Dear age 28, I hate you: on feeling inadequate

When I started to blog on a regular basis I was writing about running with a mixture of life stuff. Obviously I’m not running anymore, and my blog has taken a different turn. I blog when I have something to say, which I think is how it should be anyways, but I find myself struggling with writing because weightlifting really isn’t all that interesting. There just isn’t THAT much to say about, at least for me.

I guess I’m telling you this because I can feel my blog taking a turn. For better or for worse, I don’t know – but it’s going to make a change. I want to write about other things. Things that are on my mind; things that bother me, and things that make me happy. I want to write about more than just what I did over the weekend, or how much weight I lifted on any given day.

I actually really enjoy writing: I’m the right smack in the middle of 6 sisters. 3 older and 3 younger. When my older sisters would have homework, I would pull out an old encyclopedia, or old math book and pretend I had homework to – I guess that doesn’t exactly fall into the “this is how I’m going to prove I enjoy to write category” now does it? Whatever, I guess that little story just proves I was a dorky kid.

Anyways, I guess I’m just warning you in advance that my blog could become less workout related and more everything else related..



I’ve been thinking about life lately.. kind of hard to avoid thinking about it, isn’t it? I think with the new year came a lot of renewed thoughts – like how to save more money, hell, how to save money period. Figuring out retirement funds, and IRA’s, 401ks, OMG! So much information, so overwhelming. I don’t even know where to begin with that.

I turned 28 in December – I’m not getting any younger, and no one is going to figure out my life for me, so I better get on it.

I don’t know what it is about turning 28, but it’s kicking my butt. It’s not even a substantial age, like 25, or 30, or 40.. It’s just 28.

When I was younger I never had those, “When I’m XX {enter age} I’ll be doing _______ as my career, and I’ll have {enter number of kids}, {enter number of dogs} with a big house & a white picket fence.” I never had those dreams delusions.

I sometimes wonder if I set myself up for failure by not having those type of dreams.


So now, here I am, wondering what it is I want to do with the rest of my life, and how I’m going to help make our retirement dreams comes true.

Yes, I have retirement dreams, but no plans on how I’m going to make that happen. That makes a lot of sense, right? I clearly missed the class that was about planning your future.


And here’s where it gets really good ……… I feel like I don’t contribute enough money to our life. No one has ever made me feel that – Chris certainly hasn’t. When I talked to him about it, his response was, “I don’t know why you feel that way.”   Me either, not really anyways. It’s just a me thing.

I suppose I also feel like somewhat of a failure – whew, we’re getting deep here. I graduated high school in 2003 (FYI, my 10yr reunion is in July.. how did that happen?) .. immediately after high school I went to a community college and received my Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certificate. I even tested and got my license… never got a job. I decided that I wasn’t okay with scraping people off the ground.

{I worked as a cashier at a hardware store (which is where I met Chris, awww), I worked as a cashier at Bass Pro Shops, I worked at a UPS store (for a short time), I even worked at a resort in tourist town (SUPER SHORT, like 1 week). I landed in healthcare in 2006 when I started a position as a part time receptionist for a brand new urgent care clinic. I put my 2 weeks in there and went to work at a pediatricians office because working part-time wasn’t doing it for me. Before my 2 weeks were up, the urgent care fired the full time receptionist and offered me that position. I took it, and told the Pediatrician office I couldn’t stay (I don’t even really like kids, so I wasn’t sad to leave).  I worked at the urgent care from 2006 until 2010 when we moved.}

In 2009 – 2011 I went through an online course for Medical Billing & Coding.. Finished in 2011…. Still haven’t tested & I can’t get my certificate or those fancy CCS-P letters behind my name until I do.
I’m scared {and lazy} –That’s ultimately what it boils down to. I’m scared I’m not smart enough to pass the certification test, and it’s $299 every time you take it.

I currently do medical billing & coding, so I have real-world experience, but I don’t think that it is enough. What I do is so limited compared to what is out there, and it just scares me.

I’m not looking or “you’re so smart.” Or “you’re this, or you’re that” …. or any kind of praise. I’m just expressing the way I’ve been feeling lately. I know I’m not alone in my feelings – maybe you’ve been feeling some self-doubt as well.

Feel free to leave an anonymous comment with your feelings of self doubt. We can wallow together..

