Category Archives: about me

Wake Me Up When September Ends

To say that the last month has been difficult is quite the understatement.

I feel ridiculous saying that I get stressed out about things when other people in my life has so much more on their plate. In a way, it makes me feel like I have no right turning to people close to me and saying that I need help.

But you know what makes that a whole lot easier? Liquor. Apparently, if you get a few (or 7) drinks in me, and crack jokes with me that would normally make me laugh and give you a witty retort, I will burst into tears and tell my husband I’m not good enough for him. True (and horribly embarrassing) story.

After my outburst, and Robert’s drunken stroking of my hair until I fell asleep sniffling, I woke up feeling like a weight had been lifted. I had finally told him everything that was on my mind. I told him how I felt like I was failing, how I felt like I wasn’t the woman I knew I could be, and how much I wanted to just feel like I was good enough. He had no idea that this was how I was feeling, and has been so amazingly supportive.

I’m not saying that he’s tip-toeing around me now, but he’s definitely been more aware that while I can take a joke like the best of them, I sometimes need to be babied. It’s just the way it is.

I have been feeling like I have been kind of failing at a lot of aspects of my life. I’ve been eating more crap (see the last post), I haven’t been taking care of myself, my house is a mess, my business tends to cost more than I make, I feel like a bad sister and daughter, and overall just crap. I need to remind myself that I can’t just ignore these feelings. I need to figure out why I’m feeling that way and figure out how to make it better. I’m an expert at running from my problems, and I’m at an age where that just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Onto lighter things, I went to the Blink182 concert this weekend and IT WAS AMAZING! Being married to your best friends certainly has it’s advantages at times like this. We sang, we danced our asses off, we laughed and he stopped at a gas station so I could get a Clif bar and water for my sore throat (also, we needed gas. But I’m going to pretend the stop was for the Clif Bar.)

I’m leaving for Vegas on Saturday, and I turn 25 the following Friday. There are a lot of expectations that I had for myself for my 25th year, and I’m sure someday over the next two weeks I’ll write them down. Mostly though, I want to spend my 25th year really figuring out who I am. Some days, I feel like I have the most confidence in the world, and know exactly where I’m headed. Other days, I feel like I’m treading water just to keep my head up and breathe. I think that’s just how it’s supposed to be, though.

As the saying goes, “smooth seas do not make good sailors”. I’m pretty sure I’m about to be the best effing sailor in the universe.

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The Kids Meal that cured the hangover from hell

I’m going to just throw it out there: the 3 miles a day plan was a bust. I hated the idea of not having rest days. At the same time, I work from home, and spend 90% of my day sitting in my office, aside from running errands and going to the gym, I’m effectively “resting”, which basically makes me feel like my metabolism is at an all time slow. Does stressing out about minute things burn calories?

I want to train for a half marathon, but I can’t pay for a half marathon. I don’t do well training for things that aren’t actually happening, so I’ve been kind of avoiding running and just working on my strength workouts and doing a lot of cross training. I’ve been jogging a lot of hills on the treadmill, which usually ends up being 3-5 miles, which would be the longest I’ve ran since May. Summer in Florida is a bitch, and I loathe running in the heat and humidity. Kind of like Madonna and hydrangeas.

My relationship with food has been getting a lot better. I’m still focusing on healthier choices (making sure I get plenty of veggies in instead of just fruit, trying to stay away from HFCS and artificial sweeteners, and staying on track with snacks, etc. But this weekend, I had a moment of weakness (read: hangover) and wanted a kids meal from Burger King like nothing I’ve ever wanted before. It’s been at least 2 years since I’ve eaten a fast food hamburger, but it was all I could think about. My stomach was in knots, my head was pounding, and I’m pretty sure it was my lifeline. So on the way home from the grocery store, after stocking up on kale, peaches, granola and cottage cheese, I bought a freaking hamburger and it was just as awesome as I thought it would be. The best part was, the guilt wasn’t there. I thought I would roll up the wrapper and wipe the salt and grease from my fingers and immediately hate myself for putting something so awful into my body, but I didn’t. I had a craving, I got a kids size hamburger, and I enjoyed it. I ate healthy foods the rest of the day (and also paid for the not-so-healthy choices with some nausea) and moved on with my day. This is something the Jennie of 6 months ago wouldn’t even be able to conceive.

