Monthly Archives: January 2016

I Support Depression Screenings (or Why Must People Shame Others?)

There was an announcement made the other day about the idea that pregnant women and new mothers should be screened for depression. When I read this, I loved the idea right away. 10% of new moms will have some sort of depression and I know that there isn’t always a lot of help that is offered right away. My friends who have had babies have said that the first few weeks after birth can be lonely because they are in their own bubble with the new baby. And if they are depressed and in that isolation, it can be a horrible combination.

I think we are all familiar with some of the horrible stories of when postpartum depression is undiagnosed and new mothers do something drastic like hurt themselves or their children. While screenings can’t prevent all of these incidents, they can help limit them. And knowing that everyone is being screened for depression may help take some of the stigma off of it for new moms.

I don’t have any children, but the idea of postpartum depression has been something I’ve thought about. I have been diagnosed in the past with depression (I still debate if that was the correct diagnosis or if it was really my panic/anxiety disorder being misdiagnosed). While I was being treated for depression my doctor asked me if I was on birth control. When I told her that I was she seemed relieved. I was told that the hormonal changes that come with pregnancy could be pretty bad for me and could make my depression worse. I did some research on postpartum depression and it seems like it’s manageable if diagnosed and treated. Now that I’m not sure if I’ve ever had depression I’m not as worried about it as I was before. But it will be something I bring up when I have kids in the future.

But if people aren’t too familiar with depression and have postpartum depression, they might not know that this is something that can be helped or fixed. And having this screening for new moms will help make sure that everyone is ok.

But after this new announcement, an author shared on Facebook her thoughts about it and it made me pretty mad.


This is a horrible statement to make. Being diagnosed with depression doesn’t automatically mean getting medication. When I was diagnosed with depression I didn’t get medication. I only got medication after I was diagnosed with panic/anxiety disorder and then it’s only medication that I take when I need it (which isn’t often). Medication is not the only way to treat depression and in fact it’s rarely the first option.

Saying that all hormonal changes are normal will make women who are suffering from postpartum depression think that they can’t get help or that doctors will ignore their symptoms. Saying that meditation, prayer, nutrition, or love will fix it will make women who don’t see results from those things feel even worse about their depression. Sometimes you need to see a doctor, sometimes you need talk therapy, and yes sometimes you need medication.

As far as I know, none of my friends with kids have had postpartum depression. But if they did, I would have supported them in any way I can. I know that mental illness is not something that you can just wish to go way. You need to get help and there’s nothing wrong with that. And hopefully anyone affected gets the help they need and get through this. Depression is something you can overcome, even if sometimes it feels like you can never get out of the hole you feel trapped in.

If you or someone you know has postpartum depression or is struggling, please reach out and get help. Help is out there for you.

Mamma Mia (or The Best Black Friday Deal Ever!)

I loved having season tickets for the Pantages last year and getting to see a bunch of amazing musicals. It was the best thing I splurged on and it brought me so much happiness. But when the season for this year was announced, I couldn’t justify splurging on the full season when there were only a few shows I really wanted to see. So I figured that I’d try to catch a show or two if I found a good deal.

Then, right before Thanksgiving I got an email from Pantages saying that they were running a Black Friday deal! You could get tickets for 4 shows on Tuesdays for $99! That’s basically $25 a show (it’s usually about $100 per show on average). I emailed my friend Dani about it and asked if she wanted to get 4 shows. I’m so glad that not only did she say yes, but she said that she could do the ticket order (the deal started at midnight and I knew I’d be at a movie with my cousin then).

We got the 4 shows we wanted and Dani said that she just chose to have the best seats available. When I took a look at our order, I realized that we were almost always exactly centered in the theater and only a few rows farther back than our season tickets had been! That’s pretty amazing and I know that we scored on that deal.

Our first show of 4 was this week and it was Mamma Mia. I’ve seen the movie before and had enjoyed the plot and the music. So I was pretty happy that we were going to see the musical. Two of our other friends, Sarah and Ali, got tickets for that show (they didn’t want to do the 4 show deal) so we all got a quick dinner at the W Hotel (across the street from the theater) before it was showtime.

I know that Sarah and Ali tried to get tickets near us, but it wasn’t possible. So we split up in the lobby (Ali and Sarah went to the balcony and Dani and I went to the orchestra), but it was ok with us that we weren’t sitting together. We were all just glad that we were getting to see the show!

