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anna christina

Last week, voters approved gay marriage and rejected a constitutional ban on gay marriage for the first time in American history. I was proud to be an American and especially proud to be a Minnesotan. To be part of such an important moment in our nation’s history was a rush of emotions – excitement, pride, and even a little bit of disbelief. (I was so happy that I cried on my drive to work Wednesday morning when it finally sunk in that, yes, that really just happened.)

I’ve been asked a few times why this is so important to me since I’m not gay. I think people have asked me that because I’ve been very outspoken about the topic. The best way I can describe the reason I’m so outspoken is by sharing Martin Niemoller’s famous quote:

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was…

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I’m baaaaaack!!!!!

It’s been about seven months.  I’m sure you’ve all missed me.  I’ve definitely missed writing.

First, let me say this will be my last post on Fitscally Responsible. Please check out (and follow) my new blog, anna christina: welcome to my world. It will be a more general blog.

What have I been doing the past seven months?

  • Traveling for work a lot.  I took a promotion that took over my personal life for a few months (but I love my job, so it wasn’t so bad).
  • Tough Mudder… it. was. awesome.
  • I turned 30!
  • I got married!!!!!!!!!!!  Here are two pictures:

 

 

I have opted to create a new blog because I think it better reflects my personality. I love fitness and financial responsibility, but I also have a wide variety of interests beyond those two topics.  I think I tried too hard to come up with something that would be catchy, rather than something that truly reflects who I am.

I hope you’ll follow me on my new blog so we can stay in touch!

Anna

It’s a good day for a laugh!

Yay, Thursday! Let’s celebrate by having a good laugh. I apologize to people who have already seen some of these on my Pinterest board, but they are too funny not to share in this post too. (there are some new ones too)

It's true. Sometimes I'm so funny that I start laughing halfway through telling the joke and can't finish it.

This is the best spoof of this picture I’ve seen yet. And, yes, I own two of them.

Those dang Girl Scouts!

This one gets me every time! The look on his face is classic.

I tried to come up with a witty pun to add on to this, but couldn't.

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!! Ok, I'm sorry - I just couldn't resist.

I want to meet the person who made this poster because it. is. awesome.

If only...

Yes they are, little girl.

Lionel, is that you?

I consider this post a success if at least one of these made you laugh. Even if it was just a silent chuckle.

The Energy Bus: Don’t let negative people get you down

(Weigh-In Wednesday will be back next week!)

Hello! I’m baaaaaaaaaaack!  Did you miss me? I took a week off to focus on work and some other life things (ok, mostly work but I had every intention to focus on other life things too). I found out a few weeks ago that I’m getting promoted. Whoop, whoop! I was already a little behind on work so I wanted to tie up some loose ends before the changes to my role were announced. So, that is what I’ve been doing (and eating way too much German chocolate cake + making homemade lasagna with Matt). Now, I’m in Louisville for the rest of the week to announce the changes and dig into my new responsibilities.

Another thing I accomplished this past week was reading The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon. I’ve been reading for 20-30 minutes before I go to bed. I read somewhere (Prevention magazine, maybe?) that reading before bed helps you sleep better and I’m a terrible sleeper. So the reading thing is really just killing two birds with one stone. So far, it has helped… but I was also very exhausted last week so I don’t know if I can declare the bedtime reading a success yet. I heard eliminating coffee helps too, but I’m not crazy enough ready to go down that road yet.

I thought The Energy Bus was corny, but very effective in delivering a clear message.  The author uses a fictional story to describe the Ten Rules for the Ride of Your Life.  The main character is George, a guy who is having serious marriage troubles, is on the verge of losing his job, and (to top it all off!) his car just broke down for two weeks.  I liked the book and suggest it to anyone looking for a quick read and reminder that mindset can really shape our lives. 

TEN RULES FOR THE RIDE OF YOUR LIFE

  1. You’re the driver of your bus.
  2. Desire, vision, and focus move your bus in the right direction.
  3. Fuel your ride with positive energy.
  4. Invite people on your bus and share your vision for the road ahead.
  5. Don’t waste your energy on those who don’t get on your bus.
  6. Post a sign that says NO ENERGY VAMPIRES ALLOWED on your bus.
  7. Enthusiasm attracts more passengers and energizes them during the ride.
  8. Love your passengers.
  9. Drive with purpose.
  10. Have fun and enjoy the ride.   