So there’s that. One step at a time.

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New Month New Goals

I’ve always loved the idea of fresh starts. First days of the month, first days of the year, first day of school, etc. I even love Mondays, because I feel like I can start a new goal and wake up ready to take it on!

It’s now the first of September. This summer flew by faster than I could have imagined. I played at the beach, I went to my family reunion, I rode rollercoasters and I read. I also worked my tail off to get my business off the ground (shameless plug: if you know anyone in need of wedding stationery or business cards, send them here!)

With a new month beginning and a bouquet of sharpened pencils (<–You've Got Mail, anyone?) I'd like to make a list of goals for this month. I feel like other aspects of my life are finally getting under control, it's time to tackle some new obstacles.

1. Run 3 days a week. It's good exercise, it's good for my body, and it's finally getting cool enough to enjoy it outside again. They don't have to be long runs, just run.

2. Eat less packaged food. I've been doing better on making a lot of my own meals, but I still eat a lot of frozen veggie burgers, bars, etc. I'd like to take a stab at making my own Larabars and veggie patties. I really want to expand my cooking and try new things.

3. Eat more veggies. I used to have a salad with at least one meal a day. I got sick of spinach and haven't been eating salads with lunch anymore, but I bought a giant bag of kale and have been trying some recipes with it. So far I've steamed it, mixed it in my pasta and made a massaged kale salad. I also bought a giant bag of carrots that I prepped, and are an easy, ready to eat crunchy snack.

4. Connect with my family. I've been known to be anti-telephone, and it's starting to cause a strain on my relationships with those that are far away. Even just a text message a day with my mom would make me happy.

5. Watch less tv, read more books. Lately, the husband and I have been turning off the tv in the evenings and reading on the couch together. It's been really nice, and we even cancelled HBO! (Woo, saving money!)

So bring it on September. I hope you're the best September yet.

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Massaging my Kale

Something about that title just sounds dirty, which makes me giggle, which makes the salad I made earlier today even better.

I need a new camera, because this is one meal that is not barf-bowl status, but it was actually quite beautiful.

In the mix:
a shit ton of kale (3 cups?)
a tablespoon of lemon juice
1/2 an avocado, cubed
6 cucumber slices
1/4 cup of diced red peppers
1.5 T raspberry vinaigrette

How I did it:
Pour the lemon juice and avocado pieces onto the kale. With clean hands, gently massage the juices into the kale so that the leaves are covered completely. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss gently. Let marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. The lemon juice will keep the avocado from getting brown, so it can marinade for several hours.

The stats are pretty stellar as well. It came out to around 80 calories for a 1 cup serving and is loaded with fiber and healthy fats.

Monday’s workout left me limping AGAIN which I love. I did a mix up of cardio and strength training that looked something like this:

(yes, I have gym ADD)
10 minutes intervals on the elliptical
leg press, tricep dips, deadlifts, bench step-ups
10 minutes stairclimber (<–will be the death of me, but my butt is looking fantastic)
squats, tricep pushups, sit-ups, bicycle crunches, calve raises holding weights
10 minutes walking hills on treadmill at 3.8 speed

Tuesday:
30 minutes elliptical intervals (revved up the resistance to 12 this time, burning thighs ensued)
20 minutes jogging hills on treadmill at 5.0 speed

TODAY:
hasn't happened yet but I am planning on running 8 400m intervals at 5k pace (around 8 min. mile) with warm up and cool down
chest press, overhead shoulder press
chest fly, upright row with bar
lateral raise, incline chest press machine

Tomorrow is technically my Friday because Robert said we both need to take this 4 day weekend and waste it away on liquor, beach time and reading. I agreed wholeheartedly.

