My “First” Fourth of July

Since I’ve had to lifeguard on the holiday every year on July 4th since I was 14, this was kind of my “first” fourth of July. Which, in case you’re wondering, is the absolute worst day of the year for any lifeguard. So anything we did would be a vast improvement over what I’m used to.

**side note: this awesome brand called Block Island Organics reached out to me a few weeks ago to try out their sunscreen. I’m a huge fan of it not only because it’s summer and I need to protect my skin with something not filled with chemicals, but also because Block Island is my family’s favorite place to sail to and I’ve been going there since  before I could walk! They’re offering 15% off Until July 13th with the code sarahp**


I got out of work early on Thursday night but I didn’t go to DC. I’m not going to lie- I was disappointed. All week I kept telling myself I just had to make it to Thursday night. While I’m better than I used to be at rolling with the punches, I still have my moments. I had to cancel breakfast with my friend and would have to wait another 24+ hours to see my boyfriend. I wasn’t thrilled.

I went to Pasta Mista straight from work and picked up takeout, bought myself rainbow cake from Teeter, and called my mom while I was walking home. We caught up on life a bit and started finalizing plans for next week. It made me miss home for the first time in awhile. I was tempted to book a flight and fly home to enjoy the weekend with family since I was so bummed about missing the annual BBQ. But that would have been ridiculous considering I’m driving home on FRIDAY.

I woke up Friday morning still in a funk after a long week at work but I made the best of it. I don’t enjoy having nothing to do. I ended up sleeping in, going for a 12-mile run, walking to THB for a bagel, catching up on blogs, and driving to DC to sit by the pool with my friend. I got hungry while I was waiting for her to get out of work and have been dying to try Good Stuff Eatery’s toasted marshmallow milkshake for years. Best milkshake I’ve ever had (not exaggerating). After the pool I joined her and her friend for happy hour at a sushi restaurant but wasn’t hungry (and don’t like sushi) so I just got a lemonade.


the best milkshake I’ve EVER had.

I left around 8 and was off to dogsit with Tim. He had dinner waiting for me (burgers and corn) and we split a red velvet cupcake for dessert. No pictures but I have one of Caleb. He has a rash and has to wear a cone around his head.

7We went for a 30 mile bike ride Saturday morning before enjoying our usual weekend “breakfast” which didn’t happen until 1pm. When we started there was only a 40% chance of rain but about 10 minutes in the sky opened up and we looked like drowned rats by the end of the 2 hour ride. It was kind of refreshing at first but I was cold and hungry by the end. Pancakes and fruit (and hot chocolate) for me, pancakes, eggs, bacon for him.


p.s. I got a bike jersey and one of those hat things. Does that make me a real cyclist?

His boss was having a party in NoVa so we made the drive down for it. We thought it was just going to be people he works with but it ended up being more like a neighborhood block party. When we got there, people were doing flips off the rock wall into the pool and there was tons of food. I ate 1/2 a burger, a few handfuls of chips, and approximately 19 servings of dessert. No shame. I chatted with his friend that works for the same company and met some of his other coworkers. The house was absolutely insane. We stayed for a few hours before heading out.

The pool was amazing- rock wall with a slide built into it and a waterfall over the FLAT SCREEN TV to watch movies in the pool

The pool was amazing- rock wall with a slide built in and a waterfall over the FLAT SCREEN TV to watch movies in the pool

At the end of the day though, fourth of July is all about the fireworks. Although nothing will compare to the fireworks I grew up watching up on my boat, I found a close alternative. Annapolis. The only town in the mid-Atlantic that can compete with Newport. Annapolis isn’t far from the dogs’ house so we drove out there watch the fireworks from the docks. I love that town. It was the closest thing to home. Yes, I needed Kilwins even though I’d eaten enough sugar for two weeks.

the worst picture of us ever. oh well.

the worst picture of us ever. oh well.

Sunday morning we met one of our friends for another 30-mile bike ride. They’re both a lot faster than me but I did my best to hold my own. We finished out the weekend with 60 miles on the bike- our most yet. I was still in a sugar coma from the day before so instead of making pancakes again, I picked up bagels on the way back.

Darrell and I

Darrell and I

Sunday afternoon Tim had to work for a few hours so I watched Scandal and Revenge. I don’t think I left the couch until we ate dinner (more burgers and corn) and then we walked to get ice cream from the grocery store to make root beer floats while we watched the World Cup.

