My goals:

1.  Save $750. ($0/$750)
2.  Write two short stories. (0/2)
3.  Outline my novel.
4.  Take a class.
5.  Run 231 miles. (23.5/231)
6.  Bike 120 miles. (16/120)
7.  Learn to play a song on the guitar.
8.  Make a dress.
9.  Volunteer four times. (1/4)
10.  Get to 115. (117.2)

1.  What have you done this past week to help you achieve your goals?

I ran 23.5 miles and biked 16 miles.

I volunteered at a culinary festival – sold beer to the Arizonans braving it at the picnic despite the rain and low temps (40s + wind).  It was so awful that it was fun.

I made my monthly budget with room for savings.  I usually sock away money after pay days, so the 15th and the end of the month, so nothing saved yet, but soon!

I finally saw 120 on the scale after a long time of being over that and felt in control of the weight situation again.  It was on my crappy Friday morning (but I felt “thin” so I pulled the scale out) and I realized I had the power to either make it drop more or allow it to hike up again.  Crappy morning or not, I packed a good lunch, leaving the mini peanut butter cups in the freezer instead of taking them to work like I had considered, emotionally eating them all day and feeling bad about it. I guess I did okay because on Sunday, my official weigh-in day, I was 117.2.  I was really surprised by it and will see how it sticks in the coming weeks.

I decided a few songs I might want to learn – Jewel or Miranda Lambert – and looked at my guitar.  Haha.

 2.  What did you do this past week to make you feel good about yourself?

I learned a skill all women should have – how to untangle a necklace!  And because I untangled, I was able to wear one of my favorites I haven’t worn in so long and felt like a hot mama headed out to the picnic with my lady friends.  It was forecasted to be chilly, but I risked it with a sundress and it was perfect temps, so I felt totally cute!

3.  Is your mindset future-oriented or living in the now? How does this impact you when you are working towards a goal?

I’d love to say it’s a balance, but I am thinking ahead more often than I would like.   Coming up with lists of goals (something I’ve been crazy about for about the last two years) has helped me think more about now.  It’s allowed me to think about the things in my future that I want and realize thinking about them won’t do much of anything.  So I get to the future and have those goals as a reality by living them and working toward them now.

4.  Is there someone in your {real} life that inspires you to strive for the best?

When it comes to wellness, I don’t have a big real-life fitness-focused community I’m a part of (but I am working on it).  A lot of it is self-motivation, but I also am inspired to work hard and achieve my goals in hopes of becoming an inspiration to my family, if that makes sense. 

My dad wants to lose some weight and my mom wants to become a little more toned.  My sis and I can still share clothes even though she’s mostly inactive (which drives me crazy!) and her fiancé is hoping to lose 40 pounds (the weight he’s put on since meeting my sis!) before the wedding.  I hope by hearing about me going after my health goals and seeing me make good choices, it inspires them to realize it’s not just about hoping to lose weight and wanting to lose weight, it’s about working and making it happen.

5.  Fun Question of the Week: Do you read blogs on the individual websites or via Google Reader?

 I had a blog roll when I started blogging and clicked through my favorites daily, but then I learned of the amazingness that is the Google Reader!  I have way too many blogs on there, but there’s always something new and entertaining to read.  I even have a “Challenge” category now!  Sometimes I’ll click through to the actual site if there’s a link that intrigued me or something!

 Positive picture of the week: 

My tri is not for five months, but this week I set up my training plan for that (will start in July) as well as a training schedule for all the other races I’m doing (I’m assuming it’s going to change, but it’s a good base).  Further proving that I really am future-oriented! I got really excited about the idea that I’m going to rock out all these training seshes and continue to improve as an athlete.  That’s my motivation!

Confessions of the Sleep-Deprived

Well, heeey March.  I was so darn excited for your arrival that I stayed up past my bedtime to usher you in at midnight.  Then I wanted to hang out with you more, so I woke up at 1 and 2 and finally at 2:30 for good. 

I think I’m onto something here.  If I only sleep for a few hours a night, I could get a lot done in the month of March.

Por ejemplo, this morning, since I was up four hours before it was acceptable to go to work, I…

…caught up on the uber funny Monday night shows I missed because I had a date (we went to a coffee shop and I had a so-called “decaf” Americano…lies) because, you know, I’m awesome and men want to date me. 