I think this book applies to all aspects of your life.  I identified with the importance of maintaining your own positive outlook, but also with not letting other people bring you down.  The author calls these people “Energy Vampires”.  We all know people like this, or maybe are or have been people like this.  These are the people who focus on the negative side of life.  My personal opinion is these people can be grouped into a few categories:

  • The trash talkers.  We all have days or periods where other people seriously bug us  and need to vent.  But, these are the people who spend 75% of their time talking about other people, or let specific people really get to them.
  • The people who cut everyone else down.  I think this comes in two forms: cutting people down and being unsupportive.  The unsupportive people can’t be happy for their friends or family because they take other people’s triumphs personally (that is my nice way of saying they are probably jealous, even if it really has nothing to do with them). 
  • The victims of life.  These are the people who feel like they’ve just been dealt so many more challenges than everyone else, and the rest of us are living in a land of rainbows and unicorns.  I’m sure we could find a couple of these people by scrolling through our facebook News Feed.  Sure, it’s OK to feel bad for yourself occasionally (because sometimes there is such a thing as bad luck) but we all have challenges.  Some are very visible and some are very private.  Don’t compare your challenges because you don’t know what people are going through now, have been through, or will go through at some point in their life. 

I’ve known more than a few people like this in my life, as I’m sure we all have.  I find these people to be extremely draining.  The book suggests telling people flat out that you won’t allow negativity on your bus.  I think the idea of saying “on my bus” is corny, but the overall message is good — don’t let these people play a major role in your life.  Their negativity will be draining on you over time.

Sometimes it isn’t possible to cut out coworkers or family that are “Energy Vampires”.  In this case, I strive not to contribute to the negativity (sometimes I’m successful and sometimes I’m not).  If someone is constantly talking poorly about someone else or complaining, I give them a few minutes to vent and then try to change the subject or offer a positive comment.  If that doesn’t work, I usually leave the conversation by physically leaving the room or distracting myself with something else. 

 Obviously this book brought out some very strong opinions in me.  It was a nice reminder to focus my energy on what produces good things in my life.  Sometimes that can be very hard, but I’d say I am a positive person about 85% of the time.  There will always be people in life who try to bring us down.  The key is to recognize that and don’t let it drain your energy. 

How do you keep yourself focused on the positive things in life?  Have you ever burrowed yourself away for a week to get caught up on life?

(Weigh-In Wednesday will be back next week)

I am reblogging this for a few reasons. I talk about Bess Be Fit’s Fitspiration Friday in a few of my posts (it is one of my favorite things about her blog), and I’ve had a really long and crazy week at work so this is a way to still share with my peeps through that craziness!

Bess Be Fit

Good morning friends!! I am SO HAPPY that it is FRIDAY and it’s absolutely GORGEOUS outside!! I am making myself some oatmeal for breakfast and then I’m going to go out on a run and soak up some sun before my brother and I head into the city tonight.  We are meeting my uncle and cousins for dinner and then going to see THE HUNGER GAMES! Can you tell by the use of my capital letters that I am PUMPED?!

Here’s my yummy breakfast:

Before I forget…go check out SHE ROCKS FITNESS for my guest post today!! Awesome lil’ circuit workout you can do anywhere 🙂

Now I’m going to get to the FIT pics!  Today I wanted to focus on BACKS!  Nothing is better than a strong, sexy back!

Woohoo!

Now I’m off to do a run and some sort of strength exercises after…feeling inspired to work my back…

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Weigh-In Wednesday, Week 6

Before I dive into Weigh-In Wednesday, I have some sad news to share.  My friend from graduate school, Sara, passed away yesterday.  I wrote about her in my Get Lucky 7k post.  I didn’t know Sara well, other than our trip to Brazil for school and chatting on facebook about running.  But, she was one of those people so full of energy and kindness that it felt like I knew her well.  I met her Dad at the Get Lucky 7k and I can see where she got her positive attitude.  My heart goes out to Sara’s husband and family.  I don’t really know what to say, other than it’s so sad to see someone tragically taken from this world at a young age because of a split-second decision by someone to drive drunk.  I know a lot of us have probably driven at times where we were borderline, but this is an important reminder that it is better to be safe and just take a cab. 