9There was nothing particularly special about this weekend but it ended up being pretty great. I didn’t think I would miss being home for the 4th but it was hard knowing my entire extended family was at the Beach without me. Holidays are meant to be with family. I got over it pretty quickly though because we did just about everything I’d be doing if I was home- grilling, eating ice cream, being by the water. In a few years, hopefully I’ll be back partaking in those traditions in New England, but for now, this is home and I can’t complain.

And now it’s back to reality. When you’re reading this, only 3 1/2 MORE WORK DAYS until I’m on vacation. We’ve got this.

How did you celebrate fourth of July?

Did you watch the soccer game?

Training 6/28-7/4

Another week, another “training” recap. I’m not exactly training for anything and don’t see anything really changing even when I’m technically marathon training. It’s just not something I’m interested in doing. I like to run, I’ll build my mileage slowly, but I won’t be doing anything all that different from what my current weekly recaps look like. This one was slightly higher mileage than normal but still pretty typical, as you’ll probably notice considering they look the same just about every week.

Sun– 32 miles biking

I woke up feeling like I was dead to the world. I had slept for 8 hours yet still didn’t feel rested at all. But after being cooped up inside all day Saturday due to the rain, I did want to get out and we hadn’t ridden bikes in a few weeks. However, I’ve said before that I’m not the best biker. I’m still getting used to the clips, I’m not the fastest, and there’s NOTHING I hate more than feeling like I’m holding people back. My legs were tired even though I had rested the week before and I felt like no matter what I did, I couldn’t keep up. I was frustrated, hangry, and annoyed at the world. Aka not the most pleasant person to be around (I don’t snap, just really quiet and slightly passive aggressive. I’m not proud of it). Anyways, this picture was probably the one time of the entire two hours that I was in front. The rest of the time I felt like we were playing a game of chase- and it wasn’t a fun one.

Side note- I felt much better after my hot chocolate and bagel. Tim knew it too, because as soon as we were done he said “do you want to find the closest 7-eleven?” What a guy. bikeMon– 9 miles running

I woke up at 6:23am Monday morning even though I set my alarm for 7:45am. Go figure. I wasn’t super sore so I decided to just go for a run. I wasn’t sore and I was in the mood. It was finally the perfect summer running weather- not too hot, not too humid- and I thoroughly enjoyed everything about it.

Tues– OFF

I thought about running but just decided laying in bed watching Revenge sounded like a better idea.

Wed– 7 miles November Project +1 hour yoga

November Project was pretty intense with the non-running exercises. I did my usual run to and from the workout and there was about a mile of running between stations of burpees, partner planks/jumps, pushups, stairs, squats, lunges, etc. My friend/former teammate came (the one I’m jumping over) and I made some new friends too. That’s the best part about November Project. You get to talk to so many people you would otherwise have never met. I wanted to go to yoga but unfortunately work was swamped so it was no dice.

November Project

Thurs– 10 miles running

Just another gorgeous summer run along the water. I got up extra early because work was swamped and I wanted to go in early but I also knew I needed to get in a serious run or I’d go crazy. This did the trick. I even saw the managers of Charm City Run (the running store I work part-time at) towards the end which of course prompted me to jump up and down like an idiot waving to them. It put me in the best mood.

Fri– 12 miles running

I slept in (until 7:15…), skipped November Project, and enjoyed a long leisurely run along the water. I wasn’t going to do more than 10 miles but after a really stressful week, I needed to blow off some steam. I don’t regret it and my legs felt great the entire time.

Sat– 30(?) miles biking

Since I pre-write my Sunday posts, I have no idea how far we actually went but we’re usually in the ballpark.

Total– 38 miles running, 60ish miles biking, no yoga, one full rest day

This week was a lot more active than I have been the past few weeks. I think it directly coincides to how stressed I am with life. I’m not running as a coping mechanism, exactly, the way I used to, but I know I’m much calmer and more positive after a good run. This was also my last hard week before the half marathon in two weeks. I won’t be doing any more double digit runs and I’ll probably cut the mileage way back the week after next.

TOL: Hello Weekend

Happy Thursday which is really like Friday for most of us! Since I don’t really have time for any introductions today and everyone in blogland knows what Thursdays are all about, let’s jump into thinking out loud.

