I write, but right now I’m here because I want to remember how I felt today.

YMCA New Orleans

One of the perks of working at the Y is that I can go in and exercise at any time, and today I decided I’d go in and sweat for a bit. I’m still not ready to talk about what I’m planning, but I will say that I set aside my fears of looking silly today and did a personal, impromptu aerobics class with myself.

I warmed up, did some cardio and some compound movements, and by the end I was drenched in sweat. (I know that’s gross, but I love the feelings that come with being a sweaty, post-workout mess.)  I own a Garmin Vivofit 2, but I think I’ll need to invest in a heart rate monitor soon.

After my workout I bought a few groceries before heading home to make lunch. I’m tracking my food in the Weight Watchers app, and it’s interesting to see how they’ve adjusted since I was a member before. I like the way they seem to be taking more into account, and it’s been pretty eye-opening to realize how much I’ve been allowing myself to eat. No wonder I gained so much back. Good grief. (Obvious, I know, but it helps me to see it and acknowledge it.)

I love having yogurt for breakfast when I get to work. I typically have vanilla Greek yogurt with various toppings, but when I learned that I could buy Noosa at Sam’s Club, I went for it. I already know how much I love the strawberry rhubarb flavor, so I’m pretty confident that I’ll like the others as well. I like that they’re smaller than the individual ones I’ve seen in grocery stores, and the price tag was pretty great too – $9.48 per dozen. (We just talked about how much I appreciate the little things. Ha..)

Noosa

Tonight I’m going out with friends, so I’m going to shower and relax a bit before my person comes to pick me up. I’m feeling pretty good about my day so far, and I’m looking forward to a fun evening.

Until next time…

Who’s Coming to ShiftCon?

ShiftCon is coming to New Orleans in December, and I’m excited to be a part of it this year. It’s happening right in my neighborhood too, which is an added bonus!

The last several years of my life have been filled with successes, changes and struggles to lose weight and regain control of my life. For a long time the driving force was losing weight to look and feel a certain way, and that’s fine. Heck, it’s important, but over the last several months I’ve shifted the focus to the little choices I make everyday.

There are so many areas for improvement, and as i follow the eco-wellness movement online I realize that there are lots of little things I can do to create a positive impact. I’ve also discovered brands that are making real, healthy and delicious foods, and I strive to support companies like that.

I don’t fit into the traditional role of the completely organic, non-gmo lifestyle that so many at this conference do so flawlessly, but it seems like a good idea to learn and experience as much as I can – especially since it’ll be in walking distance of my home this year.

I have a lot of respect for the founder of this conference, Leah Segedie, because she chose to encourage and uplift me at a time when I desperately needed it, and I admire her passion and tenacity.

Check out this video about the conference:

Is anyone here familiar with ShiftCon? Have you been to the conference? Do you plan to go this year? If so, I’d love to hear from you.

Shiftcon

There’s still a few more days to get the Early Bird discount, so check it out. And if you’re planning to be here, I’d love to hear from you.

 

Mardi Gras, Weekly Weigh-In, and An Update On My Goals

I suck at living in New Orleans at this time of year. I’d rather eat my calories than drink them (especially in open containers on Bourbon Street,) and I live in the Central Business District (two blocks from the French Quarter on the clean side.) I didn’t grow up here, and while I have grown to love New Orleans, I cannot stand Mardi Gras. (My favorite Mardi Gras hashtag is one that I created, #GetOffMyLawn, which is funny because I don’t have a lawn.)

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This is what the traffic looks like from my rooftop. It’s typically slow moving until after midnight when the parades clear out.

The traffic flowing through downtown makes it impossible to enter my parking garage without driving the wrong way down a side street, and people come here from around the world to act like drunken lunatics. I’m all for having a good time, but I draw the line before naked people enact sex scenes on my sidewalk. (Yes, that actually happens…every year.)

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On a brighter note, it is easy to buy big hats, plastic swords, and over-sized beads while waiting to get home!