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Tuesday Rants

I have so many rants and thoughts in my head that I feel I can’t share on facebook because I know how much people love getting offended. I’ve compiled a short list of what is currently pissing me off.

The VMA’s. Okay, music in general.
I was pretty thoroughly embarrassed for my generation when I saw the VMA’s. This shit is going to be hard to explain later. “She dressed like a dude! She was so ABOVE EVERYTHING. You should have seen her in the egg, it made such a statement.” “Her hat is cube because she’s eccentric!” He’s jumping around with his ass out of his pants because…well…no one really knows but he’s a good rapper!”

Feeling like using the elliptical instead of running makes it a “light cardio” day.
Um, I don’t know about you, but I sweat my ass of on the elliptical. My legs are sore, my chest is hurting in a delicious DOMS sort of way and I feel like I get a good workout. Is it as good as running? Maybe not, in terms of caloric burning. But my knees thank me.

Guilt trips.
I’m not going to go too far into this one right now, but seriously, if you haven’t heard from me in a while, maybe ask how everything is going or if I’m okay. Don’t send me an email telling me everything that is going on your life and that I’m not making enough time for you. If you asked, you’d know why.

Gawkers at the gym.
Why yes, 50 year old man, these pants are stretchy and barely fit across my ass putting it on full display, but it’s laundry day and all my shorts are dirty. So keep your creepy oogily eyes to yourself and let me finish my deadlifts without feeling like I’m sending out a mating signal.

Getting into a really good book and then not having any time to read it.
I’m on the 3rd book in the Game of Thrones series, A Storm of Swords. It’s awesome, but not one of those books that I can read a few lines of while dinner’s cooking or I’m taking a break. I need to be INTO IT. I read a ton this weekend in my quest to do nothing (success!) and I’m at the heart of the book. I tried to read a chapter last night before bed and couldn’t keep things straight with everything going on in the house. This isn’t a real problem, but it’s pretty freaking irritating.

My significant other running 20 miles while I sit on my ass.
His determination and skill is sexy though. But the fact that I feel like a big old P.O.S. in the fitness department is not.

Not feeling hip enough to shop at my local co-op.
The white kid behind the counter with the dreadlocks did not seem to appreciate my Coach purse in the slightest. I asked for a bag for my one item because I didn’t have any reusables in the car and he looked at me like I snapped the neck of a kitten right there on the counter.

There’s more, but I have work to do. That’s not a rant though, I’m actually really enjoying it right now. 😀

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Give me a break

Considering I can’t remember the last time I had a Kit Kat bar, I don’t really know why the jingle came to mind, but I’m rolling with it.

This week has been long, stressful, tearful and full of those big “I’m 24 years old, what am I doing with my life” moments. I don’t have those often because it’s ridiculous. I have years of life ahead of me to figure this shit out, but this is what happens in my mind.

I overthink EVERYTHING. I wake up in a panic over the fact that I think I might have overdrafted my account and can’t go back to sleep until I get up and check every single bank online to make sure I didn’t. Yeah, I don’t very well.

That’s a pretty small example compared to the ailments that have thrown me out of bed lately. I wish I had thoughts that could easily be remedied by a quick trip to the computer for assurance. But when you wake up thinking larger, life-altering questions, there isn’t much to do but lay awake staring at the ceiling and willing yourself to believe that you aren’t making a complete mess of things.

I’ve only worked out twice this week, and today doesn’t look like it’s going to happen either. I think I’ve been pushing my body in so many directions that it just needed a break. I woke up feeling less than stellar yesterday morning (body aches, headache, sore throat and just overall I-want-to-sleep-all-day-ness) and didn’t do much but nap, read and eat. Luckily, Robert wanted to take the day off of life too and read with me. We didn’t turn the TV on once. We just sat with each other, reading and occasionally getting up to play with the dogs. It was pretty glorious, and I would love to do the same today.

I plan to go back to my regular life tomorrow. But for now, I’m going to continue my little break from life, read my book and maybe go get a Kit Kat.