…cyberstalked said date from last night. Mostly I was interested in what he put as his height, because you KNOW men lie about this, which is why I won’t normally go for anything under 5’8″ because if they admit to being 5’7″ or shorter, they’re probably more like 5’3″ like my date (who “says” he’s 5’6″), which was the only thing that I might have changed!  Way to go eHarmony!

…cyberflirted with more men to find more dates and increase my “number” (not THAT number though, I’m being a good girl).

…RSVPed to some Meetups because I had a lot of fun at one of the events I went to over the weekend.

…caught up on some email.

…tweeted at ungodly hours.

…ran at the gym at 4am.

…watched Sex and the City while running at the gym at 4am.  Oh how I’ve missed those ladies.  I caught parts of two episodes around the time Charlotte was marrying Harry, who was totes not what she thought her dream man would be, but ended up being wonderful.  Hmm.

…did some laundry.

…caught up on Jersey Shore.  Well, one episode.  I’m still behind.

…made weekend breakfast!

…didn’t go as gourmet on my packed snacks + lunch for the day.  It’s a meal fit for an 8-year-old – PB and honey on a tortilla, an apple and a granola bar.

…painted my nails.

…finally went to work.

I’m so already looking forward to going to bed early + sleeping in + naps this weekend!

Today I Wanted To…

…lay in bed and read all day, which I did a sufficient amount of with other productive things mixed in.

This kid is way smarter than me. He can read in SPANISH!

…wear my Steelers gear everywhere I went. 

…have a last-minute game night.  But, my friend is last-minute celebrating her birthday at a casino, which will also be lots of fun.

…run, even though I was supposed to be breaking from it, so I snuck in 4.5 easy miles.

…apply to live in the Big Brother house next summer.  So I did.

…daydream about living abroad.  So I looked for jobs.

…NOT have forced awkward conversation with a stranger.  But, I signed up for online dating, so I suffered through one more.

…take a nap.  I was exhausted, but for the life of me I couldn’t.

These babies didn't even help!

…figure out how to escalate from “friend of a friend” to “romantic interest” with a cute guy.  Step one – Facebook friending.  Check.  Step two – no idea.

The What-What

Update: My non-boyfriend Facebook boyfriend let the request hang for about 24 hours before figuring it out and changing his status back.  I feel bad for him, but seriously, dude, tread lightly when it comes to Facebook relationships. 

I’ve got a lot of reading to do this weekend if I want to get off to a good start with my resolution of one fiction and one non-fiction book per month (it WAS the first one on the list after all).  I’m 3/4 of the way through Racing Weight and about 30 pages into Jodi Picoult’s Handle With Care. How about we just call it 12 of each for the year?

People with children have no boundaries.  My boss did not think twice about giving me the detailed play-by-play of how his two boys handled having the flu all week.  And someday I will likely do the same to my poor, unsuspecting coworkers.

I’m wanderlusting big time.  Belize is on the top of my list.  Well, was, and then this week, I saw this.  Maybe Europe.  And although I’m bummed that it probably won’t be 2011, that doesn’t mean it can’t be January 2012!

This weekend is the first bridesmaids dress shopping adventure with Bridezilla my sister.  Direct quote from an email I JUST got from her: “My dress is HERE! There will be many more times I will need to go in for fittings [ed. note: lies…she measured a perfect size 2 and I imagine it will fit like a dream] so this is to try it on just because I CAN!” I’m sorry, I get that she’s excited (and that I will likely be just as obnoxious when it’s MY turn), but is it October yet?  In other wedding news, my other October bride is a dream, but I think two of the bridesmaids are going to throw down before the big day.

My first half-marathon is tomorrow!  My long run a few weeks ago took me over the distance of the race, so I should be fine, but it also left me with a knee injury and I haven’t been training as much as I’d have liked in the past two weeks.  The doubting voices in my head have a few other things to say as well, but in 21 hours I’m going to shut them up and hit the pavement.

That will probably be the last mention of wellness and running here because I’m posting on that over at my new wellness blog!  The one I kinda skimmed over here.  It is my second attempt at a public blog (my last one bombed because it didn’t have a focus).  I’m struggling with keeping one anon and one public blog and building readership of both.  If anyone has tips, I’d love to hear them!  And if anyone would like to continue to read about my fitness adventures and kitchen mishaps, email me at emjaye [at] ymail [dot] com and I will be glad to send you the link!

