Happy Halloween!

No, I’m not doing anything cool tonight. I’m a graduate student. The first draft of the first two chapters of my thesis is due in twelve days. I need to be WRITING- not partying. I might be a little stressed out. I’m not alone though. One of my professors asked the class today if everyone was excited about halloween tonight, and everyone laughed, or rolled their eyes. Misery loves company.

I gave all of my students lectures about staying safe, and making good choices. They probably think I’m a total stick in the mud. It feels good to be mature.

I did get to dress up for a group fitness class that I taught today. I wore a tutu and a sparkle headband. I’m sure I get points for creativity (not). It was fun though.



Sam’s 5K


Every year the sorority that I was a member of as an undergrad organizes a 5K race in honor of one of our sisters who lost her battle with cancer. It is our biggest fundraiser, and all of the proceeds are donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I have volunteered at the event the last four years, and have always considered it one of the highlights of the school year.

This year as an alumni I was no longer obligated to attend, but there was nowhere that I would have rather been this morning. I was thrilled to be able to participate in the event for the first time. I tried to have a relaxed and nonchalant attitude about the race. I have not been doing a whole lot of running lately (lots of group fitness though), and I have been fighting a little bit of a cold, so my expectations were low. My only goals going into the race were not to walk and not to throw a temper tantrum when things were less than perfect.

I actually felt surprisingly great throughout the entire race, and ended up finishing really strong. I was not even wearing a watch, so I didn’t have any indication of what my time would be, but I had this FEELING as I was coming around the last turn that I was going to be pleased.

Nice face Layne -SUPER attractive!

And wouldn’t you know it, I managed to pull out a new 5K PR by a minute and thirty five seconds. Not too shabby considering I was honestly concerned that I might have to walk some of it- silly me!

It made for a great morning: the weather was perfect, everyone was in a good mood, I got to spend some quality time with my sisters. I spend a good portion of the afternoon thinking about how much I love running, and how I know I could go at least teeny bit faster next time.

Weighing In

Remember how last week I was all, “oh my goodness, I splurged so much this weekend. I feel like a manatee.”? Well, that’s a joke because I actually lost two pounds.

Really, I should say two more pounds. From graduation day to today I have lost eighteen pounds. My weight tends to fluctuate quite a bit, so I didn’t want to mention it on the blog and jinx myself.

But at this point I feel silly not talking about it. A lot of my clothes are too big and other people are starting to notice. I can feel a big difference.

So the question is what am I doing? To be honest with you, I’m not entirely sure. I’ve always been active and eaten pretty healthy. I think that not working late nights, and not working in the food industry has made a difference in my portion sizes. I naturally feel fuller faster. Also, right now I am insanely busy, and incredibly satisfied with where I’m at in my life. As someone who has been an emotional eater for as long as I can remember the fact that I am so happy right now has probably made all of the difference in the world.

I realize that’s not exactly useful information. People can’t just decide to go out and get happy, and then drop eighteen pounds, but I don’t know what else to tell you. Hopefully, I’ll continue along this route, and be able to keep you posted while changes happen.

One Year Later: Marathon Reflections

Exactly one year ago, I completed all 26.2 miles of the Chicago Marathon. Three hundred and sixty five days later it still feels a little surreal that I actually accomplished such a monumental goal.

After I finished the marathon I was mainly just happy to be able to sit down. I was also happy to be able to eat. But in the days that I followed I felt sad and disappointed. It wasn’t that I was disappointed in myself, I had accomplished exactly what I set out to do, and it wasn’t that I was disappointed in the experience either. The Chicago Marathon was everything I hoped for: lots of other runners, screaming spectators, funny race signs, elite athletes…

I came to realize that I was disappointed because I had expected running a marathon to be a transformative experience, and I felt like the same Layne.

Little did I know what an impact it actually would have on me. One year later, I feel like a completely different person. I learned so much about who I am by running alone (no music) for a few hours every week during training. For me there is no better way to soul search than to hit the road and just be inside my head, alone with my thoughts. Being able to call myself a marathoner gave me a huge boost of confidence. I know that I can tackle anything because I am capable of hard work and perseverance. Probably most importantly, the marathon was the catalyst for me to take responsibility of my body and make fitness a priority. When I started running as a New Year’s resolution I had no idea that I would go to Grad school for Exercise Psychology, work on a research project combating childhood obesity, become a group fitness instructor, and be teaching 125 students about lifetime physical activity and fitness, but here I am.