Mamma Mia

I really enjoyed the show! It was similar to the movie, but there were a couple of songs that weren’t in the movie or were in different places in the play. It was fun and you could tell that the actors were having a great time performing! There was no way you couldn’t smile during the show (and in Dani’s case, there was no way not to sing and dance by the end of the show).

In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I told my parents about it and they decided to get tickets for when the show will be touring near them this summer! My parents don’t go to a lot of musicals, but they seem to have similar tastes for shows that I do. So I have a good feeling that they will love it (and I helped them find some really great seats!).

Of our 4 shows that we got in our Black Friday deal, the rest of them are in the summer so we’ve got a few months before the next one (although there is one show not in our deal that I might try to see if I can find a random deal for). But I’m ok waiting because I will have a lot of musicals to see this year and next year!

On Tuesday morning the Pantages announced their 2016-2017 season and it looks incredible! As soon as I saw it, I checked to see if Dani wanted to get season tickets. I knew I’d be seeing her that night for Mamma Mia, but I wanted to arrange our season tickets ASAP. She did, and same with a few other friends (including my Disneyland buddy June!). So yesterday we got our season tickets arranged for the season and we will be seeing 7 shows between November this year and August next year! We couldn’t get the exact seats that we wanted, but we got 6th and 7th row seats off to the side and we have the opportunity to move them in another month or two if we’d like.

It is another splurge and I’m taking money from what I’ve been saving to get a new computer to afford it. But it’s so worth it to me. I said that I want to go on more adventures with my friends, and going to shows are always adventures!

Less Panic At The Dentist (or Am I Finally Over This?)

I had to go in for one of my regular cleanings at the dentist on Monday. I’ve talked about my issues with the dentist before and I hate that I’ve had this problem for so many years. I wish I could be someone who doesn’t think twice about going to the dentist and just shows up and gets the cleaning done with.

But instead, I get horrible nightmares relating to my teeth for the week or so leading up to the appointment (usually they are about my teeth falling out or having massive holes in them). And the morning of the appointment my stomach is horribly upset and my heart is racing. I feel sick until after the hygienist (who is awesome and knows how to deal with my panic attacks) tells me that there is nothing that concerns her. Then I just deal with minor stress through the rest of the appointment (she could always change her mind and see something bad with my teeth) and don’t feel stress free until I’m paying the bill (which I think is what most people get stressed about).

This appointment had to be rescheduled from earlier this month and the only time they could fit me in was in the afternoon. I usually like morning appointments so I can get it over with, but it wasn’t going to work that way for me. So I did my best to get through my day (including a morning workout at Orangetheory) and tried to not freak out too much.

Because I’m on Vyvanse (which is a stimulant), my panic medication (which is a depressant) isn’t as effective as it could be. If I was smart that day, I would have used that day as a day off of Vyvanse and just taken my panic meds. But I didn’t think things through. I took both my morning and lunchtime Vyvanse before my appointment and made sure that I was properly panic medication medicated before going to the dentist.

On a random note, I found out that one of the dental assistants at my dentist’s office isn’t there anymore. She was the one who would always call me before an appointment and remind me to take my medication. She saw me before I started taking it and she joked that she never wanted to see that crazy side of me again. I was pretty out of control at one major appointment and I know it isn’t fair for anyone there to have to deal with me when I’m in the middle of a horrible attack. But I’ve always properly medicated myself since then so I saw her reminders as just something funny and a joke between us.

When I got to the office, my heart was racing and I was shaking and sweating. It wasn’t pretty. And I had to wait a bit for my appointment which seemed to make things worse. Thankfully, when I sat in the chair I was able to relax a bit.

It does help that the hygienist changed the order of the cleaning so that it’s easier on me and my panic attacks. It’s all minor stuff she did, but it’s made a major difference for me.

And I’m shocked to report that even with the higher dosage of Vyvanse plus having taken both pill prior to my appointment that this was the easiest appointment I’ve had in years! I don’t know what changed, but I stopped panicking within a few minutes of the cleaning starting. I usually have bruises on my wrists or arms from where I pinch myself to not focus on the cleaning, but I’m bruise-free! And I’ve had appointments where after I’m done my body aches from shaking through the entire appointment. But this time I don’t know if I was shaking at all!

I don’t get why things are easier on me now. It really should be the opposite. And I’m not over my issues with the dentist because my morning was just as bad as it’s ever been. I just was able to feel normal again much sooner than I usually can.