I’m staying at my parents’ house over the weekend because they are closer to the race and to the dress shop and civilization in general.  And because they’re out of town.  And I’m totally having a party.  Well, not really.  I’m on the fence about asking my ArtWalk guy over to make dinner (date #2 was not as great as that first one) or inviting some friends over for a game night.  Yeah, I’m 26, but it still feels like I’m breaking the rules!

Oh yeah, and I need advice about ArtWalk guy.  When do you call an attempted relationship off?  There are no red flags, just a lackluster date, but the first was good!  Do we try again in a different environment?


Four weeks in? Wow!

Life's Journey with a Smile

My 10 goals are:

  1. Lose 5 pounds in January and maintain (starting is 122.6).
  2. Sign up for a new dating site in February (assuming Mr. Amazing doesn’t waltz in before that).
  3. Climb the seven summits of Phoenix in seven days.
  4. Make a real meal at least once a week.
  5. Adopt a pet.
  6. Get a bike and decrease my gas usage.
  7. Write my guest post for The Chick Lit Bee.
  8. Roll over my 401(k)s.
  9. Do six things with friends (happy hours, game nights, etc.).
  10. Find and participate in a volunteer opportunity.

This week’s questions:

1.  What have you done this past week to help you achieve your goals?

I banished my scale. Weighing myself every day, multiple times a day, was not working for me.  I had planned a weigh in today, but I am actually going to wait it out until the end of the month.  When I’m not so focused on what the chocolate I ate did to my weight and why my weight didn’t go down after a “good” day, I think my weight will find its natural balance, which is closer to 117, again.

I made turkey mini-loaves with roasted red potatoes and zucchini and I went ice skating with a group of friends for Kanga’s birthday.

2.  How are you feeling about the goals you set for yourself? Overwhelmed? Too easy? Just right?

I’m a good mix of overwhelmed and thinking they’re too easy, so I guess just about right. It’s funny how things change though because, similar to some of my big goals for 2011, I’m already wondering if they’re things I really want and my attention has been stolen by some other shiny thing.

3.  Do you prefer to exercise inside or outside?

I go very back and forth on this.  I used to be outside only, but I’ve learned to love the gym in the past few months.  There are days I feel like I can rock it out on the treadmill and then days when I know I’ll be faster outside. Depends on my mood and the weather I suppose.  There are about seven months out of the year here where if I don’t get out and run before work (or about 8:00 a.m. on the weekends), it’s not happening because it just gets too hot, so my newfound love for the gym will serve me well come April.

4.  Are you a self-starter or do you need a little push?

I’m a self-starter.  The thought of just letting myself down by not going after what I want is enough to keep me going. 

5.  Fun Question of the Week: Why did you decide to start a blog?

I was so far out of the blog community until a college friend told me her friend blogged anonymously and I thought, hey that’s really cool and I started following her and jumped to other blogs and then eventually jumped in with my own.  I thought it was a really cool way to record my life and thoughts.  I also really like having it as an outlet for my writing and that writing regularly has helped me find my voice.

Positive picture for the week:


A Good Week

After a funky start on Sunday, I had a good week.  Was it because it was only a four-day work week and I have been looking forward to forced family fun in the form of Dad’s birthday celebration + Steelers in the AFC Championship game this weekend? Perhaps.

For the most part, I was just in a blessed and happy mood all week.

My extra day off started with me being a lazy bum, sitting on my couch, but as I looked around, I thought, I really love my apartment, so I went shopping for some pretty little art pieces to express my love.  I’m quite noncommittal when it comes to art, so having these additions is huge!  I also FINALLY got a nice coffee maker

My knee started bothering me last week and has not quit.  On my Wednesday run it left me quitting early and mostly limping home (because it knows I should just give it a break, but I struggle with breaks).  This leisurely stroll when I was supposed to be training  and sweating killed me, but it did give me time to look around and realize I’m so grateful to be in Scottsdale and that it’s the prettiest place I’ve ever lived. My part of Scottsdale is more deserty than any other city I’ve lived in in Arizona and has an amazing view of the mountains.  I know someone from a different part of the country might not get it, but it’s beautiful to me!

And…my first date last night went really well!  I’ve come to not expect too much from the guys I’ve met online, but after a few duds and douches, I karmically earn a good one (it’s a scientific fact) and he was it.  Good conversation + good sushi.  Although I told him my theory about two-phase first dates (I don’t like them, I don’t do them), we took time after to stroll through some art galleries in Old Town Scottsdale (conveniently, every Thursdays there’s an ArtWalk I’ve always wanted to go to).