Just kidding, I don’t want to wallow. I want to say what I have to say, feel what I need to feel, then make a plan to quit feeling this way.

When you were growing up, did you know what you wanted your “career” to be?

Did you go to college after high school, or did you begin your career another way?

If you went to college {and graduated}, do you use the degree you received?


On kicking my own butt


My head started aching around lunch time on Monday. My right eye started aching shortly after that – I’m not one to keep a small pharmacy in my purse so I had no type of pain reliever to take. I couldn’t take my contacts out (which I thought might be causing the eye throb) because I can’t see to drive with out them. I mean, I can see, but not well. Trust me, you don’t want me driving around without contacts/glasses.

I had work errands to run when I got off work on Monday, and two doggies that were probably doing the pee-pee dance in their crates. I opted to skip the gym and create a workout that I could easily do at home.

By easily I mean, a workout that I can do with the minimal equipment that I have. Not an easy workout. Nope, this wasn’t easy. I was ready to give up with the first set of sumo squats.



I recently saw a new exercise on Instagram that I wanted to give a try; walking treadmill lunges. If you’re thinking it sounds easy, I double-dog dare you to try them. It’s not easy. I wanted to cry after the 2nd set.

I started out walking on the treadmill @ 3.5mph on a 10% incline for 3 minutes. I moved the speed down to 1.7 & did walking lunges for 2 minutes on a 10% incline. Active rest for 1.5 minutes, 3.5 mph @ 10% incline. Last set of walking lunges for 2 minutes, 10% incline on 1.8mph.

trust me, your legs will burn. If they don’t, you didn’t do it right.

Rest of the workout consisted of some more butt kicking – The workout itself wasn’t particularly hard.. Maybe I was just extra tired, but I really wanted to quit a few times, and I actually cut the workout short simply because I just didn’t feel like it anymore.

sumo squats w/ 20lb DB     3 x 12
wall squat w/ stability ball  5 x 15
single leg lunges 20lb db    3 x 8   — I was done here. These totally killed me. I kept losing my balance
narrow DB squat 20lb db    5 x 6
calf raises                             4×25

I also had lateral leg raises & front leg raises, but I quit before I did them. Those lateral leg raises kill me and I just didn’t feel like it.  I know this is such a horrible attitude to have, and I don’t normally quit during a workout, but I was just over it.

top pic is from 1/3/2013 – bottom pic is today, 1/29/2013


I love going to the gym, but I just wasn’t feeling motivated at all today. I wrote up my workout this afternoon, stuck it in my purse, and hoped I’d be able to make it through with out keeling over and dying. I don’t know why I’m so tired, but I could fall asleep at any second.- That said, I definitely went to bed WAY TO LATE last night, so that is probably contributing to my tiredness. I also feel like I got beat up. My entire body is sore, and I’m not quite sure why.

Saturday I did a legs workout, Sunday was a rest day, and Monday I did legs again in my home gym. I have no idea why my back and shoulders are killing me. It’s bizarre, and it’s adding to my tired crankyness.

Anyways, back to my workout for Tuesday:

I started out with 8 minutes on the stair-stepper, then moved over to the mat to stretch.

workout: back & biceps

deadlifts                                4 x 8
reverse grip lat pull down    4 x 12
barbell bent over row           3 x 20
compound row machine      4 x 12
EZ bar bicep curl                  3 x 8
hammer curl                         3 x 12
arm curl machine                3 x 15


I based my workout {loosely} off of a workout I saw on recently. The gym was PACKED PACKED PACKED today. What I actually did, isn’t what I wrote down. I had to sub out a few things because every time I went to use a machine it was taken. I don’t have all day to stand around and wait for a machine to open up, so I used something else that would target the same muscles. Kind of annoying to have to change my plans, but I guess that’s what happens when you are still at the gym at 5pm.

My gym got this hexagon deadlift bar a few months ago – I would rather use a regular bar, but space is so limited on the floor it can be challenging to find room. This bar is nice & compact and I can hide out in a corner and deadlift until my heart is content. I found this article on the benefits of using this type of bar for deadlifts vs. a straight bar.

That time I should have listened to what the reviews had to say

I would consider myself a fairly educated consumer. It’s true that I don’t research every product that I buy, but when I feel that I don’t know enough about a certain product, or brand, I get on Google and search until my heart is content.