I really hope that this is a new trend for me. If I can get to the point where I’m only panicking before arriving at the appointment, that would be a huge victory for me! I know that if I need major dental work again in the future that the panic attacks may come back stronger than ever (it was a major dental work appointment that started the attacks). And because genetically I have bad teeth it is very unlikely that I won’t need major work in the future.

But for now, I’m thrilled with the progress I’ve made so far and I’m glad that I don’t have to be back at the dentist for 4 months!

Another Try At The Fit Expo (or Finding My Place)

I’ve written about the Fit Expo that I went to over the summer. I think it was pretty well understood that I felt so out-of-place while I was there and I didn’t really have a great time. I know that there were a lot of things working against me at that event. It was a bit of a drive to get there. Parking was not cheap. I had the torn calf and was in a lot of pain. And I’m sure that all of those things combined put me in a pretty bad mood.

So when I was given the opportunity to go to the Fit Expo and Evolution Fitness Conference in Los Angeles, I knew I had to give it another chance. I actually knew a lot of people who were going to be going. The women behind Tone It Up were going to be leading a class and a lot of the friends I’ve met through that workout program were going to see them. But since I had worked out with Tone It Up before, I decided to see what else I could try.

I went through all the class offerings and while there were a lot of things that sounded awesome, only a couple of things worked around my work schedule. So I decided to pick the 2 classes that sounded the best to me. One of those two classes was a POUND workout class. And my Disneyland buddy June happens to be working toward becoming a POUND instructor! So I sent her a message to see if she wanted to come with me, and she bought a ticket so she could join me for the classes!

Since the event was downtown, June and I took the light rail there. It was so much better than the drive I had to do to Anaheim before (and it was much cheaper than the parking near the convention center). June and I were at the check in table less than 30 minutes after we left!

The first thing we did was walk around the expo. It was just as crowded and overwhelming as it was last time. I think that I’m just not an expo type person. We did walk around and check out a bunch of different booths (I found some of my favorite water bottles there!) and we got a couple of food samples. We even ran into the Tone It Up trainers as we were walking in (they were hurrying over to take photos at their booth so we didn’t say hello). I really wanted to learn lots of stuff at the expo, but the noise and crowds didn’t make that easy for us.

So after doing a lap or so around the expo, it was time for us to take our POUND class. We actually saw 2 of the POUND instructors heading over to the class area, so we followed them so we wouldn’t get lost. It was nice walking over to the class area with them because they got to know us a bit (and find out that it would be my first POUND class and that June is in training for becoming an instructor), so by the time we were at the room for the class I was feeling better and less nervous.

They handed us our Ripstix and we had to wait for the class to start. Of course, we took a pre-class non-sweaty photo.

Pound Class

The class was really great! It had some elements that reminded me of SoulCycle (like how all the movements were to the beats in the music). June was next to me in class, so she was there in case I needed her. But fortunately, we got spots toward the front of the room so I was able to see the instructors really easily (there aren’t verbal cues in class, just visual).

It was a great workout, but it was a bit tough on my hips for me. There were a lot of sustained squats and lunges, and those aren’t the easiest for me. But I was sweating, having fun, and time flew by! I’m so glad that we went to that class because to be honest, I wasn’t sure I was going to like it. But now I know that I want to take some classes from time to time. There is a class near my house, but I am thinking about maybe getting the at-home kit so that I can do the workout when it’s a good time for me.

After the POUND class, June and I got some lunch (nothing too healthy because we stayed inside the convention center) and then headed to our next class: The Roll Model. I had signed up for this class because I used to do foam rolling, but I’ve definitely fallen off the foam rolling wagon. This class wasn’t necessarily foam rolling, but it had a lot of the same benefits and I was curious what would be said.

We all got a set of the rubber balls that we were going to use in the class when we walked in.

The Roll Model

Of course in my head, I said that I wouldn’t be buying them but that was before we took the class. The class was definitely designed for trainers and coaches, so some of the technical things were a bit confusing. But I don’t need to know the muscular system and the technical benefits to rolling to be able to do it.

The instructor guided us through the different ways we can use the balls and the reasons why some of them are better than others. And within the first few minutes of the class, I turned to June and said that I knew that I had to buy these because my body was feeling so great after using them! We did some work on our gluten as an example and then were told to walk around. I was shocked to find out that my hips felt more aligned than they had in a long time and my stride was much more normal! I couldn’t believe that doing this made that much of a difference, but there was no denying it!