See? Jumping into TOL ;)

See? Jumping into TOL yesterday at November Project ;)

1) This week man. I’m surprised I’m making it out alive. Well, assuming I make it through today. End of quarter is always ROUGH in advertising. We’re dealing with the beginning of a new month (ads that run all month), the beginning of a new quarter (ads that run all quarter), plus any changes to existing campaigns that run random weeks throughout the year, AND throw July 4th in there to create one giant sh!tstorm of ads that need to be trafficked. I’ve been working extra hours all week and if I’m out of here before 8pm tonight it will be a miracle despite it being a half day for the rest of the company.

Just need to keep remembering the work perks

Just need to keep remembering the work perks

2) Next week my boss is in Boston for a leadership conference without access to phone/email. Because of all the changes recently, guess who’s the next in line and becomes the point of contact while she’s out? Yep. So not only will I be doing my usual work of trafficking campaigns, I’ll also be the one that has to escalate any issues people on my team are having, putting down hard deadlines, and answering questions from the newer folks. Two crazy weeks in a row. Vacation cannot come soon enough.

3) Said vacation is in EIGHT DAYS FROM TODAY. I cannot believe it’s finally here. This has been in the works for several months now and when Tim and I first threw out the idea of him coming up north with me, I didn’t think it would actually happen. But it’s happening (well, for the first 4 days at least). Plans are falling into place and I’ve been dreaming of a glorious 10 days up in New England to get me through the past few months.

so close

so close

4) You guys blew me away with the support on the instagram I posted the other day. I’m not usually an advocate of #transformationtuesday posts, but I felt this strong desire to share for once. I’ve never shared photos of what I looked like at my worst because I don’t want it to be a comparison for anyone. I’m just really proud of how far I’ve come in the past 5 years and while I’ve considered myself to be recovered for over a year now, I’ve loosened up a lot since I graduated. I think it’s important to share those “reverse transformation” pictures in a culture filled with thin privilege. I may weigh significantly more than I did back then, but I’m healthy. Now I’m filled with love and ice cream and my mom doesn’t worry about whether or not I’m capable of feeding myself. That’s a pretty great feeling.

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 8.36.25 PM

5) Since I never did a formal “weekend recap” this week, I’ll share now. Tim was dogsitting this weekend but had a late meeting Friday so I got there first to let the dogs out. Well, when I went to let them back in, this is what I found. I waited a few minutes because I couldn’t stop laughing. This flying squirrel move went on for several minutes.

caleb6) We also went on a bike ride Sunday morning. I’ve been waking up exhausted lately regardless of how much sleep I get so I was struggling before, during, and after the bike ride. I was also pretty hangry (lesson learned- eat something before we go even if we’re eating breakfast after) so I wasn’t the most pleasant person to be around. 32 miles later=all the hot chocolate.

Capture7) Side note- how do people take pictures and ride a bike at the same time? I don’t understand.

bike8) Saturday was extremely rainy so we pretty much stayed inside the entire time. The only time we ventured out was for breakfast at the mecca of all Whole Foods. The Columbia, MD location is relatively new and they have a bunch of stations for different cuisines in addition to the usual hot bar. I had a bagel but also picked up this whole grain chocolate chip muffin for an afternoon snack. Because you know, napping all afternoon is hard work. The views were pretty great too but we couldn’t go for a walk around the lake because of the torrential downpours. Next time.

WF9) We’re back with the dogs again this weekend. They’re pretty cute. I’m not even one of those people that is OMG SO OBSESSED WITH DOGS but it’s hard not to laugh when this guy is sticking his nose in your face.

caleb10) Tonight I’m driving down to DC after work (assuming I get out at a reasonable hour) because I have tomorrow off and no plans. So I figure I’ll bounce around the district a bit, maybe do some shopping, and probably go for a long run somewhere. If anyone lives in/near DC and wants to hang out with me let me know! I have a lot of hours to kill :)

11) My friend Dave is having a giveaway for a Nike Fuelband on his blog! Go check it out!

img_4988Is your job stressful at certain times of the month/year?

What are your plans for July 4th?

How do you feel about transformation pictures?

WIAW: A Day in the Life

Ummmm happy JULY? I can’t believe I’m saying that already. Are we sure it wasn’t snowing a few days ago?