I’ve been in the market for a dog bed for Wyatt for a pretty long time now. Wyatt is the ultimate destroyer; if you want something destroyed, give it to him, he’ll help you out. I’ve looked at every store that carries pet supplies in our area. I’ve looked on Amazon, and done way to many Google searches. I just couldn’t find anything that looked like it was durable enough for “The Ultimate Destroyer.”

We’ve gone through countless dog beds, a few blankets, and an un-numbered amount of towels. He’s also eaten the baseboard off the wall, a decorate corner piece of the baseboard. There are two holes in the couch, and I no longer own a pink pair of crocs, a leather pair of rocket dog shows, or two pair of black high heels.

Investing in a new dog bed is a big deal – kind of like buying a car, but not really. Recently I was in Pet Smart buying {the most expensive} dog food and some chew toys (not that he chews them, but hey, a girl can dream); I meandered over to the dog bed section and found a bed made by Kong. You’ve heard of Kong, right? They claim to be indestructible chew toys. We actually have two Kong toys. So far, they haven’t been destroyed. Do you know why? Because Wyatt will not chew on them. If it’s not soft of fluffy, or leather, he wants nothing to do with it.

Anyways, I see this bed, it looks okay. It has a seam all the way around it that I can see would cause trouble if I were to buy it for Wyatt. I walk away. That bed will never work. He will have that destroyed in less than 10 minutes.

A little further down the aisle is another bed made by Kong. This one is flatter, and doesn’t have the problematic seam. It’s not as soft, but it could work. So I take note of the price, and go home to do my research. I’m not an impulse buyer, except for that time I went to “look” at a Nissan 350Z and then somehow accidentally bought it and drove it home. But I swear, I’m not an impulse buyer.

I checked out the bed on the Pet smart website; the reviews were less than stellar. Well, shoot. I did a few more searches and came up empty handed. Again. I decided that sometimes in the next few days I would take my Husband to check out this bed. Maybe the reviewers just have super duper ultimate destroyers for dogs. Maybe this bed could stand up to Wyatt.

We ventured over to Pet smart this past weekend to pick up more dog food, some flea shampoo, and to check out THE dog bed. We hemmed & hawed over whether or not Wyatt would destroy it. Would it make through the night? Would he get one little tooth on that seam and tear it to shreds? Should we just go home and flush $40 down the toilet instead?

We decide to buy the bed. The Husband swears this is Wyatt last chance. If he destroys this bed he’s doomed to sleep on that hard plastic sheet in the bottom of his crate for the rest of his life. We take the pretty red crate pad home, put it in his crate, and hope for the best.

Monday morning rolls around and the crate pad miraculously has survived the night. Hallelujah! There is hope!

I get home from work Monday afternoon, walk into the room where Wyatt is crated… FAILURE! Shreds of red material & green stuffing everywhere.

We should have flushed $40 down the toilet. That would have been more fun.

kong is not durable

I can’t think of a title, so this will have to do

Why is it that on Saturday’s I pop right out of bed like my butt is on fire, but Monday – Friday it’s an internal battle to get up so that I make it to work on time?

It’s weird how much I love waking up on Saturday mornings – the anticipation of a good workout makes me spring out of bed, shuffle to the kitchen for breakfast & coffee then bask in the wonderful quietness.

This morning I woke up at 5:15, shuffled into the kitchen, put my oatmeal in the microwave, started some coffee, and watched a little bit of netflix. (Have you seen the show 24 with Kiefer Sutherland? That show makes my head spin…and scares the crap out of me).

I only wear my best on Saturday’s…..

The Y doesn’t open until 7 on Saturday (which I don’t like) so I told Chris I was leaving, and he kindly told me that his work truck was parked behind me so I’d have to drive his Ford (awww darn.. ha, jk. I LOVE driving that beast). I rolled into the parking lot around 7:05, and it was almost empty. ahhh bliss! I love an empty gym.