The revelry ends at midnight, at which time many of the locals begin observing Lent. (Did you know that the purpose of Mardi Gras is to get all of the partying out before the 40 days?) I’m not Catholic, but I have looked forward to the end of Mardi Gras every year since I moving here in 2012.

Many of my friends make goals and dedications during this time, and I think I can use this time frame to do something good for myself. My goal for the next 40 days is to exercise at least four times a week. For a long time that was something that I accomplished without much effort, but it’s been a long time since I’ve been consistent in my workouts.

I’ve seen positive results from taking control of what I consume. I have not had a doughnut since late September, and at this point I am no longer craving them. I quit drinking sodas almost six years ago, and throughout the last several years I have gone from no longer craving soft drinks to thinking they’re disgusting. It feels like doughnuts could become equally disgusting to me. I suppose time will tell. I also saw good results on the scale when I refrained from eating desserts for 21 days in January.

Now I’m expanding my focus to include breaking out of this cycle of lethargy that I’ve been in. I used to live for a good endorphin rush, but it took effort to get to that point. I’m ready to feel that way again.

I’m down another 2.2 pounds this week, which means that I’ve lost over 12 pounds since the beginning of the year. The losses aren’t huge, but if they stay consistent, I’ll be pleased with that.

Does anyone here dedicate anything for Lent? If so, what’s your plan?

Friend Makin’ Mondays: What If?

Today was one of those days in which I was reminded how incredibly blessed I am.  After living in downtown New Orleans for a year and looking at the Superdome through my windows everyday, I attended my first New Orleans Saints game, and it was amazing!

New Orleans Saints

My friend who invited me had tickets in a suite so we enjoyed the game in style.  🙂  There was an endless buffet of food and drinks and fancy people, and I enjoyed sushi and drinks.  It was so much fun to watch the game live, and doing it with friends make it even more fun.

Saints New Orleans

After the game I walked home to meet friends for an afternoon of fun.  Both friends who joined me at my place are incredibly talented so we sang songs all afternoon, talked and ate sushi.  When they left I ran downstairs to hop in Clint’s car, and we spent a little time together.

Anyway, it was a lovely day, and I am so thankful for the people in my world who make it so fun and exciting.  I know it’s Monday so I’ll stop gushing and get going with FMM, but I just had to take a moment to think about how thankful I am.

friend makin mondays

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

 What If?

1.  If you had something in your teeth would you want someone to tell you, or would you prefer to figure it out on your own?  Please tell me!

2.  If you had to listen to one song on repeat all day today, which song would you choose?  I’d listen to Everlong by the Foo Fighters.

3.  If you could trade places with someone famous, with whom would you trade?  Hmmmm, either Carrie Underwood or Wolf Blitzer.

4.  If you could speak another language fluently, which one would you speak?  Spanish

5.  If you could read one person’s mind right now whose would you choose?  Hmmm, no comment.

6. If you were forced to go back in time, which period of your life would you choose?  I’m all about moving forward, and I love life today.  If I had to go back, I’d definitely choose my time in New York.  I’d enjoy a lot of the same things, but I’d do some things differently too.

7.  If you had to be trapped in a TV show for a month, which show would you choose?  Drop Dead Diva, of course.

8.  If you had to give up twitter or Facebook, which would you choose?  That’s difficult, but I’m inclined to think I’d give up twitter because I have so many pictures on Facebook.  Thankfully, I don’t have to choose!

9.  If you could have a present today, what would you want?  A new iPad, of course…

10.  If you had to choose between celebrating Halloween or Christmas, which would you choose?  Forget Halloween!  I love Christmas!

 

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions!  Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments!  Happy Monday!

 

Do You Know Your Neighbors?

When I moved into my apartment last fall, I was careful to choose a place in which I would feel safe.  I live in a tower of apartments in the middle of  downtown, and there are several stories between my living space and the ground.  There is a staff of people available 24 hours a day.  You can’t access the building without a key fob or a code, and  the same applies to the elevators and stairwells.  New Orleans isn’t exactly known for its safety, but I feel safe here.

