Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 In Review

Friends, it's been quite a year. It's crazy to think that I'm finishing out 2013 nearly 50lbs lighter than where I started it. Two new jobs, over 500 miles of running, trips to Nashville/Ireland/LA/Cleveland, and one half marathon later, here we are at the conclusion of one chapter and the start of the next.

But before leaving 2013 behind, I'm looking back on my favorite memories and milestones:

January - Rang in 2013 with my friends at the Hard Rock Cafe. Officially hit 20lbs lost. 

February - Ate my face off during Chicago Restaurant Week at ZED451, Spiaggia, and Sable. Purchased tickets for Ireland in July. Got interviewed for an article in USA Today (college edition)

March - Started running again for the first time since December '12. Hit 30lbs lost, started this ol' blog, and left the 200's behind for good!

April - Realized that I didn't completely hate running. Ran a lot, including conquering 6 miles for the first time ever. Became a crazy person and started contemplating running a half marathon. Worked a lot on a very fun project with an awesome client. Went on a Grouper (HAHAHA). Entertained the parents during their visit to the Windy City with jellyfish, Brazilian steakhouses, and the Blue Man Group. 

May - Ran the Cinco de Miler without stopping to walk (a big feat for me!). Kicked some serious ass at our first kickball game. Officially crossed the 40lbs lost mark. Turned 24 and never looked back.

June - Got laid off. Was sad about it for exactly 20 seconds. Signed up for the Chicago Half Marathon (coping mechanism?). Hit 50lbs lost.

July - Attended my friend's wedding in Nashville. Got offered a new contract job 2 hours before leaving for Ireland for a week with my best friend in Chicago. Went to Ireland and revisited some of my old haunts from studying abroad there, explored some new cities I hadn't previously visited, and found good craic (good fun) throughout the Emerald Isle.

August - Started my new contract job. Worked, trained for the half, rinse, repeat.

September - Welcomed the entire famjam to Chicago so 3/5 of us could partake in the long-awaited (but much-feared) Chicago Half Marathon! Promptly retired my running career... for three weeks before running the Crosstown Classic with friends. Went to LA for work and met the cast of ABC's Shark Tank.

October - Visited my best friend in North Carolina to go wedding dress shopping (!!) for her big day next October. Hit 60lbs lost. Had a revelation about why I started this journey and what it means to me. 

November - Ran the Hot Chocolate 15K and gorged on chocolate before taking a little running hiatus due to Achilles tendinitis issues. Celebrated Sam's 25th with Ugly Sweaters and walking a chilly 5K

December - Cleaned my bathroom mirror (lol). Hosted a really fun Blogger Secret Santa with one of my blogging BFFs. Started my new job (!!!). Celebrated Christmas in Charlotte thankful for such an exciting/whirlwind/chaotic year, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

525,600 minutes, how do you measure a year?

Friday, December 20, 2013

TGI Five on Friday


In honor of making it through the final full work week of the year, I'm counting off Five on Friday.



This girl is going home to Charlotte tomorrow and couldn't be more excited!! I'll be spending a week in sunny NC away from the snow, the city, and the stress of having to lug 193 grocery bags home at once.

Even better, I get to hang out with these beautiful people:

I'd love to tell you my awkward phase ended shortly after that photo was taken, but let's be real, it's still going. 


Ever heard of graze? It's basically a subscription service for snacks. You select the type of snacks you'd like to receive (they have lots of lighter options too!), and the fine people at graze will send you a monthly or bi-monthly box of four fun snacks. If you use my referral link, your 1st and 5th boxes will be free! The regular price is only $6/box (including shipping) and you can cancel whenever you want. Loving this right now-- it's perfect to keep a stocked variety of snacks at my desk… and always nice to receive mail that's not bills :)

I finally finished Allegiant! 

OH MAN SO MANY FEELINGS. I'll spare you the spoilers, but seriously, if you like Hunger Games, you have to read the Divergent series (this is the final book).


Jillian Michaels is seriously kicking my butt with Week 2 of Ripped in 30. To be completely honest, I was surprised that Week 1 was as manageable as it was (not easy, but manageable). But there are definitely some W2 moves I can't even do. Planks are my nemesis and this one has so. many. planks.


Only four days until Christmas, which is, without a doubt, my favorite holiday of the year. My family has a bunch of traditions we've been doing for years, like opening one gift on Christmas Eve after mass (new pajamas, always), watching "A Christmas Story," and doing a hilarious white elephant exchange at Buca di Beppo with my cousins. Bring on the holiday fun!

Any new book or Netflix recos for when I'm at home?

What are your favorite holiday traditions?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Good

We're not going to talk about the bad, because NSV Thursday is for focusing on the good.


1) My office is filled with unhealthy foods. I don't know if it's the holiday season or if this is normal, but literally it is a minefield of delicious unhealthy things. To walk from my desk to the kitchen I pass: plate of cookies, plate of brownies, giant 5-gallon tin of popcorn, three bowls of candy. I told myself this week no more peanut butter M&Ms (ugh my ultimate weakness), and I'm happy to say that I did not eat a single one, despite having a full bowl of them sitting 5 feet from my desk. Victory!

2) I started week 2 of Ripped in 30 and ohmygoodness it's a LOT harder than week 1. I did JM three times this week, though, so here's to getting back in the early morning workout groove!

