August 28, 2010

fooseball ain't the devil

I personally know plenty of women and men that couldn't care less about football. I also know a lot of women who truly despise the sport. Be it because they lose their husbands to it for months at a time, because they don't understand the sport or simply because they think "it's stupid". I have to agree with Salt when she stated "It's the most wonderful time of the year." I also still say even though I'm not a fan of Ray Lewis, that I would totally pay to see him sing and dance that tune out on to the field. Salt you have connections, you're in good with Edgar, Allen and Poe, make it happen, girl!

I for one adore football. I will be honest, it's taken me a long time to truly grasp the game but for as long as I can remember there has been football in, around, or near my life. My father watched the Redskins for years while I was growing up, I wouldn't say he's a die hard fan but I do remember many Sundays hearing my father cuss up a storm from the living room, and often seeing a yellow dining napkin fly across the room while said foul words were flying. Yellow dining napkin you ask? Well our dining room linens were golden rod at the time, not sure why, my mother never seemed fond of yellow - her and my father were actually obsessed with Colonial Blue hues, our entire house was painted with white walls, and accented with Colonial Blue and Chocolate Brown stenciled highlights. Anyofftopic - the yellow napkin was from our set, maybe it was yellow for Thanksgiving, but I also recall having fancy dinners for my birthday in the formal dining room - Princesses do it up after all, and I'm an only child - and that yellow table cloth was ALWAYS there. I guess if it's formal it's a table linen. F*ck, where was I? Oh yeah FOOTBALL - enough with this girlie shizz...

FOOTBALL has been in my life for years, from my father watching to boyfriend's discussing it. I was never a Redskins fan, much to my father's dismay I'm sure. I guess I wasn't old enough to appreciate them, and at that age didn't care for sports.  I also have no history of the Baltimore Colts in my blood. My father must not have been a fan, the only memory I have of the Colts was seeing a huge sign in my best friends basement behind her parent's bar. I was young, and assumed we had a team there but didn't now all the drama until I was much older.

I gave up on sports at an early age, I'd say about 3rd grade I gave basketball the middle finger because in gym class I got hit in the face when *Bradley Matthews tossed the basket ball at me and I didn't react fast enough, thus causing me to have a nose bleed and sneezed for 2 hours straight (ok maybe it was only 20 minutes but in 3rd grade that was an eternity!). That sealed the deal for basketball being OUT. In middle school we were asked to play field hockey. I like hockey, a lot (GO CAPS!) - I have a great story about myself and a professional hockey team but I'll save that for another day. I really liked this sport and thought, awesome, this is the girl version, I get the rules I'll probably rock at this. I get out on the field in gym class and we start playing, 15 minutes or so into the game *Nicole Bamburg whacks me in the shin with her hockey stick causing me to fall over. Being a tomboy at the time I refused to cry, and if I had any real balls I would have kicked her ass up and down the field. Instead I assumed the fetal position and held my shins and screamed. Yeah, this was gym class at a county school, they didn't issue us shin guards or helmets or anything to protect us for that matter back in the day. That ended my career as a field hockey star. For years in school I never excelled at anything athletic, finally I found a golden sport I was actually good at, that was Volleyball. I never went out for the team though, all the popular girls at my school were on the team, and even though I longed to be a part of their crew, I was too shy and worried about joining the volleyball team. I've always had the irrational fear of playing sports, like soccer and running down the field in the wrong direction and scoring for the other team. That wouldn't happen in volleyball, but one messed up spike and I'd fear those girls would kill me or at least shun me to the bottom of the high school ladder and I worked so hard to keep myself in the middle. I didn't want that stress - instead I went after the one thing that I could do, and that was dance. I excelled at dancing, and thankfully my high school had a dance squad. My second year trying out I made it and by senior year I was the captain. FINALLY something athletic that I could do well at. I know you're saying, but Kelly, it's dance squad, that isn't a sport. To which I will reply "SHUT YOUR FACE! I got a varsity letter in that shizz, and won quite a few trophies at competitions - it's a sport damn it!" I would also argue to my grave the same of the cheerleaders, even though they were our mortal enemies through high school.

So there, I found my calling for sports, sort of. I went to a ton of football games in high school, I even dated a bench warmer football player for 2 weeks my sophomore year. I was also pals with plenty of the guys on the team. That was my issue in high school, I was the girl next door with the hot BFF that all the guys wanted to get with. Me? Yeah they just wanted to be my friend.... STORY. OF. MY. LIFE!

