Fitness: Healthy Habits

29 Jun

I’ve successfully been keeping a notebook with my food intake, activities, and helpful notes for 8 days now. I couldn’t even keep a diary for 3 days when I was a kid, so this is earth shattering to me. Are you excited? Perhaps no.

The first hurdle to be jumped for my big fitness plan was interest. Staying interested in getting fit has always been a problem for me. Of course the desire to lose weight and gain strength is always there, but staying motivated and mindful has proven difficult.

1. Mindset. This is battle. Absolute confidence is necessary.

2. Immersion. Surround yourself with images or words of motivation. Bookmark good exercises or recipes. Do this everyday.

3. Find a fun activity that you could do everyday. Cycling, hackysack, running, spoiling the dog with a loooooong walk.

4. Pride. When you walk through Wawa or the grocery be proud when you don’t look twice at the chips or candy.

5. Don’t kill yourself over it. I have a couple of good bars of chocolate from Whole Foods in my fridge, because sometimes it’s okay to have a treat.

6. Food! Things I’ve been eating:

Salad with Garlic Expressions dressing

Homemade granola bars – with variations on ingredients


That’s all for now. I still haven’t bought a scale, but I hope to get one this weekend!


Gone but Never Dunn

26 Jun

Regardless of your opinion on Ryan Dunn, his death (and Zachary Hartwell’s) has affected many people, especially out here. Out here meaning Chester County, PA.

Mike and I first learned of his death through a family member of a friend of Ryan, then the following media onslaught followed.

Did he do dumb things? Yes. Do we all? Yes. Are some dumb things bigger than others, well of course. Drinking and driving is obviously dangerous. There’s been alot of criticism of Dunn doing so (rightfully), but I don’t think it’s reason to say his death was a good or dismissible event, which I’ve been hearing from some people.

Seeing photos of the charred remains of plants and the heavily injured trees immediately reminded me of my friend Mike Ski who passed away a few years ago in an accident on the Girard Point Bridge in Philly. Sober and smart, he was driving home late at night when his car stalled and a large truck hit him, whereupon his car went up in flames, and he passed away on his way to the hospital. Different circumstances, but dying in a fiery wreck is not funny, regardless of who is in the car and what they did in their life. This is not a time for derision, this is a time to speak about drinking responsibly to avoid the loss of a child, a sibling, a friend, a parent, whoever.

Ahem. On the way to the orchard to pick raspberries yesterday (aren’t we all fancy with our farmy ways) my mom and I passed the accident spot. How did I know? There were orange cones cordoning off the shoulder and there were cars and people all over, paying their respects to the two victims (remember, Zachary?). Flowers, candles, drawings, balloons, and graffiti everywhere. At least 20 feet of guardrail is coated in Sharpied messages and sketches. The largest roadside shrine I’ve ever seen.

Congratulations, NY!

25 Jun

I just want to say real quick that I am so happy for New York state. Gay marriage has been legalized there! It’s been a long road, but I’m so thrilled that more people can have access to the rights that Mike, myself, and many others enjoy. It’s all about love!

wedding rings, photo by Amber Zagorski (from our wedding)

Rock on.

Be the Change

22 Jun

Fattening, delicious food is like smoking cigarettes. It is very hard to quit. I’ve always struggled with my weight. I wasn’t one of those cream puff kids that doctors predict heart attacks by the age of 12 for, but I wasn’t terribly healthy and I was big. Also keep in mind that by age 13 I had reached my adult height of 5’10”. Being this tall made becoming a teenager very awkward, compounded with the extra pounds it was uncomfortable. 5’10” and 190lbs.  The summer between 8th and 9th grade I lost around 20-30 pounds. How? I really don’t know, all I did was play hacky sack all summer with the neighborhood kids. So I guess I lost 20-30 pounds by playing hacky sack, which is a good workout looking back.5’10” and 163lbs.

The weight slowly returned over the years. I’m 24 now, 5’10” and back at my high weight from age 13. I have the body of a 13 year old you could say. I’ve been fine with it/ignoring it for sometime now, with small bursts of “I’m going to lose weight” where I exercise, eat healthier, lose 5lbs. and then promptly gain it all back. So now what? I’m almost midway through my 20’s and while trying on my clean laundry the other day, then trying to buy new shorts I threw my arms up and said, “I’m sick of this shit”. I’m sick of this shit.

Now what? Well, I’ve come to the conclusion that I will either give up and just eat myself into diabetes and madness or I will be active everyday and eat my way to a healthier, more enjoyable life free of ill-fitting pants, tent-like tees, uncomfortable socializing, and weakness.

Which would you choose? Obviously, I’m choosing the latter.

I didn’t plan on sharing this here, but perhaps committing myself to health in public will drive me. I’ve surrounded myself with graphics on Pinterest of workouts, healthy snacks, and new recipes. The last 3 days I’ve begun my transition to thinner, healthier, more awesome Jen.

So in this new category of posts I will be including my favorite music to sweat to, workouts I’ve been digging, where I’m riding my bike to, my healthier, yet tasty meals.

Don’t just encourage me, be nosy. Ask me questions. I need fuel to burn this fire!

Happy Mother’s Day!

8 May

Happy Mother’s Day!

My mom’s baby shower

Mom reading to me on ye olde sofa

You the mom!

Mom, baby me, cousin Cathy

We live just down the road from here now

My mom, her mom, my brothers

Pre-Mom Mom

2 May

Perhaps you’re wondering why I haven’t posted any vintage photos when I promised a boatload of them. The answer is simply that I am working two jobs now and we haven’t found the cord for our scanner. Then of course we moved, so that doesn’t help.

I still have some on my computer, so as penance…All photos of my mom, since Mother’s Day is this Sunday. My mom’s trademarks were long red hair and an incredibly narrow waist. Even now that my mom’s hair is more strawberry blond than fiery red, I still consider her to be a redhead. My mom, Luisa, has worked hard in every aspect of her life. We’ve hit the point where we’re more similar than different now, even saying the same things at the same time, where previously only Mike was doing that to me. If I’m not home, chances are that I’m at her house watching Jane Austen movies or “Foyle’s War” and drinking tea. Look back later in the week for photos of my mom after I was born.

My mom when she was 15

I have no idea how old my mom is here, but she was young

Mom at 17, lounging ever so gracefully on some steps

Halloween geisha girl

On the way to a dance

Just your average people

20 Apr

A typical evening around here means Greg is on the computer, I’m on my laptop or playing a video game, maybe Dom and Rick visit to play Call of Duty, and Mike is hunched over his computer desk folding origami. Less wild parties, more impromptu Apples to Apples games. Then of course we get bored sometimes and this happens: