Well this post will be about as random as it gets for me as I continue to bring everyone up to date through the holidays and the whirlwind that was January 2013. I can’t really say that December was a shining example of physical fitness, but I did change up my routine and saw great results from it.  I started lifting with a trainer in  the beginning of November and this proved to be wildly successful in knocking off those last few pounds I was always eating my way through.  My body had gotten used to my routine with spin and running so mixing it up was just the ticket….boring right? Let’s talk about food!

So as you already know, we ran the Tennessee Ragnar Relay and in honor of the ridiculous amount of glowing safety gear we dawned throughout the entirety of the race…we decided nothing would be more fitting than to throw a Glow Christmas Party…  One thing is true when you are planning a party for a bunch of distance runners…there better be food…and lots of it…fortunately…that just happens to be one of the favorite topics of interest!

The Spread...
The Spread…

I have a slight obsession with party planning and at the drop of a hat I can switch from normal to OCD super psycho executor of events…I also cannot edit…not menus, plans or ideas…I want to do it all and when it is up to me, I do. That’s why there is enough food pictured above to feed around 50 people with 14 in attendance, not pictured is the hot chocolate bar, glow shots, signature punch or dessert table…

Get in my Belly!
Get in my Belly!

I mean, what is a Christmas Party without cupcakes the size of soccer balls and neon glass candy. Really, I MUST LEARN TO EDIT!

Just because we can...
Just because we can…

Pictured above is an integral and founding member of the Cha-Cha Sisterhood…Deb. She’s getting married soon, stories about which I cannot wait to tell you. They begin with me not having a date to the wedding and end with me officiating it!!! But more about that later!

Less than fully functioning but a fine group shot!
Less than fully functioning but a fine group shot!

This is really why we run in the first place…friendships and food!  The holidays themselves were a nice relaxing opportunity to hang  out with family and MAKE MORE FOOD….

Mom got me a 'running' hat!
Mom got me a ‘running’ hat!

Packing your suitcase to go to your parents for Christmas is really an experiment to see how many pairs of yoga pants, sweat shirts and non-shoes you can fit into one bag…and oh it’s nice. Not one piece of respectable clothing to be found and as you can see…I didn’t really need it. My mom decided to combine two things I like, running and sock monkeys, into one and this is the result!  My days were filled with lounging, reading and a doberman napping in my lap…oh and cooking like the bastard child of Paula Deen!

More bacon! More Butter! More Cheese, Please!

Pretty much sums it up!
Pretty much sums it up!

Just to prove that I lost all sense of caloric intake, observe the picture below…I followed a pretty standard hash brown casserole recipe with the addition of a pound of bacon and two cups of cheddar! Makes me hungry just looking at it!

Cast iron gooey goodness
Cast iron gooey goodness

It’s impossible to avoid a food coma when faced with opportunities such as these…and really it was a pretty perfect Christmas!

January is a blur of travel and work…but there are a few things that stick out, unfortunately it was a rather challenging month.  If you don’t know me well, then you don’t know that I am a fanatical pet owner who adores my adopted doberman like I gave birth to her myself! Creepy? WHO CARES! She is the BEST DOG on the Planet…and can chew her way out of a concrete box…but hey…we all have our issues!

Heartbreaker!
Heartbreaker!

Shelby got SICK, and not just a throw up your breakfast and feel better kind of sick…it was a rush to the vet, panic attack, ‘is she gonna make it’ kinda sick. I promise you have never seen crazy until you see me with my sick pup…I was COMPLETELY UNABLE TO COPE! This was partially due to the fact that Shelby has never been sick before, she has the highest pain tolerance of any dog I’ve ever seen and can literally eat nails for breakfast, but with both eyes swollen shut, fever, swollen joints; she was down for the count and declining before my eyes!

Did I mention she's pitiful?
Did I mention she’s pitiful?

We made multiple trips to the vet that day and after blood tests, cultures, steroid shots, antibiotics, pain killers, eye drops and DRAMA, turns out she was exposed to/suffering from Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever which is potentially fatal if not treated early.  Two months later she is still on antibiotics and I am wishing I had pet insurance but she is making a full recovery, Glory BE!

About two weeks after Shelby got sick I went to the Dr. thinking I had the flu only to find out I had mono in the middle of our busiest travel schedule of the year.  Airplanes are incubators for the spread of virus’ and germs…needless to say I had been on a lot of them! While mono knocked me on my *ss and made traveling a nightmare, I think I have fared better than most with the virus.  For the most part I was able to keep working and traveling, however exercise was a no go for about a month. Even once I was out of the woods from splenic inflammation I simply didn’t have the extra energy to give at the end of the work day. With a worn down immune system and extreme fatigue everyday becomes very LONG and CHALLENGING!

This is how mono rolls...
This is how mono rolls…

In case your wondering, this is how mono travels…I was on an intense supplement regime from my Chiropractor since my medical doctor basically said to cancel my life and hide in the bed for at least two weeks. It wasn’t fun, easy or simple but this all natural cocktail kept me going.

Detox
Detox

I also spent about a month detoxing with diet, no caffeine, no alcohol and no gluten. I also drastically cut back on dairy, refined sugar and processed foods for the first two weeks. I came up with a pretty decent ‘Green’ Smoothie and the recipe is as follows:

Detox Smoothie:

1/4 Cup Mixed Frozen Berries

1/4 Cup sliced fresh Strawberries

1 Cup Raw Baby Spinach

1 Cup Low Fat Almond Milk

1/4 Cup Low Fat Organic Greek Yogurt

1 Tsp Cold Pressed Flax Seed Oil

1-2 Tsp Organic Local Honey

Blend until fully incorporated, drink cold.

So far this year had thrown some curve balls, plans were changed, goals rearranged and limitations reached, all of this caused me to reflect and appreciate the fact that I expect so much from my body and schedule on a regular basis.  I know this isn’t the most exciting or inspiring post but sometimes you just have to be ok with the everyday. Illness and fatigue wipe away complacency on the good days and while I’m not quite back to normal physically…I can be thankful that I’m closer today than I was yesterday! One thing is true, the gym is my happy place, a natural anti-depressant and stress reliever, I am dependent on it! It was amazing to see how quickly and how deeply my spirits dropped when I couldn’t exercise but it also makes me appreciate every workout!

How do you deal with disappointment? Has 2013 started out less than stellar? Well the good news it that Spring is just around the corner and everyday we get to begin again!

Sparkly shoes and glow sticks make everything better!
Sparkly shoes and glow sticks make everything better!
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