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Resting on Empty

The phrase is supposed to be running on empty, but I haven’t gone for a run since Saturday. Since the husband and I decided not to make the trip to Pensacola for the race, we spent the weekend as hermits watching a million movies and baking cookies (him watching movies, me baking cookies).

And then, as luck would have it, he gave me his cold. I felt pretty bad Monday morning, but took a nap and woke up feeling a lot better. I hit the gym and did 30 minutes of cardio (mix of stationary bike and elliptical hills) and shoulder and back strength workouts. I’m about one click away from buying this book because I’ve heard really great things about it, and I want to focus on weight training.

Tuesday morning I woke up with a horrible sinus headache and achiness all over. The cold had officially arrived. I spent the day napping and waking up to play with the puppies, feed them, feed me (even though NOTHING sounded good) and then went to bed.

Today, luckily, I have no headache and no congestion, but I have a pretty upset stomach. I barely made it through my breakfast (pumpkin overnight oats with 1/3 cup oats, 1/3 cup silk soy milk light, 1/4 cup pumpkin, 1 tsp brown sugar, 1 tablespoon FiProFlax Medley and Smuckers natural PB added in the morning) and now I feel kind of barfy (sorry that’s gross).

I didn’t work out yesterday, and today isn’t looking good either. I have absolutely no energy and just want to sleep. I have a ton of work to do after taking the weekend off and really want to get this web site up and running by the end of the month! I am so excited to reveal it. I’ve put so much work into it and am so proud of where it is so far!

I think my body is asking for a rest day, and I’m going to listen. Sometimes I feel like it’s hard to take a rest day when I read so many healthy living and fitness blogs! I get so envious when everyone’s post starts with how great their morning workout was! But I really think the best way to get back to 100% and to let my body heal.

Alright, time to get some work done. Luckily, I can work from the couch today. 🙂

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Let’s Get Personal

Relationships are hard. Relationships with boys are something I’ve completely given up on understanding. Just say you’re sorry. Say he’s right. Know you’re right. Know he knows you’re right. Move on.

But my toughest relationship to conquer lately has been with food. I am a self-proclaimed calorie counter. I try not to do it. I wake up in the morning, and I tell myself “I’m not going to worry about calories today, just eating good, wholesome food when I’m hungry.” However, 5 minutes into my breakfast I’m calculating in my head.

Intuitive eating is not my forte. I know when I’m hungry, but I have trouble figuring out cravings vs. real hunger. The “drink a glass of water” trick never works. Then I’m just hungry and bloated. One of the hardest parts of all this is living with someone who has completely different eating habits than I do. It seems that I have one of those rare creatures for a husband that can eat anything he wants any day he wants and not gain weight. He eats candy, he drinks soda. He has multiple dinners some nights. And yet he still has the metabolism of a beast.

This weekend was a pretty big test to my relationship with food. I had family in town (hi Carrie!) and we ate out A LOT. Like twice a day. And one of those times was almost always at a theme park. I made bad food decisions, but I think I maintained some control. I still had that nagging in the back of my head that I could have done better. I could have chosen sandwiches instead of pizza. I didn’t need to eat all my candy from Honeyduke’s at once. I should have just gotten the soft serve in a bowl without the cone. I should have gotten the salad at that restaurant instead of the wrap. I should have gotten fruit instead of delicious sweet potato fries.

And then I remember that I had looked forward to those fries for a long time. And how good they tasted. And how I stopped eating them when I was full and listened to my body. And the laughter and great conversation I had with my husband and aunt while I ate. And then I feel better.

Disordered eating (please note, I am not claiming to have an eating disorder or know anything about eating disorders) is something that I have researched, and can relate too. Sometimes it scares me to see the parallels between me and the blogs I read that claim disordered eating. I don’t binge and purge, I don’t starve myself, and I don’t exercise every calorie I eat. But sometimes I feel like I am excessively AWARE of every calorie I eat. And that’s what I want to work on.