By the end, we had made a friendly wager on the game and we were talking about a few ideas for future dates without having to catch ourselves and tack on the awkward, “well, if you want to hang out again.”  It was nice to know that we had both pretty much settled on date #2 and knew that the other person felt the same (for me, barring him pulling out any huge red flags during the remainder of the date, I was pretty sure I’d want a second about 30 minutes in).

Today at lunch, I got new running shoes. Since being serious about running is a relatively new thing for me, I don’t realize the miles I put on my shoes and I have to remind myself that they need to be replaced often (hopefully that will help prevent any more injuries).  They’re cute, but they’ve promised to stay in their box until my knee actually feels better this time.  Or until race day.  Because next Saturday I’m running no matter what.

Tonight, I’m having Friday night pizza like when I was a kid thanks to a freebie coupon I got for donating blood last month.  I miss TGIF, but Army Wives Season 3 on DVD will make a fine substitute.  Oh, hello, weekend!

A Funky Sunday

I was in a funk today. 

The plan was to help out at the big Phoenix/Tempe Rock N’ Roll marathon.  I chose not to run in it because it’s a huge corporate event and registration was expensive, but there’s no true charity partner to benefit from ALL that money they’re bringing in.  After I signed up, I was like, “wait, WHY am I volunteering for them?” 

Despite that, I was looking forward to being part of the experience, but silly me, I was so excited to have tomorrow off that I turned my alarm from “Weekdays Only” to “Off,” and when I set it for today, I didn’t turn it “On.”  Oops.  I slept in all the way until 9, way past the start time!

So that fail set up the rest of the day and I just didn’t know what to do with myself.  I recently discovered ALL the awesomeness of Hulu, so that took up some time.  I had to run out for my caffeine hit.  I ate some leftover pizza.  I baked cookies I didn’t want.  I finally watched Easy A, which was just the kind of teen comedy that has been missing in my life!  Mostly I bounced around my bitty 700 square feet apartment trying to figure out why I couldn’t figure out today.

Then I kinda forced myself out of the funk.  I changed into my gym clothes and cleaned up before my 5:00 date with Jersey Shore and the treadmill and rocked out seven miles instead of my planned six, partly due to the cute guy who got on the machine next to me at my mile five.  I pretended for a bit that I had a fit boyfriend and we like to go to the gym together (my favorite boyfriend ever told me he thought going to the gym together was lame, what’s THAT about?) and I mentally added “will workout with me” to THE list.

My cabin fever has reached its pinnacle, so I sought out plans with a few friends, which I really don’t do that often, I’m usually more of a tagalong and now I’m heading out for that!  Hopefully it’s just the cure for my funky day and if not, I have tomorrow, Sunday 2.0, off to try again!

The Off(ish) Week(ish)

So what did I do while on my technology sabbatical?

1.  I sucked at taking a technology sabbatical, but each day got better (until I gave up altogether and ended it early) and I think it will be easier to lessen my use day-to-day now. And I know better what it will take to truly take an unplug week when I’m ready to try again.

2.  I totally drained my legs with the 12-miler on Saturday + a 6-miler on Sunday so switched around my training for the rest of the week (keeping the distances and runs, just exchanging rest days) and rocked out my peak week of training.

3.  I fell in love with my Garmin Forerunner 305.

4.  I had my first fight with Rebel.  Catalyst: Me still holding out (actually, for him I do believe it was about sex, for me, I was attempting a DTR talk because sex and the R – relationship – go together).  I learned that he’s a horrible fighter.  He wasn’t much for listening to or attempting to understand what I was saying and super-awkwardly left before any real discussion could be had.  Outcome:  Validation of my decision.   

5.  I realized there’s a difference between someone with whom you want to hang out and someone with whom you want to combine lives, which I guess I knew, but again…validation.

6.  Had another date with Mr. No Name on which he was determined to prove he wasn’t conservative and could be more than a friend.  Fail, first of all, but then he got post-date balls.  Via text he was all, “damn we should still be hanging out,” and I was all, “well then you should have stumbled your way through some kind of awkward invite to a phase two because now it’s too late and I’m on my couch in my ugly single-lady PJs and my tummy is happily full of sushi and vodka I didn’t have to pay for.”