I started with a few minutes on the Arc Trainer, followed by some foam rolling & stretching.


wide stance squat                                              5 x 5   hit 150 today, WOOT!
calf raise on hack squat machine                     3 x 12
hack squat                                                           5 x 5
calf raise on leg press                                         1 x 6, 5 x 10
glute kick back                                                     3 x 12
seated calf raise                                                  6 x 6
seated leg extension                                            6 x 6
seated leg curl                                                     5 x 6
lateral leg raise                                                    3 x 15
front leg raise                                                       3 x 15

cool down: 15 min on stair stepper thingamabob


This morning as I was walking across the parking lot towards the gym entrance I was thinking, “man, I’m glad I’m not out running in this cold weather.”

That is weird.

I used to LOVE running in the cold. What is happening to me?

I find it fascinating how much I really don’t miss running? I thought that after a while I would miss running, and want to go back – but I don’t.

I probably couldn’t even run a mile right now, and I’m okay with that.


That’s all for today – I’m going to give Diva a bath… because giving her a haircut wasn’t enough torture for both of us

I’m a big kid now

Hallelujah! it’s Friday! I’m SO excited that the weekend is finally here!

This week I received my St.Pete Rock n Roll 1/2 marathon confirmation via e-mail… to bad I’m not running. My friends started to receive their confirmations and there was lots of chatter on FB about which corral various folks were in. I had a fleeting moment of, “dangit, I should have trained.”  The feelings dissolved pretty quickly, and I remember that I’m quite content right where I’m at.

This week I took Sunday/Monday off from the gym – come tuesday I was rarin’ to get my workout on! I always start my week off with legs. I LOVE leg days – I love the power I feel – I feel so in control.

Last week I worked up some nerve and moved from the smith machine to the regular power rack.


        POWER RACK                                                SMITH MACHINE

I first used the power rack last Thursday – I was kind of lost on how to set it up, so I just winged it. I kept the weight light just-in-case something bad happened..

I did 3 x 12, 95, 115, 125 .. LOL, I guess I didn’t really keep the weight all that light.. I think 125 was my max. Any how, I was a little wobbly, and a little nervous but I think the move from the smith machine to the power rack was a good decision.


squat rack1

that face is my “don’t talk to me, I’m working out” face AKA “The bitch face”

Yesterday I was back in the power rack for some more squat action – Have I told you how much I LOVE squats.. I just love love love them!

I always start my workout with a few minutes on the treadmill/elliptical/arc trainer – I like to warm my legs up before I stretch & foam roll. Maybe it’s the runner in me, but I can’t stretch cold muscles, it freaks me out.

wide squat (power rack)                                3×10
barbell lunge (power rack)                            3×10
narrow stance squat (power rack              3×10
plated leg press                                              3×10

dead lift                                                             3×10
good mornings                                                3×10
lying leg curls                                                  3×10

I hit a new PR on my wide squat yesterday – on accident. I forgot to account for the weight of the bar when I threw two 45’s on the end of my barbell. I stepped out with the bar and thought, “DANG, this feels heavier than the other day.”  Duh. it was. I successfully banged out all 3 sets with 140lbs!


Have you hit any new PR’s lately: running/lifting/golf/anything?


On Saturday I woke up at the butt-crack of dawn to get a workout in before we headed over to my Mom’s house. The Y doesn’t open until 7 on Saturdays, which is early, but not early enough. I wrote up a workout, and headed down to my little home gym to kick my own butt.

I started out with 5 minutes of walking {at an incline} on the treadmill, 5 minutes of foam rolling & then 1:45 of jump rope.

butt-busting workout –

stability ball squats   (4×25) no weight first set, 15lb DB last 3 sets
lunges w/ 15lb DB        (4×10/ea leg)
front flutter ki cks      (4×25/ea leg) 


leg raises                       4×12    (this is REALLY good for runners
lateral leg raise            3×20/ea leg


donkey kicks                  4×12
narrow DB squats        4×10  (20lb DB in each hand)


Please believe I am STILL sore…..My glutes aren’t sore, but the muscles that don’t usually get worked are killin’ me… Those lateral leg raises are no joke. 

The warm up + workout took about an hour, burned 398 calories, avg HR was 127, max HR was 171.