Somewhere in all of this high school drama I started to watch professional football more often with friends. My family in PA have always been huge Steelers fans. I'm shocked that my father isn't one, but he moved to Maryland/D.C. area when he was in his early 20's so I'm assuming this may have been his little bit of rebellion to become a Skins fan. One of my good friends (read: girlfriend of my then boyfriend's BFF), *Syndi, and I hung out a lot and we did a lot together with our boyfriends. Her boyfriend, *Matt was a huge Steelers fan. We ended up watching Pro-Football a lot in those years and I quickly became a Steelers fan because of this. People are always shocked that I didn't become a Ravens fan. I have to say it wasn't for lack of liking them, they are my home team after all,  but I had started my love affair and falling for the Steelers before the Ravens even came on my personal radar. Maybe I should have jumped ships, for the loyalty of my state, but honestly, I just didn't. I stuck by the Steelers and have no regrets (And this past year it was very difficult with all the drama *gives Ben the side eye*). By the time I was 19 and mid way into my first or second year of college, my boyfriend and I broke up - but *Syndi, Matt and I remained friends.

WHEN I REALIZED I WAS A TRUE FAN, NOT ONLY OF THE STEELERS, but OF FOOTBALL TOO. I had been watching pro football for a while with Syn and Matt, (but you know not really watching but, doing the typical "girl not into the game thing" of talking during all the important plays) and I can remember vividly getting ready for the Super Bowl XXX. It was the Steelers vs.Cowboys (the one team in the NFL I can truly say I can't stand - I'm from a Redskin home, that stuff is ingrained at birth, yo!) . *Syndi and I baked a cake for the party, got food together and I remember decorating the cake by hand and creating a Steelers Logo for the cake. I'm talking hand decorated and using my full artistic ability - it came out SO awesome. I had some practice before this because *Syndi had me paint the logo on her finger nails earlier that week - I was a manicurist at the time.

Before the game even started, *Matt dug into the cake. I scolded him and said that was the CELEBRATION CAKE! Needless to say, the Steelers lost. I was so upset, my first Super Bowl that I give a rats ass who actually wins and my team of choice, lost. I blamed it on Matt for a week, claiming he jinxed them by eating the cake too early. I knew then that I was a true fan because I didn't decide to say F the Steelers and go to a new team, I stuck by the Steelers and I have ever since.

I can also remember my first Super Bowl here in Alabama. At the time Mike wasn't that into football. He was never a sports guy either - we bond over that. Somewhere between my first year here and two years ago that all changed. My first year here the Steelers made it into the Super Bowl and I was so excited. However without friends here to celebrate with or watch the game, we really didn't do much but watch it in our apartment and cheer accordingly. I didn't watch a ton of football that year or the year after, mostly because it isn't fun for me to sit in the living room alone and watch a game - I need friends to cheer with me, or against me for me to get into it. Otherwise the roar of the crowd knocks me out cold. I've had some of my best naps watching Redskins football with my Dad. Sorry Dad.

Fast forward to about two years ago - Mike started to get more and more into watching the Steelers games with me, I had officially converted my Alabama boy into a Steelers fan (score!). In return he started to watch more and more Alabama football and I did too. We both quickly became hooked on watching the Crimson Tide. I have to say since we've started paying attention and watching not one but two games a week (pro and college) I've really started to understand football more than ever before. It can be a bit confusing at times, calls for certain things are different in college vs. pro. I've always loved college basketball more than pro basketball (GO TARHEELS & TERPS!) And I'm starting to see myself feel the same about football. I will always love the Steelers and pro-ball but there is just something so awesome about watching college kids play. They are fighting for their lives, their legacy and it seems like they have so much more to risk. They aren't making the big bucks that most NFL players are, they are playing for the game, for the fun, and most, for a professional contract. There is more passion to me in college ball - not that NFL stars aren't passionate, they love what they do and for every jackhole in the NFL that just wants the money and the paycheck there are 20 more that do it for the love of the game, for other people and to give back as well - I just enjoy the determination and passion that comes with college kids.