After the class was done (it was about 90 minutes so we got a lot of rolling work done), I got in line to buy the set of balls we used so that I could do this work at home. I’ve already been doing it at home and I wish I had known about this sooner! My pain is not gone, but it’s different in a good way. Hopefully over time things will just keep improving!

After The Roll Model class, we were ready to head home. We had been at the event for several hours and we were both tired and relaxed after the classes we took. So we walked back to the light rail station and headed back to our side of town.

I’m so glad that I was offered the chance to go to the Fit Expo and Evolution Fitness Conference again! Clearly, my second experience was significantly better than my first! I’ve learned that while I might not be an expo type person, the classes were so wonderful and I wish that my schedule would have allowed me to do more of them. Maybe next year, I’ll be able to go both days and do 4 or 5 classes over the weekend!

Thanks again to the Evolution Fitness Conference for inviting me to the Los Angeles event. You have changed my mind on what these events are all about and how so many people can benefit from attending!

Peak Performance Week (or Getting Closer To Some PRs)

It was another Peak Performance Week at Orangetheory! The last Peak Performance Week was back in November and it was a bit tough for me. I had really wanted to beat what I had done in the previous Peak Performance Week, but since I had my calf tear I’ve been trying to work my way back to where I had been before. It’s tough to know that I had been doing things better/faster/stronger before, but I’m trying to thing of my pre-injury time and post-injury time as two different things (I also have separated my life into pre-hip surgery and post-hip surgery).

So this time, I wasn’t necessarily trying to beat my best time, but just beat what I had done last time. Also, some of the challenges I would be doing were different from last time, so it made it easier not to compare myself to my former self.

Peak Performance

Monday was the 500 meter row. This was going to be a lot easier than the 2000 meter row I did last time (I was going to be missing the 2000 meter row day this time), but just because it was going to be easier didn’t mean that I wasn’t going to push myself like crazy to do something awesome.

It was a 3G day, so we didn’t really have a lot of time at each station. We rotated around a bunch and when it was time for me to do my 500 meter row, I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted my goal time to be. You are supposed to do at least 100 meters every 30 seconds, so if I followed that I would do it in 2:30. As much as I wanted to see if I could do it under 2 minutes, I knew that wasn’t realistic for me right now. So after I had done about 250 meters, I decided I wanted to come in under 2:15.

500 Meters

It was close, but not quite there. I know I could have done it if the straps around my feet hadn’t loosened so much that I had to stop to tighten them, but I can’t let that get to me. It’s still a good time for me and I know that the next time I have to do 500 meters that I’ve got a good benchmark to try to beat.

Wednesday’s class got off to a bit of a tough start for me. There were so many accidents on the road while I was trying to get to class that I ended up being a few minutes late. Normally, I start my workout on the treadmill because that seems to be easier on my hips. But because I was late, I had to start on the rower first. Fortunately, we switched between blocks so I didn’t have to do 30 minutes on the treadmill at the end of class.

This day’s challenge was 1 minute of burpees. I definitely have a love/hate relationship with burpees, but they are getting easier for me to do. In my 1 minute, I was able to do 10 of them (and we had to go all the way down to the ground each time so it was like having to do a pushup with each one). I didn’t have a goal in mind for this challenge, so to me 10 sounds pretty awesome!

Besides the rough start to my Wednesday workout, the rest of the day went pretty well. My treadmill work was feeling easier than it had in a long time and I was using only 15 pound weights for my floor work (I’m working my way to using those 20 pound weights, but it’s a big jump).

Friday was the day that I had been waiting for. The 1 mile challenge. I think those of you who read this blog regularly know that this challenge is a big deal for me. I do use it as a benchmark for my progress. I’ve had mile times in the past that were over 20 minutes. My ultimate goal is to get down to a 15 minute mile. I know that my mile times on the treadmill versus on a race day aren’t always the same, but I still compare them against each other all the time. Sometimes I’m faster on the treadmill because it forces me to walk faster and sometimes I’m faster at a race because it’s a real flat road and I’ve got adrenaline going. So in my mind, they can be interchangeable.

I’ve had one 1 mile challenge since my calf injury. And while it was slower than my past 1 mile challenge, it was progress compared to my 5K mile time. So I was pretty happy. This time, I knew that it would be close to impossible to beat my 1 mile PR so I didn’t go into this with that mindset. I wanted to beat my last 1 mile challenge time (which was 17:08) and ideally be under 17 minutes.