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Happy Hump Day!  The weeks have just been flying by.

Progress!  Yay! 

I’m sure this has become as interesting as watching paint dry, but I think this slow progress is what I can expect.  As I get closer to the wedding, I might consider a 30 day challenge or cutting out certain foods and beverages to help lose weight temporarily.  But, the reason I’m not doing that now is because those things are usually only a temporary solution for me (do you really think I’d give up Crispin for life?  I don’t even want to joke about something like that).  I want to figure out the happy medium in my lifestyle where I can maintain at 135.  I know my goal is 130 but that is mostly to give me some wiggle room 🙂 

The Food

It is easier and easier to eat healthy Sunday through Friday afternoon because it is becoming a habit.  We keep our fridge well stocked with fruits and vegetables for snacks, and I stick to soup and salad even when I buy lunch at work (which has been more often than I like the past few weeks).  I don’t completely let myself go on Friday and Saturday night, but I allow myself to relax a little and enjoy the weekend.   

I went on a really fun party bus on Saturday night to celebrate my friend’s 30th birthday.  We stopped at Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner.  I ordered chicken fingers with mild sauce, which came with fries.  I ignored the fries (yes, still going on that New Year’s resolution!) and ate four of the six chicken fingers.  I know that wasn’t the healthiest choice on the menu, but I had eaten healthy 90%+ the rest of the week so I was OK with it. 

As I continue to make progress, I expect the food portion to get easier and easier.  I will always crave burgers, fries, and other deliciously unhealthy food.  What it comes down to is being able to make the conscious decision to eat these things in moderation.  That decision gets easier every day. 

The Workouts

I work out about 4 times per week.  I’d prefer if it were 5-6 times per week while I’m training for Tough Mudder, but 4 times per week is still good.  Last night, I modified part of a treadmill workout I found on Peanut Butter Finger’s blog.  I have limited running to 3 times per week to allow myself at least a day to cross-train.  My first run of the week is intervals, my second is a tempo run and my third is a long run.  This is the workout I did last night.  The first 20 minutes is the workout from Peanut Butter Fingers and I modified the last 10 minutes for extra challenge and because I think it will help my speed more to run at 1 minute intervals.  I have no science behind why I think that 🙂

I was dripping sweat by the end of 10 minutes, but it wasn’t too challenging from a cardio perspective until the last 10 minutes.  This is mostly because I’ve been building up my running.  I did the first 20 minutes of this workout a month ago and couldn’t go beyond that.

I decided to put a lot of focus on my arm strength since that is what I’m most worried about for Tough Mudder.  I did a workout that Bess Be Fit posted this week.  She recommends going through this twice so you do a total of 200 reps for each move, but I could only do once.  I also could only do 30 tricep extensions.  I have a lot of work to do!

  • Bicep curls: 40 reps at 5 pounds, 10 reps with 10 pounds.  Repeat.
  • Overhead tricep extension: 40 reps at 5 pounds, 10 reps with 10 pounds.  Repeat.
  • Upright rows: 40 reps at 5 pounds, 10 reps with 10 pounds.  Repeat.
  • DB rows: 40 reps at 5 pounds, 10 reps with 10 pounds.  Repeat. 

I used 5 pounds and 7.5 pounds because that is what I have at home.  I tried our 15 pound weights for the last 10 reps and couldn’t do more than 2-3.  The 7.5 pound weights were probably a little light so I’d recommend going with 10 pound weights if you have them.  I could definitely feel this workout in my arms afterward.  I was actually a little worried about dropping the water pitcher as I was refilling my water!  When I try this workout again, I will probably do timed intervals instead of reps (1 minute with 5 pounds, 15 seconds with 10 pounds… or something like that).  I tend to get bored with counting so I think the timed intervals will be easier for me.

Ok, off to work I go!

What are some of your favorite workouts for arm strength?  How do you strive for moderation in your diet?

How is your week going?

