Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Beautiful Wedding & My Handsome Brother

I know I keep saying it over and over… but man life is busy!  We have 5 weddings this year and I’m in two of them back to back weekends in October!  The first wedding of the year was two weekends ago and it was so great!  The couple looked amazing (and so happy!), the weather was perfect, and we danced the night away with a ton of our friends!

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Ok so my phone isn’t nearly as good as my camera… but I definitely captured some amazing moments and the whole day was just wonderful!  I love celebrating with the people I love!

Speak of which, here’s another awesome thing I have to share, my brother getting ready for his senior pictures:

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So handsome, cannot get over this!!!!

Well this is a sad excuse for a post, but it’ll have to do for now!  Off to watch the Olympics!  I love watching the gymnastics!

Are you watching the Olympics?  What’s your favorite event?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Wedding Warm Up

Thank you all for the wonderful feedback and love in the comments of my last post Red heart

It’s the weekend, are you pumped?  Two of my good friends are getting married this weekend so it’s going to be a good one!  I got to leave work at 11 am yesterday to go get my nails done with the ladies!  Chilling in the massage chair with a mimosa in my hand was way better than work!  I got a gel manicure which isn’t supposed to chip for 2 weeks, I’ll believe it when I see it.  I already tripped in the parking lot and chipped my pedicure… dainty lady fail!

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I took a ton of pictures at Leah’s bridal shower and bachelorette party, but I never found the time to share them here so why not kick off their wedding weekend with some photos!

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Insert a bunch of pictures that I’m sure nobody wants posted on the internet!  Go check out Heather’s blog to see the amazing d├ęcor and some fun pictures.

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Omg, I can’t wait!  My neighbor did my hair bright and early, and soon the groomsmen will be coming over for a hearty lunch and to get ready, and the rest of the day will be spent celebrating!

In other news, my camera suffered a tragedy, but I got a brand spankin’ new cell phone with decent camera!  It’s the Samsung Galaxy SIII and I am still deathly afraid I’m going to drop it!  My birthday is coming up in August, so hopefully my phone can do the trick until then.

Do you have anything fun going on this weekend?  Do you love weddings?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Am I Fat?

Please understand that this is not a pity post that was written only with the intent to fish for compliments.  This is just a rambling stream of my thoughts on the topic and I hope you can respect where I'm coming from.

Growing up I was always involved in a million things at a time, including sports.  I was so active that I never had to think about what I was eating.  My body was athletic and until puberty I was always on the petite size.  At the same time my body started becoming more womanly, I also started lifting.  I hit the weight room for the first time in 10th grade and I loved it.  Soon my muscular legs became bigger and more powerful, I grew boobs, and any sign of petite Amber was gone.

I don't remember weighing myself growing up.  The first weight I can remember is from my junior or senior year of high school, I was 148.  Since then my weight has fluctuated over the years, maxing out at 160 something after too many beers and late night munchies at college.  After my first body composition evaluation, I put myself on a serious salad every day for lunch diet, went to the gym 4 times a week, and lost almost 15 lbs over that summer.  The weight loss didn't last very long once I returned to school and I ended up back around the weight my body seems to easily maintain: 155.

Overall, the number on the scale doesn't really mean that much to me.  My body is very muscular and I know muscle weighs more than fat.  I grew up being the able-bodied daughter that would help my dad when any heavy lifting was needed.  I've excelled in just about every sport I've ever tried and I'm always welcome to play with all the guys.  I completed a freaking half marathon!  Right now I'm around 153 which is only 5 lbs above my weight in high school 8 years ago, that's crazy!

But then sometimes I can't help but wonder, am I fat?  My body carries all my extra weight in my torso, primarily the area I lovingly refer to as my inner tube.  In certain cuts of clothing all I can see is my gut staring me back in the face.  I know everyone has their trouble spots, but I long for a day when I don't have to think is this shirt flowy enough to hide the muffin top my jeans are giving me?  Should I be wearing a one piece right now?  And more recently, omg how big is this thing going to get when I'm pregnant?!  And the awful way women's clothing is sized doesn't help, I know my boobs are big but am I really an XL in Target's workout tanks?  I just recently purchased a bridesmaid dress in a size 14.  I know size is only a number, but that's just a little hard for me to swallow.

I guess it's all relative.  To some of my friends I am the skinny runner, and then in another crowd I am the biggest girl in the group.  Sometimes love is blind and my friends try to convince me I can borrow their clothes and then I have to explain to them that I'm 3 sizes bigger.  Or worse I'll try something of theirs on and feel like I'm going to bust out of it like the Incredible Hulk!  My sister is the same height as me but 30 lbs less and well, it sucks.  It's something I've had to deal with my entire life.  But then on the flip side, sometimes I look (and feel) amazing!  Sometimes I fit into a small.  Sometimes I like to run in a sports bra and tiny spandex shorts.  Sometimes I swear I can even see a glimpse of my abs.

I don't know.  Maybe I'm just another victim of terrible body acceptance across America.  Or maybe the belly fat I'm sporting is just as unhealthy as it looks and I need to do something about it.  Maybe I need to stop eating cheese on everything.  Or maybe I just need to look in the mirror and tell myself I'm good enough as is.

Do you struggle with body image issues?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Blogiversary & Moyer 5K Race Recap

Wow, I can't believe I've been blogging for a whole year tomorrow!  Over the past year I've learned a lot about blogging, photography, and myself.  The blog world is so great for keeping yourself accountable, getting advice, and just for general support.  I've really enjoyed writing and I hope you enjoyed reading along Open-mouthed smile  Thank you so much!