Technically, at Orangetheory power walkers only have to do half the distance for any treadmill things. So I only had to do half a mile. But I wanted to do a mile no matter what, and I’m glad that my coach Bruce put all the treadmill blocks back to back so I would have enough time to complete it (otherwise, there would only be 14 minutes for me to finish).

When I started my mile, I was off to a great start. I was at 3.5 miles an hour for the first minute or so and then bumped it up to 3.6 miles an hour right after that. I hit the .25 mile mark and was going strong. But then, my shin splints came back. I slowed back down to 3.5 miles an hour hoping that maybe that would help make them feel a bit better. They didn’t and I started to hurt quite a bit.

At the half mile mark, I debated ending my treadmill challenge and just being ok with doing that half mile. But I knew that I would be regretting it later so I kept pushing on. It wasn’t an easy mile and I’m sure it didn’t look pretty. But I did it. And in the end I reached my goal.

1 Mile

My official time was 16:57, which is 11 seconds faster than what I did back in November. It’s 27 seconds slower than my PR, so I’m getting closer to being back there.

I’m so glad that I didn’t give up at the half mile. While I wished that the shin splints hadn’t come back during the challenge, they did and I did the best that I could in the circumstances. I’m sure that if my mile was pain free, I would have been maybe 15 seconds faster. But I met my goal and I’m proud of myself for that.

Since all the treadmill blocks were back to back and I took longer than everyone else to finish their mile (I’ve realized that I might have had the slowest mile of everyone at Orangetheory, but I’m ok with that), by the time that I had walked and recovered it was time to move from the treadmill to the floor work. I missed the run/row that everyone else got to do, but I was glad that the treadmill time was done because I didn’t know how much longer I was going to be able to stand the shin splint pain. I know that pushing through the pain isn’t always the right choice, but I knew it was right for me then.

Overall, I’m very happy with how I did during Peak Performance Week. I always tried my best no matter how I felt and I think that the results show that. I’m happy with all 3 of my challenges and I love that I have new challenges that I can track in the future.

Getting Out Of A Funk (or A Phone Call Can Change My Mood)

I’ll admit that I’ve been in a bit of a bad mood the past few days. It’s never fun being in a bad mood, but it’s been tough to escape.

First of all, I’ve been dealing with some health issues. I’ve had gallbladder issues for a while. I have a family history of gallstones and people getting their gallbladder out. I’ve had gallstones for a while and have been told that I should get my gallbladder out eventually, but I haven’t done it yet. My attacks haven’t been frequent enough to significantly bother me and I really don’t want to undergo a surgery. I used to have attacks once a month or so, but I haven’t had an attack in a while.

Then I had one. And while it was awful, I just figured that it happened and I would get another one soon. Then I got another. And another. I’ve had 3 gallbladder attacks this month. I know I should probably go to the doctor to check things out, but these attacks are not as bad as some in the past. All of them have lasted under 10 minutes (compared to hours with them in the past), so I’m hoping that maybe it was just bad luck that I got them back to back.

I’ve also had a bit of a depression regarding paying my taxes this year. 2015 was the first year that all of my income was 1099. I knew that I had to save for my taxes and I did save about 30% of what I made. I also kept track of all of my receipts and mileage and I think I did some amazing record keeping. I’m seeing a new tax preparer this year who specialized in entertainment industry taxes at the end of February and I’m hoping that I have saved enough money to pay everything I owe. Once I know that, my stress level will go down significantly. But until that appointment, it will be a bit of a dark cloud over my head.

And finally, I’m just stressed about work and scheduling. I’ve got a lot coming up and so many of my weekends are jam-packed already. I know that I can get through it, but I have to get through it.

But yesterday, I got some good news about the film festival I work for. I can’t share anything yet, but there may be some very exciting things with the festival coming up soon. Even though nothing is definite (and it won’t necessarily happen any time soon), knowing that it’s a possibility really improved my mood and gave me a nice positive boost in my life. I need to be reminded why I’m working my butt off so hard sometimes. It can be frustrating when all it seems I do are day jobs and I don’t do anything toward my career. And while the film festival isn’t necessarily the career path I’m on, it’s something I love and something that makes me happy. If I spend the rest of my life running the film festival and then auditioning when I can, I would be ecstatic. The festival doesn’t feel like a job to me. Hopefully, in the future the film festival will be my day job but that will take a lot of work and a lot of other factors that I don’t control. But it can be nice to dream.