In one week, Mike and I will heading to our first ever SEC college football game. I am so excited I could shit twinkies! We will be there for opening game day for the Alabama Crimson Tide. I can't wait to see the stadium, to see the college, to party and tailgate all day long in grand ole' Tuscaloosa, Alabama! Forget GTL baby, it's RTR all. day. long!
I'm totally going to be the I in TIDE.  via
I can't believe football season is finally here!!! I NEVER thought I'd be a football fan kind of girl but I'm so happy I am. I get down right up in arms sometimes - and yes, when my team loses I do pout for at least 15 minutes afterward and get a bit cranky. I have done my share of crap talking, but I've also taken a ton of it. Seriously, when you're a Steelers fan from Maryland you get trash talked A LOT! Like I said, I don't hate the Ravens, they are a great team, with a great track record, but my loyalty is with the Pittsburgh boys.

The toughest thing about football season is having a dear friend that roots for your biggest rival of your favorite NFL team. Salt and I don't see eye to eye on teams, but we both love football. If only we could root together for someone we would be an unstoppable cheer section fo' sho! She told me once that she has adopted the Crimson Tide as a college team and that warmed my heart - I in turn didn't get too bitter when the Ravens picked up my boy Terrence Cody this year in the NFL Draft. I wanted him to be a Steeler so bad I could taste it. This is your open invite Salt, I would love for you and Dragon to come visit and hit up a Tide game with us. Finally we could cheer for the same team! In the end I'm so happy we both love the fooseball, I just wish we didn't want to scream at each other during the games when both our beloved teams play. I am totes jealous she gets to go to the Steelers vs. Ravens game the day after my birthday this year. I have a feeling if we went to that game together we might end up killing each other (not really, but I might end up dead in the parking lot via any other die hard Raven fan). MY LOVE YOU SALT!

Stay tuned for the return of TAILGATE RECIPES! It's that time of year so I'll be making something tasty and sharing it with you all season long! If you have any requests or want to know if I've made anything in particular let me know (email or comment). Also, feel free to share your favorite game day snacks!

So I ask, who's your favorite team? Are you ready for some football?

*Names have been changed to protect people you won't know if I told you about them anyway. You ever notice how your grandmothers do that? For years my grandmother, God rest her soul, would send me letters about her neighborhood friends and always told me about them. I had no clue who these people were but in the end that didn't matter. Much like you have no clue who these people are but deal with it OK? I did for my G-ma so do it for me.

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August 19, 2010

holy 200+ batman!

via google

I can't believe I've made it to 200+ blogs! Sure I can talk a lot, this trait is enhanced only by trust or alcohol. That being said I'm shocked I've made it this far. You've all hung in and supported me and for that I want to say a million thank yous! 200+ posts is quite a milestone, as is having over 300+ followers. I'm truly floored.

To show you my appreciation I figured it was time that I put together a bit of a giveaway. I am going to try to get working on that within the next two weeks because darn it I love you all and you deserve a little more in return for your adoration than just my fluff or whit, but you deserve a little something to say I care.

Check back soon! And thank you again for making blogging one of the best experiences I've had! I love getting to know all of you and sharing my ideas and thoughts and feelings with all of you!

Thanks for the support peeps! ox

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P90X Update: 60 days

I can't believe I'm into my 60 days and beyond part of the P90X workout. It hasn't been easy but it's been so rewarding. I still have hurdles to get over, and I've still had bumps along the way but all in all I'm in the groove and aside from a bit being bored with some of the routines I'm still loving the program. (And cussing Tony less and less everyday, especially on the Ab Ripper).