The Suit lives a mile away.  Jeff is only a few miles away, and Candi is only a few miles away in another direction.  It makes me feel secure to know that people who care about me are close.  I like having friends at my place too so I’ve been hoping to make more friends in my neighborhood.

Friday night I met some folks who live in my building when my friends and I were upstairs enjoying our game night, and I spent time with a couple of them this morning as well.  It seems like they want to be friends, and I want the same thing.

I think it’s important to know the people who live close to you, but it’s also fun to invite someone over without worrying about where they’ll park or if they’ll want to come downtown.  My friends are pretty amazing about coming to my part of town, but the hassle of getting here doesn’t exist for those of us who are already here. 🙂

I’ve always been pretty outgoing, but I seem to be making a lot of new connections now at home and through church lately.  And I like it.

Do you know your neighbors?  Do you have any interest in being friends with them?

Super Bowl XLVII Events Recap, or An Onslaught of Pictures

Living in downtown New Orleans has been amazing so far, and the last week has been the most exciting week so far!  I attended a phenomenal concert, ate at fabulous restaurants, attended several memorable events and met countless professional athletes, including some of the greats.  I spoke to politicians and public figures and spent time enjoying all of it with my friends.

friends

 

One of my favorite parts of the week was seeing Train perform live for VH1.  Shannon scored free tickets for us, and we were only a few rows from the stage.  I adore this band, specifically Patrick Monohan, and sounded just as incredible live as he does in the studio.  And there was definitely no lip-synching going on at this show.  We also saw a local Jazz sensation, Rebirth, who played before Train.

18985_300196426770433_1267484154_n(Photo above: Courtesy of Matt)

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I mentioned last week that Clint and I went behind the scenes at ESPN, near Jax Brewery, in the French Quarter.  We stood in the front row for ESPN Sports Nation, and we saw Eli Manning’s shy side when a band came on stage to sing an original song about him.  Eli’s smile and demeanor was endearing, but I’ll admit that I drank the Manning kool-aid a long time ago.  I experienced the Manning trifecta last week!  Clint and I spoke to Archie the following day, and I smiled and acted silly in front of Peyton Sunday as well. 20130130_141428 (2)

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2013 137 (2) Joe!

20130201_221036 (2) Giant Jenga at Barcadia!

Sunday I worked as a publicist since Leslie couldn’t be in New Orleans and New York at the same time, and I found myself at the NFL’s official tailgate party which was hoested by Courtyard Marriot.  I already liked Courtyard, but after visiting with many of their top executives from around the nation, I love it.  I met some fantastic people including my new favorite Saints football player, Lance Moore.  (Seriously, what is it about people named Lance?!  They’re all so handsome and nice to me! 😉 Ha..)  Darren Sproles was sweet too.  They made everyone feel like the most important person in the room, and that’s a cool feeling – especially when it comes from handsome, professional athletes from your favorite football team!

TheBoys

 

My friend, Ally Burguieres who owns a gallery on Royal St. in the French Quarter,  designed the NFL’s limited edition official Super Bowl Mardi Gras beads which were commissioned by Courtyard Marriot, and they’re beautiful!  I couldn’t resist asking the guys to wear them so they did.  They also singed a couple for Ally and Me.  How cool is that? Mine are hanging on the ladder bookshelf in my living room now as a priceless reminder of the fun times I had last week.

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In addition to Saints players, I also got a chance to hear from the man who will likely go down in history as the greatest quarter back of all time, Peyton Manning.  He was at the tailgate, and he spoke about how difficult this game would be for the Harbough family, especially their parents.  His dad spoke candidly about that earlier in the week during the CNN Bleacher Report.  He also presented two lucky people with tickets to the Super Bowl which was only a few hours later.  (Seriously, Peyton…Would it have been too much trouble to call out my raffle ticket number?  It’s okay.  I forgive you because I adore you.)