3) Nothing to do with healthiness/weight loss, but something that made me smile this week nonetheless: I received the most wonderful gift from my secret santa on Monday! Nail polish, Reese's, Tootsie Rolls, JM, and a cute mug-- did Carmen nail it or what?! Talk about the perfect way to cap off a Monday with a sweet package filled with awesome goodies. Full disclosure: the Reese's are already gone *burp*. Thank you so so much Carmen!

To the other ladies who participated in the Secret Santa with Mary and me, I can't wait to hear what you got! Hope everyone enjoyed participating as much as Mary and I enjoyed hosting :)

What NSVs are you celebrating this week?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


I've been slacking.

I don't have a good reason, really. I've got about 800 excuses though:

  • It's too cold
  • There's ice on the ground and I can't run because I will fall and break and break my ankle (<-- valid. I refuse to run when it's icy)
  • I'm busy
  • I don't want to cook
  • I don't have time to cook (100% a lie)
  • I don't know what workout to do
  • I'm giving myself time to adjust to the new job
  • I'm scared of Jillian Michaels
  • Why should I start the 30-day shred if I'm not going to commit to doing it when I'm home over Christmas?
The last one is a sad weak pathetic excuse. What kind of self-defeating mumbo jumbo is that?!?! There is absolutely no reason I can't bring my Jillian Michaels DVD home with me and stick to it when I'm home.

The more I think about it though, the more I realize that two things are currently sabotaging me:

1) I'm less than 20lbs from my goal weight. I'm comfortable. Too comfortable. I'm eating/drinking/living life like I'm in maintenance mode. So, really, should I be shocked that I'm maintaining instead of losing?

First day of school the new job!
2) Maybe this is strange, but I'm much better at balancing my schedule when it's completely jam packed. When that happens I become extremely regimented, so as to not drop one of the many balls I'm juggling. I haven't been too busy the last few weeks, which means relaxing, and not doing any morning workouts, and generally slacking on my eating more than I should.

There's a light at the end of the tunnel though. I'm absolutely loving the new job so far (!!!) and I now have free access to the gym in my new office. If that isn't a good reason to at least pound out 30 minutes on the dreadmill at the end of the day, well, I got nothin'.

Good talk, guys. Time to get back on track.

How do you get back on track after falling off the wagon?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Off the Scale

I didn't weigh in yesterday, because a) my scale's batteries are dead (convenient post-Thanksgiving, no?) and b) I didn't feel a need to confirm what I already know. Plus I ate a 10oz steak on Tuesday night so obviously I was bound to be up 10oz. :)

NEVERMIND the creme brûlée. Oh, the creme brûlée. A bunch of my girlfriends and I had a girls' night out at a steakhouse. Most of our meals out consist of appetizers or brunch, so I proposed we branch out and get some red meat and red wine. It was positively glorious. So glorious that the shot above is the only photo I took because I was too busy inhaling everything in sight. Unapologetically.


1) Apart from eating roughly 38429 calories at the steakhouse, I've been pretty on par with my eating this week. I didn't grocery shop after I got back into the city after Thanksgiving because ain't nobody got time fo dat. I've been making good use of my turkey taco chili leftovers for lunches and dinners. I also tried Starbucks' "Perfect Oatmeal" when I had to commute to the 'burbs for work on Tuesday, and I avoided the nuts and only topped it with brown sugar. Verdict: so good! But I'll probably stick with my 5 packets for $1 BetterOats because I'm cheap and they're lower cal.

Look at that post run glow! I mean, my face basically matches my shirt.
2) I FINALLY WENT FOR A RUN! It's been almost a month since my last real run, due to pesky achilles tendinitis issues. I actually wasn't planning on running after work yesterday, but I started to get ready for an at-home arm workout and decided to give running a try. Still dealing with a little right achilles soreness, but I was able to knock out 3 miles without too much pain. I'm still going to take it easy and only run 2-3x a week while I work back into it. Certainly not my best time, but I'm pretty happy I was able to get 3 miles in. I feel like a weirdo/running imposter/that girl… but I really did miss running! Old Carolyn is totally side-eyeing me for saying that. But running is one of the only times where I can completely decompress and have some alone time, not to mention, it's a great calorie burn.

What NSVs are you celebrating this week?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Exciting News!

If there's anything that can ease the difficulty of returning to real life after a holiday vacation, today's exciting news certainly made more manageable.

The big news:

1) I got a new job! I've really enjoyed my current job (where I've been contracting since August), but I am so excited for what's to come. I'll have roughly the same responsibilities as where I am now, but I'll be working in a much larger agency and department. It's a phenomenal opportunity for me and I am so excited to start next Monday!

2) I got selected to participate in the Nike Women's Half Marathon in DC! My college roommate, who lives in DC, also threw her name in the lotto and was selected, so we'll be running together come April 27, 2014. 

On two other completely unrelated notes:

1) The weekly goals linkup is going to be on hiatus until after the holidays. Not that that's any excuse to slack on the diet and exercise front (yeah, workin' on getting back on the bandwagon after Thanksgiving… woof). I just don't have the time to dedicate to it before the holidays, but it will return!

2) Have you signed up for our Blogger Secret Santa? There are still spots left, so claim yours now if you want in!! Here are all of the details you need to know. Send an email to to join :)

How was your first day back from the holiday?