What I have learned/How I'm doing: 
  • You must follow the meal plan. I said this before in my 30 day listing but it's vital. I think I would be 100 times further than I am if I stuck to the meal plan without fail. I think my two weeks off for vacation hurt me a little bit but I came back swinging. I think a lot of the cheat meals, about 1 per week didn't help me either. I'm going to try my best in this last month to make it happen full tilt. With as little cheating as possible. Truth be told the only reason I've truly cheated was for social meals. If we eat at home I don't want to cheat, I'd rather eat what we are supposed to. If we go to a relative's home or friend's house I'm at the mercy of what they are preparing and usually it's not good.
  • Heart Rate Monitors are a MUST. In the first month I didn't bother to purchase one. I will say that one thing P90X isn't is cheap. But I try to remind myself that I can't put a price on getting more healthy and prolonging my life. I purchased a ton of equipment and I still needed the monitor. I finally broke down and purchased it right before my 60 day start. I wanted not only to be sure I was in the right bracket for burning calories effectively but I wanted to see how many I was burning in each workout. Since I've been wearing the monitor I feel like I'm pushing myself harder. So my advice if you're starting the program, run out and purchase one ASAP! I even wore it when I went kayaking the other day just to see how many calories I burned - turns out being on the creek for 3.5 hours can burn up to 1400 calories which isn't to bad considering I think of this as a relaxing day, not a total body workout.
  • I have pain in my knee - UPDATE: The pain I had in my first 30 days has gone away but I am noticing that my joints do ache from time to time. Mostly my elbows and my knees and usually after weight lifting and or lunges. I am not sure if this is normal tenderness or if it's something I should truly worry about. If anything I know I need to purchase some new workout shoes and should possibly look into some wrist guards. I'm 33 years old, (yes I just admitted that) I'm not a spring chicken but I wonder if my extra weight for the past few years has anything do to with this. Listen body, I'm working on making you smaller, give me some time.
  • Yoga Love vs. Hate. Remember when I said I could hold the Crane pose for 20 seconds before tumbling? I think it was totally a fluke for that first month - and it probably only happened one more time after posting that. I jinxed myself clearly, and like I said my wrists aren't my best friends right now. But it's ok - I don't mind taking a child's pose every now and then during the routine. Yoga X is pretty brutal, even though I've never taken a formal yoga studio class I can tell this one isn't like most. I was over the moon when I discovered after doing it for the first time with my heart rate monitor that I was able to burn over 1,000 calories. That in itself makes me want to continue yoga after this is finished. And after being told by Salt that I had to find a yoga place near me to frequent I did find a business card this weekend with local information so I hope to make her proud.
  • Still Eating Healthy and Loving Veggies - I've noticed a huge change - I feel strange without eating veggies. While on vacation I know I didn't eat enough and honestly, I doubt any of the ones I did eat were healthy. When I was back home I took stock of the meals I was eating on vacation. None of them were truly healthy (unless you count the crab feast, even though it was coated in Old Bay which I'm sure is high in sodium). I ate a lot of the things I always loved and I realized just how bad my diet truly was and the years of packing on pounds finally made sense. Seriously I think there was a GE glow over my head light bulb and all. I didn't eat enough veggies, and I certainly ate a ton of fat. I doesn't matter if you eat chicken if it's coated in breading and deep fried, ahhh dur!
  • Chocolate protein powder makes me gag. I am still not a fan of chocolate although I made the switch this month and it's growing on me. It still needs lots of ice, a banana and some milk to make me happy. I try to mix it with only water and a little ice as my recover drink but there is still a gag factor.
  • Alcohol can hurt your progress. This still rings true for me. I still feel like if I have some cocktails I am not giving my 100% the next day. I've tried to reserve drinking for Saturday night but not going over board. I might have some wine on Friday. I have noticed one thing, my tolerance is much lower now that I've started to lose weight. Two weeks ago let's just say it was NOT pretty. Healthy eating, mixed with one too many Vodka Sodas leads to one hot mess of a rockstar named Kelly.
  • Slacking isn't an option. Still SO true. In my full 60 days I have not missed one single workout. I did miss one last weekend, I skipped Saturdays workout figuring I'd make it up on Sunday (my normal off day). I felt like my body needed to rest - I slept for 2 hours on Saturday and I've been exhausted. My body needed this rest obviously so I try not to feel too bad - besides the next day is when I went kayaking and burned all those calories. I will NOT make this skipping a habit. I knew it was a slippery slope and there are days I just want to say SCREW THIS but I don't. I forge through and when I'm done I feel amazing. So try your best not to skip, unless of course you're injured.
  • DOUBLES: I claimed I was going to do Doubles for the 30-60 day time period. That didn't happen. I made it up in the AM twice tops for my AM Cardio workout. And while the Cardio X workout isn't bad - I just didn't have the energy and figured I would stick to Classic and maybe when I do a 2nd run of P90X I might try for doubles.
  • PULL UPS: When I started this I wanted to be able to do 1 pull up. I can now do three pull ups, with chair assist and I think that rocks. I hope to continue to do this. I think that my doors are way too low to use the bands. I use the highest resistance band, wrapped around the bar 4 times to do pulls etc and I just don't feel like I get the burn I'm supposed to. That being said using a stool/chair is an issue too with the low door jams. We shall see.