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a Day in the Life post. I wouldn’t exactly call this day “normal” for me but it isn’t abnormal either. Last Thursday was a good example of a day that wasn’t exactly nutritious, but I’m 100% okay with that. I don’t label foods as cheats, treats, or the like anymore. It’s just food. That’s it. So here’s my WIAW that may not look healthy, but it’s part of maintaining a balanced lifestyle for me.

5:30am- wake up for no reason, lay in bed for a couple hours half dozing, half watching Pretty Little Liars. I also realized I accidentally posted something I wasn’t meant to so I took that back down and finished up the post I wanted to actually go live.

8:00am- finally start moving. Get up, put some laundry away, get dressed for the day, chat with my roommates for a few minutes before they leave for work, and clean up a bit around my room. P.s. I got a new duvet cover. LOVE.

duvet8:35am– walk to work. Yes, this is actually my life.

morning commute8:50am- arrive at 7-eleven, chat with my favorite employee there while I fill up my hot chocolate.

9:00am- put my things down at my desk, check my email, do a quick creative swap, and go make my bagel and fill my water bottle.

breakfast9:10am- eat my bagel, send some emails, clean up issues from the night before. Three people in the office have birthdays so one of the directors brought in cupcakes. I don’t generally crave sweet things in the morning (besides hot chocolate) but decide they look too good to pass up so instead of saving it for later, I have one as my second breakfast.

2cupcakes9:30am- first meeting of the day to go over launches, campaign issues, and hear updates on anything going on in tech. Working at a mobile advertising agency, there’s always system bugs, so it’s not uncommon to discuss issues or campaigns currently running.

10:00am- get back to my desk, say hi to my coworkers that are just arriving (they come in an hour later than me and leave an hour later), walk to Starbucks with them. I’m not a fan of Starbucks so I just go for the walk.

10:30am- start doing some launches and creative swaps, interacting with our 3rd party contract team in India, and going about my daily routine.

12:00pm- walk home, get some things I need for after work, enjoy some fresh air and sunshine after sitting at a desk all morning.

1:00pm- team lunch. One of the sales reps bought us pizza and beer for working really hard on a bunch of high-priority launches. There were a few intense weeks where we had a ton of launches coming over after the deadline keeping us late every Friday night. Whenever things like this happen, the sales reps like to thank us.

pizza2:00pm- company-wide meeting to go over Q2 revenue. I chat with one of the CS people while we’re in there. Nothing too exciting and most of it doesn’t apply to me but it’s nice to see the bigger picture of the company.

3:30pm- another meeting to go over recent tech updates and new products being released

4:30pm- Red, White, and Blue happy hour! We have themed happy hours once a month or so (last month was Preakness) where they have games, prizes, raffles, food, alcohol/kegs, etc. It’s a really great way for the different departments to bond, especially when we don’t interact with them on a regular basis. I still had some work to do so I snacked on blueberries while I was launching the last few campaigns of the evening.

6:00pm- walk home, get my car, drive to the suburbs to dogsit with Tim.

7:00pm- arrive at their house, take the dogs for a quick walk and eat some leftover veggies to tide me over.

dogsitting8:00pm– eat dinner. STARVING by this point. Tim made quesadillas again. I also ate some ice cream to wash it all down.

reused from last weekend. you get the idea9:00pm– watch an episode of Scandal. I’m hooked. He’s still not so sure about it.

10:00pm– sleep.

This was one of those days at work where you spend so much time in meetings that everything you need to get done is delayed which makes the end of the day really stressful. It was also one of those days that maybe doesn’t appear as “healthy” as other days where I’m eating lots of salads and fruit at my meals and exercising in the morning but we need those days sometimes. A year ago I couldn’t have had a day like this. I would have panicked at the idea of having a cupcake after breakfast, or a work happy hour with foods that I wouldn’t normally eat before dinner. The next day I ate a lot of fruits and veggies, ate a more reasonable amount of sugar, and ran 10 miles because that’s what I was craving. I don’t track what I eat and I don’t base my diet on how much exercise I get that day. In the end, it all balances out.

Sometimes I look back and question how I could improve my nutrition. But then I remember that this is what my healthy looks like. And my healthy is not your healthy, or your neighbor’s healthy. It’s mine. My healthy includes plenty of desserts and vegetables, lots of carbs, and some fats and protein. I don’t follow an 80:20 diet, or a 90:10, or a 60:40, or a 50:50. I follow what my body wants, when it wants it.