This is another reason why I’ve been trying to add more protein to my diet. I think a lot of my hunger signals are due to a lack of protein, and proper nutrients. I’ve been tracking my food on sparkpeople for a couple of weeks now, trying to gauge how much of everything I eat. For the most part, I’m within the 1400-1700 calorie range, I always eat the full amount of carbs and fats, but never “use up” all my allotted protein.

I also sort of feel like I’ve broken up with running. I have gone on exactly one run since the Disney Half marathon, and haven’t had the desire to go again since. I have been doing a lot of cross training, and weight lifting. I think this week I will throw in a couple of runs into my workout to try to get back in the swing of things. Robert is full steam ahead with running, but I just can’t seem to want to do it now that I don’t have to.

I think I just need to sign up for another race, or have a goal to attain. Robert wants to run a 5K this weekend, so that will motivate me to get some training runs in this week to get ready. I’d love to start signing up for some shorter races and work on my speed for the half in April (which I haven’t talked about yet because I haven’t PICKED ONE yet. There are too many good ones. It will be announced soon).

I apologize if this post is too personal, or triggers any negative feelings. It’s just something I wanted to write down, and what better place than your own happy little blog. 🙂

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Comfort Zones

Yesterday and today have been so busy, I barely had time to even consume a meal sitting down. Lunch was eaten while we had a person from Home Depot come out and survey our yard for the fence. It’s going to be a lot bigger than I thought! I ate the rest of my Kashi Roasted Vegetable thin crust pizza and a kidz clif bar. (chocolate chip, delish!)

I was basically a snacking monster and made a pb sandwich on an Arnold’s thin about an hour later. I have no will power, and was probably just thirsty, but it sounded good! Throughout the day I munched on grapes, too. We keep them out in the open in the fridge and it’s so easy to just grab a handful and go!

When Robert got home we hightailed it to the gym for a quick strength workout. I moved it to yesterday instead of Monday because my body was still so sore from the race. I must have really pushed it because my whole body hurt. Yesterday’s gym workout was a mishmash of fitnessista Intro to Iron Pumping and my own moves for chest, shoulders, triceps and a couple of ab workouts. Oh man my arms are screaming today. It had been far too long. 🙂

Dinner was a delicious pot of chili that had been cooking all day in the crock pot. It’s a recipe that is loosely based on one my sister gave me.

1 can tomato soup
1 lb extra lean ground beef
2 cans Bush’s chili beans
lots of chili powder
lots of cajun seasoning

I throw it all in the crockpot, adding more chili powder to taste as it cooks. I served it up on a whole wheat tostada made on the skillet.

This morning Robert had to get up for a workout with his work, and I took advantage of the early wake up call and hit the gym for some cross training on the elliptical. I did 30 boring minutes of intervals (I forgot my headphones AND my kindle) and then did lunges with 10 lb weights and squats with some ab work in between.

On the way to the gym yesterday, we ran into a friend from Robert’s work who invited me to join her Intramural 4 on 4 soccer team starting in February. My first reaction was “HA!” and then “thanks but no thanks”. I’ve never been good at sports. I played softball when I was a kid, but mostly played for fun and was pretty much awful. I don’t think I ever hit more than a double and that was probably out of pity from the other team. I tried out for softball in high school, but quit before the tryouts were even over because I was so afraid of stepping out of my comfort zone. I was afraid of looking stupid, getting made fun of, or not making it. In my mind, it was easier to quit than to try. It’s a huge regret of mine, and after declining the soccer team, I felt the same way. Why am I saying no? I was afraid. I didn’t want to look dumb in front of these women, who happen to all be officers in the military.

One of my resolutions for this year is to step out of my comfort zone, and do things that I wouldn’t normally do. And here I was, faced with an opportunity to do just that, and I gave in to my fear and said no. Right then and there I changed my mind. I may not know anything about soccer, or how to play, but what better time to learn than now. I saw our friend again this morning and told her I would do it. So now, I’m a soccer player.