Ok enough chatter - I know you really just want to hear my 60 day results so here goes.

P90X Day 0 / Day 30 / Day 60
Weight: 195 lbs. / 189 lbs. / 185 lbs. (-5 lbs.)
Chest: 44" / 41.5" / 41.5 (-0")
Waist 38" 36.5"  / 36" (-.5")
Hips 42.5" / 42.5" / 40.5 (-2")
Right Thigh: 25.5" / 25" / 24.5 (-0.5")
Left Thigh: 25.5" / 24.5" / 24 (-0.5")
Right Arm: 13.5" 12.5" / 13  (+0.5")
Left Arm: 13.5" / 12.5" / 13 (+0.5")

JEAN SIZE: 16 / 16-14 / 14
I wanted to start documenting this because I know at times this speaks louder than measurements and pictures. When I started P90X I had purchased my first pair of size 16 jeans December 2009. I purchased them to wear and feel comfortable for a New Years Eve Party I had to go to.  I didn't wear them often because it upset me, they were extremely comfortable and not tight or anything - this is what made me upset. I've never been a girl that let the size of my jeans upset me. That being said my jeans were always a size 10, or 12 (for most of my adult life). I was always comfortable as a size 10 or 12. When I got up to 14 I was a bit upset but I've always said I'd rather be a size bigger to prevent muffin top than rock that horrible style. Well... time came where my size 14's were way too tight and that's when I purchased the size 16's. I vowed after this purchase that I would work to get back into my 14's. (This didn't happen until I started P90X - I continued to wear the 14's to work, with a baggy shirt, to hid the muffin under the cotton. I always say the trend of empire shirts and baggy dress like shirts is what ruined me. I could eat all I want and cover it up with a cute flowing top!

I'm happy to report that the size 16's now fall off me. I wear them from time to time if it's all that is clean in my closet - but I have to wear a belt or be forced to moon the world. My size 14's are perfectly fitted for me right now without any sign of muffin top this alone makes me happy as a clam! I was told through this program that I would drop as much as 2 pant sizes so I hope that my last 30 days make this happen!

Enough jabbering here's the pictures - notice there doesn't seem to be much difference and please excuse my amazing tan lines - I wear tanks and shorts to kayak so I can't help it. Lastly my hair looks classy I know, but it was 7:00 AM and I was in the process of getting ready for work, deal with it!

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I know a few of you are in the middle of your own P90X journeys how are you doing? How do you feel? And please let me know so I can march over and read your reviews.

P.S. I still HATE Fifer Scissors and I can't do 25 reps of bicycles forward or back yet, but I'm getting there! And I have to ask why do most of the girls sound like 5 year olds? 

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August 17, 2010

in loving memory of lisa

via google

I will be the first to admit that I've been busy. I haven't had time to read any blogs and I haven't written any blogs myself. Life has moved so quickly and most of it has passed me by. This morning while taking a moment to read through some favorite blogs during a brief coffee break, I discovered some disturbing news, the amazing Lisa at Bumpkin On A Swing had been ill. I felt horrible for not knowing this sooner, and for not being able to keep up with not only her travels and goings on, but her battle as well. Lisa had always been an amazing woman in my eyes. Full of spunk, love, kinds words and encouragement for all. Never once did I realize how much she was dealing with in her personal life. And I truly hate that. She was always so encouraging and selfless, and it breaks my heart to hear of her passing.

Reading her loving friend Trish's words let me know how loved Lisa was. I only knew her via the internet but her friendship via the blog universe, and emails leads me to believe that this thing we all have here together is much larger and more important than we know. We are each others support systems and for that I am forever grateful.

I didn't get to tell Lisa how much I adored her, and loved to hear from her. I wish I would have had the chance, to have taken the moment to stop by her blog before her passing, but I didn't get to. I will hold that with me for a lifetime. So I want to say to each of you how much I appreciate you, your support, your love and your thoughts and I want you to know that even if I am late to stopping by your blog that you are in my thoughts, always. This relationship we all have is a real one, one of friendship, support and love, even if we don't know each other face to face and in the flesh. Thank you for all you do for me, and I hope I return that to you as well.

Please keep Lisa's family, friends, her Captain and loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.

Lisa I will be thinking of you, praying for your family. You were an amazing woman, one I looked up to and will continue to do in your memory. ox
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