Spring Cleaning: April Goals

(first, let me just point out how badly I wanted to do a play on April Fools for the name of this post)

Tonight, I did something I’ve never done before.  I chose to clean instead of work out.  I don’t choose working out over cleaning because I love to work out that much; I do it because I dislike cleaning that much.  Seriously, sometimes I pick stuff up and think, “WTF am I suppose to do with this?”  Obviously if it is a magazine the answer is never to throw it away.   I might need those articles again sometime.

Ok, I’m not really that bad (most of the time).  I am pretty good at organizing stuff.  When I moved in with Matt, I was able to merge most of my stuff with his by putting in more shelving and rearranging how everything was organized in the storage room, closets and cabinets.  But, I’m not good with the day-to-day upkeep around the house.  I think I got into the mood to clean tonight because it is spring and we are having my family over on Saturday night.  So… enough about my lack of cleaning skills.

I read a really good blog post on Saturday where the author graded herself on various goals she had set for the month of March.  She had cute little chalkboard icons and everything.  I can’t remember the name of the blog and it is driving me nuts!  I remembered the blog… it is Eat, Spin, Run, Repeat.  I highly recommend checking it out.  I thought it was a really good idea to set goals for the month since it is such a short amount of time.  These aren’t really “goals” as much as things I want to get done in April.

Partake in a few personal indulgences.

I am bad at this.  I have been talking about getting my car detailed for over two years.  Have I had it done yet?  Nope.  I buy one pair of jeans every 18-24 months because I can’t justify spending money on clothes that can’t be worn at work every day.  I indulge every now and then on smaller things, like some makeup I just bought at MAC, but I really don’t shop a lot for myself.  So, here are my personal indulgences:

  • Get my car detailed.  I love my car so, yes, this is a personal indulgence.
  • Buy a new pair of jeans.  I already have this planned for the weekend of April 14 when Colleen comes to town!  The pair I bought last year is too stretchy so I have saggy butt by the end of Casual Friday.
  • Start my race bib scrapbook.  This isn’t really a financial indulgence as it is a time indulgence.  I want to dedicate a few hours one afternoon to finally starting a scrapbook for my race bibs.  They currently look like a big tangled pile of messiness:

Stay on the healthiness journey.

Ok, obviously I’m going to do this… especially now that I found my wedding dress and have extra motivation.  I wanted to put a couple specific things down about this though.

  • Swim 3 lengths of the pool without stopping.  Considering I can’t even swim one length right now, this will be very hard for me.  I am really nervous about this one, but it needs to be done. Time to put the swimming lessons I took 3 years ago to use.
  • Complete 10 incline push-ups.  This will be another tough one, but necessary for Tough Mudder!
  • Lose 4 pounds.  I’ve been bouncing around the past few weeks and need to start making some progress here.

Career / Personal Development

I own 23 books about business or leadership that have either been given to me or I bought (not including 2-3 other books that I swear I own, but can’t seem to find).  I have had the best intentions to read them… at some point.  I am actually interested in these topics, but what usually happens is I put them on my bookshelf and completely forget about them.

  • Read three of the books.  I already started The Energy Bus last night. It is pretty good so far.  Don’t worry, you will hear about it when I am done 🙂

Make progress on the wedding planning front.  

Venue, photographer, and DJ booked.  Check.  Wedding Dress. Check.  Ok, so we have made good progress so I can’t really complain.  We just want to make sure we plug along so there aren’t any surprises.  These are some big things we want to get done in April

  • Price out professional invitations versus DIY invitations.  We know DIY will be cheaper, but we want to figure out if the savings is worth our time trying to do them on our own.  I love crafts so I wouldn’t mind doing them on my own, but the summer is also already starting to get busy.
  •  Pick out the bridesmaid dress. This will be done on April 14!
  • Plan the ceremony music.  This is up to Matt since I got my way and we are going with a DJ instead of a band 🙂
  • Send a “Save the Date” email with the hotel information.  Klassy.  I know.  But, we don’t see much point in sending formal Save the Dates if we are going to send invitations in two months anyway.
  • Book our engagement photos.  My friend Denise very nicely offered to take our engagement photos… and I’ve been a flake and haven’t gotten back to her.  So, I need to do that this week.

There it is.  My month in a nutshell.  I’m sure I’ll do some other things too, but these are the big ones to get done.

What goals do you have for the month?