The rest of the weekend we spent in Clermont with my Mom & family ~

jan 19 collage

I am SUPER excited about the coming weekend! My friend Sherry is coming to town!!! I haven’t seen her since last Feb (so lame!) I can’t believe it’s been almost a year… She had a super busy year last year, and we just never found the time to hang out.. The time has come, we are finally being reunited, and I CAN’T WAIT !!!!

and now, for a SUPER old picture of, because I can’t find anything newer than this right now:

jena sherry 1

circa 2009 (I think) at approximately 6amish – We went down to Englewood (FL) for a week of fishing. This picture is taken at Boca Grande State Park where we stayed all night while the guys fished. We fished some, but mostly slept in beach chairs.  Oh, and I have a top on, it’s just a tube-top type thing so you can’t see it.

jena 3am

sherry 3am

I love looking at old vacation pictures… The captions that I have on these pictures on FB say that this was around 3am.. this was at Boca Grande Pass again – probably the same night. The light behind me is the lighthouse light circling around.

Happy Tuesday!

seeing the light–the longest post in the history of LIBK

I spent a lot of time this morning pouring over pictures – looking for any sign of improvement. We are our own worst critic… I’m super hard on myself, way to hard.. I should cut myself some slack. I should recognize any improvement and be proud.. but I’m not. Instead, I spend time analyzing and berating myself for not doing better.

The time lapse between the two pictures below is 7 months. July 2012 & this morning (January 2013). I think July is when I started doing Chase’s workouts.. I did them for a few months – not as often as I could/should, but I did them. I was still running, and not eating as clean as I could/should have been. july 2012 jan 2013 full body collage




click picture to enlarge

January, eating better (for the most part). Not running at all, doing cardio a few times a week, and lifting about 5x/week. I recently started really pushing myself in the gym. I read an article that said something along the lines that if you aren’t pushing yourself then you’re just wasting time – that really spoke to me. I was going to the gym 4 – 5x/week, but I wasn’t really pushing that hard. I was a newbie to the gym, and kind of intimidated by it all. Now I’m feeling more comfortable, like it’s “my” gym too, so I’m getting in there and doing the damn thing.

Of course my nutrition needs work – This is the hardest part..

nov dec jan back collage

Nov 2012 – Dec 2012 – Jan 2013

nov dec jan bicep collageNov 2012 – Dec 2012 – Jan 2013


Change doesn’t happen over night.
It takes time
I need to be patient
I need to be more diligent about nutrition


I know this post has a negative tone to it – while the changes are minimal, I know they are there.

The most important thing is that I am FEELING {mentally}better. I started this journey in a bad place. I was struggling every day with my body image. I would sit, on the floor, in my closet and cry.

I know that it is hard for some people to understand what I could feel negative about. On the outside, to anyone other than myself, I look okay. Normal. Skinny even. I didn’t feel that way – It wasn’t that I thought I was FAT. I just didn’t like the way my body looked. It’s hard to explain. Even Chris didn’t know how deeply the hate for my body went. I complained that I was fat {to him}. Even though that’s not really how I was feeling – I just couldn’t figure out how to explain it to him. We’ve been together almost 8 years, and I couldn’t figure out a way to tell him how I was feeling – that was frustrating for both of us.. Probably more so for him.

When I finally had a complete mental break down I told him that I thought I needed to see a therapist. This wasn’t going away and it wasn’t getting better – if anything, it was getting worse.

I started seeing a therapist. I felt SO embarrassed. Who sees a therapist because they hate the way their stomach looks? I cried, a lot. Out of frustration, embarrassment, and because I’m insanely emotional person. I had a hard time explaining to the therapist what I was feeling – I don’t think that anyone can really understand unless they feel that way themselves. I went for a month – I decided that I wanted to try & really control it myself.

I thought that diet & exercise could help control the feelings. This is around the time I joined the gym.

So far, I was right. Do I have bad days? Yes. I still get frustrated, and agonize over what I’m going to wear, but those days are fewer and fewer, and they are further apart.

I am finally in a place where I am comfortable with my body more days in a month than I’m not comfortable. I can’t tell you how long it’s been since I felt okay about my body.

for this I am thankful.


Wow, if you made it through that, congrats. That is totally not where I was planning on going with this post this morning – but I guess I felt like I needed to tell a little bit of my story.

I think it’s important for you to know so that you can see where I’m coming from. That my struggle is real, and that I’m not just fishing for compliments {or whatever}.


and with that, I’m headed to the gym.