I’m still afraid, and I’m still nervous. I have no idea how to play soccer, but I want to learn. I’m excited to be doing something not only with people I don’t know, but something that I have not faced since my freshman year of high school. It’s time to start facing these fears, and become a better person. Do I expect to suddenly become great at sports? Hell no. But I do expect to become a more outgoing and open person. And I can’t wait for that.

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Working from Home

I graduated from college in May of 2010, got married 2 days later, and then spent 7 weeks in Alabama with Robert for an AF training. We then took a week long honeymoon cruise, and finally came back to “reality” in sunny Florida.

This was all fun, but I have been working since I was 15, and haven’t had a summer off since then. Not working, even though I was busy, was rough on me. I had to get used to not having my own money. I felt weird even buying a Starbucks without calling Robert because in my mind, it’s his money. After many conversations, he finally convinced me that I don’t have to ask permission to buy things like that. It’s our money. I reluctantly agreed, but still hated the fact that technically, it wasn’t.

I applied to roughly 100 jobs in the area, 75% of them graphic design jobs. No one wanted to hire a fresh out of college, inexperienced designer, even if they could pay me half of what they would pay an average entry level employee. The rejection was really hard on me. I shed a lot of tears. I threw a lot of hissy fits. And I started doubting not only my abilities as a designer, but my worth as a person. I felt like I wasn’t contributing to our marriage, I was putting all of the financial stress on Robert, and felt so helpless and frustrated.

Finally, after doing a few “favors” for family and friends (birthday invitations and a company logo) Robert saw how happy I was to be designing again. He sat me down, and we worked out a big, hairy audacious goal. I was going to start my own business.

I was terrified. I am fresh out of school, and have absolutely no business experience. Luckily, Robert is great with money, and was more than willing to sign on as my “financial advisor” and help me work out everything that wasn’t design related.

I got to work, making templates for Christmas cards, using that as my launching pad for this new venture. I sold a few sets, but nothing major, and I started to feel that doubt creeping in again. I just felt like I wasn’t good enough. This fear was really holding me back from throwing myself into the business plans, and I was basically just sitting back and hoping things would happen.

The holidays were a really stressful and expensive time for us. Robert finally decided to have a come to Jesus talk to with me, and I let all my emotions, fears, doubts and frustration rush out. I hadn’t cried that hard in months. (since finals, probably. I cry a lot.) Being the fabulous person that he was, he reassured me that I was good enough, and that the only way to succeed was to face all these fears, and do the best I can do. If I still fail, it’s okay. Because I tried something that not a lot of people have the strength to do. I went for it. I didn’t just go work at Starbucks and call it a day. I wanted to be a designer, I paid $20,000 to be a designer. And dammit, it’s gonna happen.

So now, a few months later, I am officially in business. We emptied the office and made it my own little den, along with a new desk, and office supplies so I feel like it’s a comfortable work environment. I schedule work hours for myself, and have already taken on some pretty big jobs. We registered as an LLC, hired a registered agent, and are getting ourselves in order. I have been working my heart out to make this work. I eat, sleep and breath this business. It’s my baby.

Jenn Lane Design, open for business

I still have days where I want to curl into a little ball, or go work as a barista and have a simple, scheduled day. But I also have days where I feel like I’m the luckiest person in the world to be able to do this at 24. I couldn’t have done it without my husband there to tell me I could. He says he doesn’t deserve the credit, because I’m doing the actual work. But to be honest, doing this would seem impossible if he wasn’t right there next to me, telling me it’s okay to fail.

So that’s what I do, if anyone is curious. I sit in my adorable little office, play Pandora and design. My daily goal is to change out of pajamas by 9am, but usually only results in being in workout clothes instead of fuzzy slippers. And that’s okay. Because I’m my own boss. And unless I really screw up, I’m pretty sure my position is secure. 🙂

So if you feel inclined, visit jennlanedesign.com if you ever need invitations, logos or anything else design related. It will give me something to do in between blog posts, and a reason to change my clothes. 🙂

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