Drew Brees was there as well, but we missed him because reporters were there filming a piece about Ally’s beads.  It was so much fun, and I know I’ll have opportunities to meet Drew in March so I won’t sweat it too much. 😉

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After finishing up at CNN, where we saw Howie Long and Chris Collinsworth among others, Matt, Shannon, Clint and I were ravenous so we searched for a restaurant that wouldn’t have a two hour wait like Manning’s.  We made our way to a snazzy little restaurant called Cafe Adelaide across from Harrah’s Casino. Clint and I were reluctant to go there because we felt the buffet at Harrah’s calling us, but as usual, Shannon was right!  She made the call to eat there, and we dined next to my favorite political figure, Chris Christie.  He and his wife, Mary Pat, were incredibly gracious, and speaking to him was really the highlight of my week.

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In addition to everyone I mentioned above, I saw Steve Gleason and Scott Fujita, who plays for the Saints.  I also stood next to Eric Decker from the Denver Broncos, arguably the sexiest man in the NFL.  Thinking about hot NFL players makes me think about the one person I wish I could have met last week, Tim Tebow.  It’s okay though.  I’m guessing I’ll have a chance to take a picture with him at some point too. 😉

There’s so much more I could say about last week, but I covered all of my favorite parts here.  I realize this post will likely bore many of you, but it was fun to write because I relived the moments I enjoyed again in my mind.  Thanks for indulging me!

I escaped to Mom’s house for the night so I could rest, recuperate and get some work done, and I’m glad I did.  Now it’s almost time to head to class, and I’m proud of the four-page essay that I completed before writing this post.

I’m still tired, but I have a few days to catch up before the craziness begins again.  There’s still a week of Mardi Gras left, and I’m trying to pace myself.  We’ll see how that goes.  Until then, as they say on the bayou, Laissez le bon temps rouler!

 

 

Inside My Apartment

I have been feeling totally disconnected from the internet lately.  I typically stay connected through my blog, facebook and twitter, but it hasn’t been the same since September when we regained power after losing it for a week.  I felt disconnected and invisible which left me spending less time online, but I miss my friends.  I miss the community that we’ve built together, and I want to be a daily part of it again!

Things have been changing a lot lately, and some positive things have been happening in my life.  I am settling into my new apartment, doing well in school and enjoying time with my friends who live in or near downtown New Orleans.

Since I have settled into my new apartment for the most part I want to share a few photos.  I still have to hang things on the wall, but I’ll need to wait for friends to help with that.  The Suit has been so much help already, and I’m sure I’ll have things on the wall soon!

My pretty wooden blinds haven’t been installed yet, but management gave me paper ones until the permanent ones arrive (hopefully this week or next.)  And I’m honestly just so happy to be in my own little apartment that I don’t mind waiting for them.  🙂

I still need an area rug, and I found one at Lowe’s that I love.  I’m just not sure how big it should be.

I’m not sure what I should put above the sink.  Clint (aka The Suit) suggested a decorative chalkboard for inspirational messages and notes. Does anyone else have thoughts on that?

Or maybe this should go above the sink?  I definitely want to display it somewhere!

I have a beautiful painting of the Brooklyn Bridge on a canvas that I plan to hang somewhere.  Maybe I’ll hang it above the bed?  Again, I’m not sure yet.

Should anything hang on the wall above the TV?  There’s a lot of space, but I’m not sure if I want anything on the wall or not.

I could only get a portion of my bathroom in the photo, but you get the idea, right?

The washer and dryer are in a nook behind the main bathroom door.  They’re quiet and out of the way which is nice.

I’d like to post more photos because my view is probably my favorite part, but this is the internet so……………You’ll just have to trust me when I say that it’s pretty outside.

Since moving last week I’ve been busy, but I have made time for workouts and cooking at home.  I’m happy to be in my new place, and I’m thankful to finally have the opportunity to carve out a routine.  Most of us need a routine, and it’s obvious that I need one.  I love being back on the elliptical, and my new favorite thing is the recumbent stair climber.

There are more changes on the horizon, and I’m looking forward to experiencing new things.  I’m happier now than I’ve been in recent memory, and I’m ready to spend some time getting back into a successful, happy and healthy groove.

What are you looking forward to right now?