Last night Dave and I ran the Moyer 5K!  I thought the race started at 6 so we got there at 5:30, but apparently it didn't start until 7.  Boo to the website being unclear but it wasn't too big of a deal.  Dave's tummy was rumbling so we walked over to Wawa to pick up some race fuel, did a few laps around the park, and hit the porta potties.  Oh funny story, while we were standing at the porta john's some kid is standing there with the door open kinda looking lost and then he goes, what do you do if you drop your cell phone in?  Bad day!  Fortunately, there were dog waste baggies right there so he grabbed a few to use as gloves and put his phone in.  Needless to say, we did not stay to watch that situation go down!

After doing a little warming up and stretching, we headed to the starting line.  We wanted to be fairly close to the start since there was no chip timing, but we didn't want to be too close and get passed by everyone.  We found a nice spot and before we knew it, we were off!  We went along with the mob around us and started off rather quickly.  I was worried we started too fast, but as everyone spread out, we seemed to easily maintain the 8:50 pace we were running.  Mile 1 flew by pretty fast!

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Mile 2, not so much.  The second mile began with a mild steady incline and I ended up with a side stitch.  We continuously slowed our pace and eventually I felt a bit better.  And then Dave got a side stitch.  We kept chugging along and had to run another long mild incline.  Thankfully it was super cloudy so the sun wasn't beating down on us, but we were definitely feeling the heat.  A couple of residents had their hoses out and we ran through every one!  It was pretty cool because the race was right through my neighborhood.

As the third mile approached I just kept thinking, in 10 minutes I will be chugging water and eating a popsicle!  After we had to run the steepest part of the course, we came up to the local firehouse which had one of their big hoses mounted on top of one of their trucks!  The water felt amazing and they had a guy playing the bag pipes!  That's when I knew we were done the hills, the crowd support picked up, and I could feel the finish line getting close.

As we hit the last 0.1 mile stretch Dave and I took off.  We both wanted to beat our times from March and I was so pumped when I saw the clock that I let out a "YEAH!"  We finished together, both PRed, and it felt so good!

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Do you have any races coming up?  Do you like running small local races or big popular ones?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Namaste!

Last week I tried to pull myself out of my two weeks of laziness with some weekly goals, so how did I do?

7/1 - 7/7
- Run 3 times, any distance, 1 speed workout: B-
- Arms & abs twice: D+

On Monday I sucked it up and ran 2 miles in 90 degrees.  I completed another super hot 2.25 mile run down at Cape May while we were on a nice 5 day vacation.  I didn't do any speedwork, unless you can count a few sprints through the yard to exercise the pup.  I did some brief arm and abs one day, but nothing to write home about.  Meh, I didn't crush my goals, but something is always better than nothing!  And now that we're back from vacation I'm starting things off on the right foot!  Dave and I running a 5K tomorrow night!  And after realizing I needed to activate my yoga/zumba Groupon for CoreFit by Wednesday or it would expire, I decided to attend my first hot yoga class last night!  I'd done some yoga in my living room before and I once attended a yoga class at the YMCA (that my sister told me didn't count as a real yoga class), but I'd never really been to a real yoga class and I'd certainly never done hot yoga!

Why practice Yoga in a heated room?  (source)

  • Heat is used in Bikram and Hot Yoga in order to allow you to go deeper and safer into a Yoga Pose.
  • Your body becomes more flexible in the heat and since most poses used in Bikram are physically challenging, heat allows you to get into a pose that you never imagined you can do.
  • It also eliminates the risk of injuries, promotes sweating, and helps you release the toxins in your body.
  • The Bikram Yoga Poses not only work on your muscles but also on your internal organs.
  • Each pose stretches and strengthens your muscles, joints, and ligaments and, at the same time release the toxins and work on your internal organs like the glands and the nervous system.

When I arrived nice and early, there were a few other women activating their Groupons, so I wasn't the only newbie to the class.  I filled out some brief paperwork while the previous kettlebell class was wrapping up... and then they turned on the heaters.  Dun dun dun!  I picked a spot, rolled my mat out, and soon the room was uncomfortably hot.  I started sweating just sitting there, and I started to wonder what I had gotten myself into.

Surprisingly my body quickly adjusted to the heat and it actually didn't feel that bad.  The room filled up with a bunch of women and two men, the lights were dimmed, and I was pumped when the class started to one of my faves, Better Together by Jack Johnson.  We went through most of the standard bikram poses, holding each for 60 seconds and then for another 30.  I was familiar with some of the poses and others were brand spanking new to me.  The instructor was very engaging.  She demonstrated the pose in the beginning and kept reminding us to breathe and how to find proper body position throughout.  She spent some time walking around correcting or helping people and praising others.  The room was full of various skill levels and it was a very relaxed atmosphere.  I fell out of some of the poses but so did a bunch of people and it wasn't a big deal.

I'm not sure exactly what I thought about yoga before, I knew it could be great for flexibility and relaxing, but I'm not sure I really ever thought of it as a workout.  Well, hello burning muscles!  I was shaking so hard in some of the poses and I definitely felt the burn.  I was soaked in sweat when I left and the 80 degree temp outside never felt so good.  I woke up this morning feeling sore in muscles I didn't even know I had!

I was pretty nervous going into this experience.  I wasn't sure how strict the atmosphere was going to be, if I was going to feel horribly out of place, if I was going to feel lighted headed and nauseous, etc.  But I'm so glad I went!  All of my worries were eased, I didn't feel like I was going to pass out, and I got a great workout!

Are you a fan of yoga?

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