I have a feeling that the coming week is going to be  VERY long. Isn’t that the way it always works? The last two weeks have only been 3 day work weeks for me, so this coming week is just going to drag ass.

Monday I hit the local Gold’s or leg day where I did the following routine:

smith machine squat
one-legged squat holding DB
good mornings
sumo squat
leg extensions
seated leg curl
leg press
standing calf raises

Tuesday we woke up super early so Chris could get the pork butt on the smoker. I headed to the gym for a great upper body session.

Wednesday we were back home, and I was happy to take a rest day.

Thursday was leg day again.. I LOVE leg days! I really love doing squats and lunges (that’s weird, right?) I just think they are fun…I also did something I’ve never done before – a morning HIIT workout in my home gym. I enjoyed the AM session, and hope to continue that trend from here on out… (but we all know I’m not a morning worker-outer)

Friday was back to the gym to work on my baby biceps. I had a pretty good workout even though I had to rearrange the entire thing because the gym was so crowded.

Saturday I kicked my own ass with some squats & lunges, and some bursts of cardio.

Sunday a very welcomed rest day. I stayed in my pjs until after 12 !! My favorite days are days when we can just lounge around in pjs until it’s no longer acceptable. I did a little meal prep, made some salmon & veggies for lunch, then headed to the grocery store to battle the snowbirds. Seriously, is it April yet?   Now I’m headed to fold laundry and read a book –

simple saturday

This morning I rolled out of bed around 8:30, made some oatmeal and debated whether or not I should go to the gym. My legs were{are} still sore from my leg workout on Thursday.

I dilly dallyed around the house for a little while then decided I would go downstairs and do some light cardio….

…… hour later I crawled back up stairs

I started on the treadmill – I put the incline on 7, and walked for a few minutes at 4.5mph… At some point I cranked the speed up to 6.5 (incline still on 7, and ran for 1 minute) slowed back down and walked for a few minutes, cranked the speed to 7 (incline 7) and ran for another minute. I think I ended up with 13 minutes on the treadmill.  After the TM I pulled out my jump rope and did about 2.5 minutes … not solid, I kept messing up – I really need to work on my skillz.

Next I did some stability ball/wall squats. I put the stability ball between my lower back and the wall and rolled all the way down into a deeeeeeep squat. (ass to the grass, baby).  3 sets of 25. In between each set I did 16 step back lunges while holding 15lb dumb bells. 3 x 8/ea leg ….

I ended this torture with 10 minutes on the bike.. I stretched for about 15 minutes, then went for a short walk (.25mi) around my block to cool down.

My hamstrings are SO ANGRY! On a non-angry day I can bend down and put my entire hand on the floor – this morning I could barely touch my tips on the floor… lame …and the stairs in my house are currently the bane of my existence.. SO MANY STAIRS!

teenagers & snowbirds

I love Fridays! Since I’m the boss at my job I allow myself to wear jeans, and leave at 3. It’s great to be the boss.

I was hoping the gym would be less crowded since I would be there a little earlier than usual. nope. wishful thinking, jena, wishful thinking.

I started with a few minutes of walking on the treadmill. I cranked the incline up to 7 and walked at 4.0mph.. That was actually kind of tough – I wasn’t paying attention (I was texting….) and I about fell off the back.. oops. Note to self: walking & texting is dangerous.  After my near death experience on the TM I headed over to my little foam rolling spot to roll out my legs. Those babies are sore from yesterday’s squat sesh. whew. I love that the gym has a foam roller.. so convenient.

Thankfully the Smith Machine wasn’t being used so I practically ran over to snag it before someone else did. I started off with some bench press.. I really wish that Chris went to the gym with me so that he could be my spotter. BUT, he doesn’t. So this will have to do.  — I tried to find an article on the pros vs. cons of the smith machine; I couldn’t find anything. If anyone has an insight on this matter, feel free to share – or link an article that I can read.

I received my new workout log today! I was stupid excited to use it. I wrote in my previous january workouts.

The numbers on the side are the order I did the workout in – had to switch it up bc people were in the way. I superset the shoulder press/bicep curl, which is why there is the little mark outside those two exercises.

I’m really excited to have a book to track my workouts in. The app on my phone is fine, but it’s hard to go back and look at what I did and with what weight. This is much more organized, and I can always use some organization in my life!

bicep collage 1 4 2013