7.  I had another first date with another POF guy. I found out that someone who has “non-douche” as their headline IS, in fact, a douche, but of a weird variety.  I deleted the last batch of “[insert rando’s name] pof”s from my phone because the ratio of guys who do online dating because they are socially retarded to guys who do online dating because they are normal, but busy/new to the area is about 5:1 (from my research) and that’s just a numbers game I’m sick of playing. 

8.  I heard from TGISWOTSD again.  Re:  hot dogs.  Again.  His interests seemed much more diverse when we were dating, I swear.  Again, maybe he’s testing the waters of friendship, but seeing his email addy, my heart flutters and wonders if he misses me and realizes we were great and it’s worth an actual try.  Ugh.

9.  I packed my fridge and pantry with real food so my apartment no longer looks like a bachelor lives there.  And yes, this is packed for a single girl.  I spent way too much time thinking about how to use it all!

10.  I totally blew my food budget (but that’s why I built in flexibility elsewhere).

11.  I ate well. (This is homemade pizza amazingness, part 2!)

12.  I accepted that I will never be a photog or foodie blogger (but I started a wellness blog that will have a food aspect)!

13.  I added some big dreams to my bucket list because I’ve really seen the power of writing down and going after some of the things I want recently and I’m in a big WHY NOT mood.

14.  I actually wrote down THE list (of traits I’m looking for in a man).  Again, why not?

15.  I went out on a school night.  As in like, don’t even start getting ready until 9 kind of out.  It was a friend’s last night in town and I’m glad I did, but I’m paying for it today!

Me v. Me

I was really excited about signing up and creating a training schedule for my half-marathon.  It’s now three weeks away and I’m still excited and still on track, but it’s been hard!  I’m sure November 26th Emjaye would be in awe of January 8th Emjaye and the paces that I can now run, the distances I have covered, but January 8th Emjaye is not feeling so confident. 

Sometimes the runs feel great, but sometimes the numbers themselves are daunting and totally psyche me out before I even lace up.  Earlier this week, I had a restless last hour of sleep because I kept thinking I was missing my run that I was trying to fit in before work.  Then my alarm actually went off and I got up and headed to them gym and struggled.  Being sore from strength training was my excuse, but in reality it was largely mental.

I ran three of eight, went back and tried to sleep for thirty more minutes.  Then I took the mental health day, stretched and rolled because my legs actually got worse (note to self, weights OR power, not both, especially when I’ve been phoning in the strength for too long) and the next day I exchanged my rest day for a do-over.  Take that. 

Today it’s 12.  And (with my new Garmin on my wrist) I can do that too.

Every Woman

Every woman should know what she can or can’t accomplish in a day, month and year.  Bearing that in mind, here is my list of goals/resolutions/to-dos  for 2011, some to be completed in a day, others in a week or a month and some may be works in progress that take all year.

Read one fiction and one non-fiction book every month.

Eat more veggies.  Get creative and try new things.

Stick to a two-drink limit if I even want to drink at all.

Downsize.  Live simply.  Donate things I don’t use (monthly) and don’t buy crap.

Lose 10 pounds before the fall weddings.

Complete 60 things total on my 101 list.

Climb the seven summits of Phoenix in seven days.

Earn $3000 side income, personal training, writing, whatever.

Build a $1290 wedding fund for bridesmaid expenses (yes, I realize NOW that it’s a stupid number, but it’s what my twisted math came up with).  Contribute $50 a month + gifts.

Spend less time with social media and more time with society.

Write six short stories.

Write girl side of dating book and begin collaboration.

Contribute to a Roth IRA…and 401(k) if company restarts match program.

Complete my eight-month emergency fund and leave it untouched in my MMA.

Make and follow a budget each month (< $2000/month or $24000/year).

Make and follow a training schedule each month.

Honor my appointments with myself.  Put myself first as often as I want.

Overpay on student loans (by more than $5, smart girl) to get below $11000 before the end of the year.

Pay off my CC each month, if I use it at all.

Hang out in Starbucks and Barnes & Noble and look approachable so as to be hit on.

Look presentable anytime I leave the house.

Don’t waste more than one date on a bad prospect.  Future me says so.

Try a new dating site.

Leave the baggage in the past.  Leave exes in the past.  Look forward.

Say yes more.  Say no more. 

Go all in.  Finish hard, finish strong – fitness, life, love, everything.