I’m glad that while my week wasn’t so great, I’m ending it on a good note and am going into the weekend feeling much better about my situation than I have in a while. It’s a good reminder that when you feel like things aren’t going your way, one little thing is all it takes to change that around.

Fit2Fat2Fit (or A Book and TV Show That Get It)

I while ago, I heard of the book “Fit2Fat2Fit“. It was the story of a personal trainer named Drew who gained 75 pounds so he could understand what it was like for his overweight clients to lose weight. Immediately I was interested and got the book to read. I read it so fast and loved the message that the trainer shared.


So many trainers and coaches out there have never had to deal with a weight problem. They don’t understand the mental and physical toll excess weight puts on a person. They see someone overweight and think that the person is uneducated and just needs to be taught how to work out and eat better. They think it’s just as simple as that.

But that’s not the case at all.

Compared to most of my friends who have never had a weight issue, I’m possibly more educated about nutrition. I can guesstimate calories with the best of them. I know what is good, what is bad, and what is ok as a treat. Every bite I take I know if I should be ok eating it or if it’s something that I need to think of as an ok indulgence. I know the food pyramid, how many servings of each thing I should have each day/week, and how many calories my body takes to be alive. I might not be the most educated on what workout routines I should do, but I’ve got nutrition and food down. I may have an eating disorder, but I don’t have a lack of education.

Lack of education may be the issue for some people, but it isn’t for the majority. We know what we should and shouldn’t do, but there is something else in our bodies saying otherwise. And unless you have been there, you don’t get it. I try to explain it the best I can on here, but I know that the voice in my head is so much louder and more persuasive than I could ever explain.

That is why I loved the book so much. Drew didn’t understand at first that when you are heavy, you might not have the same motivation or energy to work out. Or if you are used to eating fatty foods that your body craves them and that eating healthy doesn’t give you the same joy that food has given you in the past (and you have depended on that joy from food). Once he gained the weight and tried to immediately get back to his old routine, he realized that it was not as easy as that. People don’t need to be educated, they need to be understood and guided to a healthy lifestyle.

I’ve been lucky at Orangetheory that none of my coaches have judged me or have tried to talk down to me because of my weight (that has happened with coaches/personal trainers in the past). They understand that I have an eating disorder and am working my way toward recovery. They get that I need support but not lectures. But I know that not everyone has that experience. As much as I think that all trainers should do this experiment to understand what their clients go through, I understand that it isn’t realistic. But I think reading the book can help them get it.

I’ve loved the book for a while, but I discovered last week that now there is a TV show on A&E with the same name about the same concept. A trainer takes 4 months to gain as much weight as they can and then work with an overweight client to take the weight off together. I’ve seen the first episode so far, and I really enjoyed it (and didn’t hate-watch it like I do with other weight loss shows). The trainer didn’t quite understand that things would be hard when he gained weight at first. But once it was time for him to get back into his regular routine and try to lose the weight, he got it. He understood the food withdrawal and the exhaustion of exercise. He became more empathic about what clients might be going through and saw the journey from the client side instead of the coach side.

I’m sure that all the episodes will follow a similar format, but I think that it is an amazing show to watch. I know that people will still judge me and other’s based on appearance, but hopefully they can understand the issues we face just a little bit more.

A Little More Time In Santa Barbara (or Hanging Out With My Sister-In-Law)

When I found out that Rayshell’s bridal shower was going to be in Santa Barbara, the first person I texted was my sister-in-law. The last time I was in Santa Barbara was the week before she and my brother moved there, so I had never seen their apartment. My parents had been there before and told me how cool it was, so I knew I wanted to check it out as soon as I could. So I made plans to meet up and hang out with Krystle after the shower was over.

It was a super quick 5 minute drive from Rayshell’s parent’s house to my brother and sister-in-law’s place, so I had plenty of time to hang out there before I wanted to start driving back to LA. They have a very cute apartment (I didn’t take any pictures, sorry) and it was awesome to see where they had put some of the stuff they had in their San Francisco apartment in their new place. They also had gotten some stuff from my grandparent’s when they downsized, so it was nice to see that stuff too. They also have a really great view from their deck, but it was a bit foggy and cold so we didn’t stay outside too long.