Sometimes it takes time to see how an event affects you. I wish that one year ago, I would have known the impact that running a marathon would have on my life. I can say without hesitation that it was ABSOLUTELY worth all of the time and hard work I put into it.

Weekend of Gluttony

I have been on fall break since Friday at 2:00, and I have taken it upon myself to turn my hiatus from classes and work into a hiatus from all things health related. I’ve spent the last four days eating (mainly cheesy things, definitely not vegetables… unless you count fried green tomatoes), drinking (diet coke and a variety of alcoholic beverages not a drop of water), and sleeping.

I have no idea why I have gone off the gluttonous deep end, but I would be lying if I said that I hated it. I’m telling myself that I have just been taking this vacation thing a little too seriously and I will get back into my healthier routine once I get back to school tomorrow…Hopefully my pants still fit.

Speaking of pants, I bought some new ones. Burgundy skinny chords. They will be great to wear with my boots this fall/ winter. They were a surprisingly tiny size, and my mom says that they make my butt look cute.

Cute booty not pictured

Tonight I wore my boots for the first time since last winter. They were thrilled to be reunited with my feet.

My momsy broke out her boots too!

That was a nice tangent.

Point being, I have let myself go a little, but I refuse to beat myself up about it. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my break and it was probably exactly what I needed in order to get back on the healthy living band wagon full force.

Thankful Thursday

Holy Thursday!

Did today sneak up on anyone else? Nope? Just me? Whatever. This week has been intense, and I am writing another last minute post, but I’m okay with that because it is always a good time to be thankful!

Mainly I’m thankful for this…

That to-do list is what we call to-done. I know there are  a COUPLE of things left, but it’s nothing stressful or critical. Productivity feels so good!

I taught a lot of group fitness classes this week (seven if you want an exact number) and while I am very sore, I know that each class was a learning experience and will ultimately help me to become a better instructor.

I’m thankful that I found these pictures on the ECU Campus Recreation and Wellness Facebook page!

Oh look! Here I am teaching group fitness classes, and wearing a microphone, and making funny faces. The fact that I am not mortified is reflective of my high self esteem.

I’m thankful for my self esteem.

I’m thankful that I am meeting with my advisor tomorrow to  create an outline for my thesis… Geeze I need to get to work on that!

I’m thankful for Chinese takeout.

I’m thankful for Michelob Ultra.

I’m thankful for balloon animals. I realized yesterday that someone who I know is a master balloonist. She made giraffes, weiner dogs, flowers, pirate swords, and bears. I was obviously impressed… Maybe I will add “Learn to make balloon animals to my list of goals”.

I’m thankful for this blog. It’s nice to have a tiny corner of the internet that I can call my own!

October Goals

Happy October!

I haven’t done the whole “Oh it’s a new month! Let’s set some goals and then see which ones I forget about.” thing in a while, but I’m feeling adventurous today. Let’s spice things up and make some freaking goals for the first time in a long time for crying out loud.

  • Run more often! I have been all about some groupfit lately, and that’s awesome! My workouts have been killer! But groupfit does not afford me the same mental rejuvenation that running does, and if there is one thing that I need more of in my life it is mental rejuvenation. Group fitness feels like another obligation- there are people counting on me. While, running is something I do by myself for myself. Oh what’s that you say? That is not a very S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Action Oriented, Realistic and Timely) goal… Well how about run twice a week? Does that work better for ya?
  • Pack lunch or snacks every single day. This is probably my most important goal. It’s even more important than running. I am the queen of not packing anything, ending up starving, and then dropping three bucks in the vending machine halfway through my night class because my growling stomach is a distraction to myself and those surrounding me. It’s a waste of calories, and money. I need to just start carrying healthy food with me at all times.
  • Eat breakfast- uggggghhhh I am an adult. I should know better by now. No. More. Skipping. Breakfast. Coffee does not count as a meal, no matter how much soy milk I put into it.
  • Actually run in some stinking races.
  • Make an appointment with my boss, so that he can give me feedback on the fitness classes I am teaching.
  • Do my homework well in advance. This means sooner than the night before it’s due, and definitely not while I’m on my lunch break the day of an assignment’s due date.
  • Register for another half marathon (or maybe even full marathon) in the upcoming months.

That’s all for now. They seem kind of lame. None of those goals is going to change the order of the universe, but they are all important to me, and hopefully will pave the way for some bigger more exciting goals.