What does your typical day look like?

Black and White

I have to run 7 days a week or I’ll gain weight.

If I’m going to eat one cookie, I might as well eat them all. Plus a pint of ice cream because I already blew it.

I slept in today and don’t have time to workout so now I have to do double tomorrow.

I don’t know 100% of the material so I’m going to fail this exam.

I messed up one campaign so they’re going to fire me.

She didn’t smile at me when I said hello, she must hate me.

He’s not responding to my texts, he’s going to think I’m clingy/desperate.

These jeans are too tight, I need to reign in my eating.

French fries are bad for me so I can never eat them.

These are all black and white statements. There is no grey area with any of them. For most of my life, I’ve struggled with accepting the grey area. Just because we went out for dinner and ate a burger and fries doesn’t mean we’re suddenly unhealthy and need to restrict the next day. It also doesn’t mean we need to “throw in the towel” and eat all the foods because we’ve already ruined our meal plan for the day/week/month. Just because we skipped a workout doesn’t mean we’re screwed for marathon training.

Life is not black and white. Life is about the grey areas.


I have a very analytical brain. That’s why math and science were my strengths- the answer was either right or wrong. There was no grey area. If you asked me to interpret a piece of literature? I’d stare anxiously at a blank page for hours because I didn’t know the “right” way to respond. I needed page limits and specific guidelines.

Eventually that outlook caught up with me and manifested itself through an eating disorder I struggled with for 4+ years. I could either eat only healthy food or I could eat nothing but “junk.” I could either run 15 miles or run none. There were no short runs, or treats balanced with nutrient-dense meals. It was all or nothing. And for someone with highly competitive tendencies, it spiraled out of control quickly and suddenly any indulgences or rest days disappeared. Black and white.


When I entered recovery, I’ve said before that my dietitian warned me I’d probably struggle with “binging” as a reaction to years of restricting. I laughed. Until it happened. I have never felt so out of control in my life. The more I tried to reign my eating back in through restricting food or running far too many miles, the more my body rebelled and I lost control again. What I didn’t realize is that it wasn’t me losing control, it was my eating disorder. And I needed those binges to happen to fully recover.

As I was struggling with this taboo phase of recovery, my clothes started to fit snugger than they ever had before. I weighed more than I ever had in my entire life. In my mind, I wasn’t healthy, I was overweight. And desperate to get back to a place I was more comfortable. In reality, I was not overweight, I was healthy, and I was getting closer to a stable place. It took going through this low period to understand.

I’ve mentioned before that struggling with yet another injury due to years of overexercising in January 2014 was my breaking point. I realized I couldn’t do it anymore. I started by forcing myself to take time off running until I was healed. I wasn’t at a point where I would take full rest days, but I didn’t do anything to irritate my leg. Because of my black and white mindset, I also did a total 180 on my food outlook. If I wanted to eat an entire jar of cookie butter, or a giant slice of cake, I’d let myself eat it. No questions asked. Suddenly the temptation to binge wasn’t there anymore because my body finally trusted that I’d let it eat what it wanted, when it wanted. I started craving salads just as often as I craved ice cream (where I’m at now).

Here’s the most interesting part of eating disorder recovery: the more I let myself eat whatever I wanted, the faster my weight settled back to what was normal for my body. I don’t know exactly what that number is because I’ve been weighed once in the past three years, but I do know that my clothes fit a little less snug even though I “indulge” more often now than I did pre-ED. I eat ice cream almost daily, enjoy burgers and fries often, balance salads with pizza, and never, EVER track what I’m eating.

My appetite comes and goes, not because I’m trying to gain or lose weight, but because of the weather, stress, happiness, that time of the month, and other normal things those without a history of disordered eating experience. I take more rest days now than I ever have. I like to move and I like to eat, but those two things do not go hand in hand anymore.


YES, I will have to watch myself for the rest of my life to make sure I don’t slip back into disordered tendencies, but I can honestly say that it is possible to find peace with food. There is room for ice cream in your diet every single night if you want it. It doesn’t mean you’re going to eat the entire pint (although you might, and that’s perfectly okay).

So while I might still be a “work in progress” when it comes to my black and white outlook on life, my eating and exercise habits are not black and white anymore. All it takes is a willingness to let go and trust your body.

Do you struggle with looking at things as black and white, right or wrong?