The first thing I did when I saw Krystle was give her the birthday present I got for her. Her birthday isn’t for a few more weeks, but I found the perfect gift for her about a month ago and I wanted her to have it right away. So I brought it with me and gave it to her to open right then.

Krystle runs a wedding and event planning business (if you are in Santa Barbara you totally should use her for your events!) and I wanted her to have a really professional and cute business card holder to keep in her purse. So when I saw this Kate Spade card holder, I knew it was exactly what she should have. I just didn’t have any idea that it would match her business cards perfectly!

Card Holder

I think she loved it and I think that she will look so cool when she hands out cards to prospective customers! I’m just so happy that I got to give her the gift in person and see her expression when she opened it! That’s so much better than shipping the gift when it’s actually her birthday.

After she opened her gift, we headed out to a wine bar. My brother was sleeping (he worked a late shift the day before) and we didn’t want to wake him up. I don’t remember the name of the wine bar we went to, but it was surrounded by a ton of other wine bars that all had unique looks to them. This one looked like a place that my sister-in-law would have decorated herself.

Wine Bar

She got some wine and we shared some food, but we really didn’t eat too much. We spent our time there catching up on life and discussing how much we want to do another trip together soon. We are going to do a fun day trip along with my brother and a bunch of my friends in about 2 months, but she and I are hoping to do a weekend in Las Vegas sometime soon. That’s in the works and we have to figure out when we are both free (and when I’ll have money to do it). We are also hoping to get back to New York again in the next year or two because there was so much stuff that we never got to do the last time we were there!

Before we knew it, we had to head back to the apartment because Krystle had a call with one of her clients and I wanted to get back to my car so I could start the drive home. When we got back, my brother was awake so I got to see him for a few minutes. But he had to head out to work so there wasn’t a lot of time to catch up.

Right before Krystle had to get on her call with her client, we said goodbye and I got into my car to drive back to LA. I’m so glad that they live so much closer to me now. It’s not that unreasonable to go up to Santa Barbara for the day (or for her to come down to LA for the day). It’s actually a shorter drive than when I go to San Diego, and I do that drive a lot! So I have a feeling that there will be more Santa Barbara days in my future!

A Bridal Shower Celebration (or My Morning In Santa Barbara)

With my friend Rayshell’s wedding coming up in a few months, there are a couple of different wedding related celebrations that I get to attend! This past weekend was her bridal shower, and I was so excited to get to go!

It was held in Santa Barbara so it was a little bit of a drive for me. But fortunately, there wasn’t any traffic so I got there early. I hung out in my car listening to podcasts until it was time for the party to start (I found out later that it would have been fine for me to show up early).

The party had a Paris theme to it and all the decorations were so cute!


Each guest had a champagne glass with their name on it to use for drinks. They had champagne, wine, water, and a couple of different juices. I think most people had a mimosa, but I decided to go with orange juice because I need to limit my alcohol since I am on Vyvanse.

Party Favor

Rayshell’s bridesmaids did an amazing job putting together this party. They had a really nice brunch set up. I had some fruit and veggies and quiche. It was very yummy but casual so we all could enjoy hanging out with each other. I’ve been to other bridal showers where things are over scheduled or a bit too fancy (none of those have been written about on here), but I loved that this shower was relaxing and allowed us all to have a nice time.

There were two games that we played. One was where we all wore a fake diamond ring and if we said Rayshell’s name we had to give our ring to the person who caught us doing that. I was doing ok for a bit, but I said her name and my friend Sarah was the one who got my ring. I’m glad she got it because she ended up winning the ring game!

The other game we played was naming the movie that different movie quotes came from.

Movie Quotes

We all thought these were pretty tough and I only got 2 of them. The winner got 3, so I didn’t feel too bad.

After games and food, it was time for Rayshell to open her presents. Everyone got her really nice stuff. Some of it was stuff off of her registry, and some of it was just fun stuff that they knew she’d like. I asked Rayshell what on her registry she wanted now instead of waiting until her wedding to get and she said that there was an entry way rug she wanted. I ordered it off of her registry and it arrived right before the shower. So she had sent me a text when she got it showing me how nice it looked in her house.

Rayshell's gift

While it was a super practical gift and not the most fun or silly thing to buy, I’m glad I was able to get her something that she (and her fiancée) really wanted to have for their apartment now.

After gifts, it was time to start wrapping things up. I talked with a bunch of the other girls there about details for Rayshell’s bachelorette party which is coming up in a month. It will be a really fun time and I’m excited to get to have a fun night out with everyone. And in a few more months, it will be Rayshell’s wedding which I know is going to be fabulous! I have seen what the venue looks like (and I was there when she got her dress) so I know that it’s going to be an incredible wedding.

While I know that some of my single friends don’t love going to weddings or participating in wedding related events, I don’t mind it at all. I love getting to celebrate my friends and all the wonderful things happening in their lives right now. Eventually, it will be my turn and I know that they will all be there to celebrate me then. But for now, I’m just so excited for Rayshell to get married so she can have her happily ever after!

Balancing My Workouts (or Doing Some Planning)

It was another week of highs and lows in my workouts. I had to do some real thinking about how I can continue this lifestyle long-term and I think I’ve found some great ideas to help me.

Monday was a bit of an odd day for me. I went to an afternoon workout instead of a morning one because of filming my friend’s project. I do afternoon workouts most days, so it wasn’t too bad. But it seemed to throw my day off a bit and I had trouble with figuring out when I should eat because I ate breakfast so early and didn’t want to eat lunch too late and get sick in my workout. But I managed to figure out something that almost worked for me (I didn’t eat enough before my workout so I was getting a bit light-headed).

Monday was a run/row day (those really are my favorites) and because the run segments were short enough, I was able to do my push paces at 3.6 miles per hour for the entire class. I’m hoping that I can get my base pace up to 3.5 miles an hour, but that’s still a struggle for me. But I’m ok with getting my push paces up. And as I mentioned before, I’m focusing on my speed on the treadmill instead of increasing the incline. I feel like that is making things a bit easier on my hips and calf so I’m happy to continue doing that.

Wednesday was a bit of a tough day for me. I’m not sure if I was getting shin splints again, but my legs didn’t feel right. It wasn’t the same as the usual shin splint pain. It was more toward my ankles and didn’t start until the end of the treadmill segment, so I didn’t stress out about it too much. As soon as I got off the treadmill I focuses on my weight works and was successful in only using 15 pound weights (no 12 pound weights at all that day!). We also ended the day with a 3 minute row and I felt like my form was a bit straighter than it has been in a long time (when I bend my legs on the rower, they go more out like a butterfly than bending like a squat). I did take care of my legs after class, so I didn’t have any pain on Thursday like I have in the past with shin splints.

Friday was a crazy day for me. I wasn’t thinking that it was the start of a holiday weekend and I was late for class for the first time ever! Fortunately, my friend Dani was there and saved me a treadmill. I was only 3 minutes late, but it did throw me off. It was another run/row day, so I was pretty happy about that. I was mainly doing 3.6 miles an hour, but I tried to increase it to 3.7 for the last 30 seconds of each treadmill block. My legs were feeling fine, so that was a relief. And Friday marked the start of the Orangetheory weight loss challenge so I’m glad I got the challenge off to a good start with a great workout.

I also added in a 4th workout on Saturday. And this is where I’ve made a decision that I think will help me out. While I don’t love using the bike instead of the treadmill, I’m terrified of overdoing it on the treadmill. So I’ve decided that on weeks that I do 4 workouts, I’m going to do that 4th workout on the bike (or the 1st workout of the week on the bike if that’s on a Sunday). It’s hopefully going to help my hips take a bit of a break without having to take a break completely with the workout. So on Saturday this past week, I was on the bike. I wasn’t able to get my heart rate up as high as I’d like, but I’m wondering if that may be because of how I’m hunched over on the bike and how the heart rate monitor fits in that position. But I was pedaling a lot faster than I have in the past and that made me very happy.

My weight work on Saturday was great. I was doing deadlifts with 25 pound weights and my bicep work with 15 pound weights (although I’m thinking now that I could have done 20 pounds weights). I also had some great improvement on my form on the work on the TRX straps. I don’t know what clicked for me this week with form, but there was something that just made everything easier to do so I could push myself even more than I was before.

I’m not sure when my next week of 4 workouts will be (maybe in 2 weeks), but I’m liking the idea of taking a bit of a break with that 4th workout being on the bike. Knowing that is my plan, I might start doing more 4 workout weeks if my schedule allows. I’m hoping that one day, that will be what my normal weeks will be like. But for now, I’m happy with only sometimes doing that 4th workout.