Tag Archives: Physical exercise

Drink Up!

9 Jan

Happy Wednesday everyone! I hope you’re all having a great day!  Today started out with a quick breakfast of banana yogurt with oats before tackling a long to do list which I got halfway through before deciding it was time to take a gym break.

Workout

As was scheduled in my Slim and Sculpt program, I had an interval day which consisted of one minute of running followed by a minute of fast walking for a total of fifteen minutes. It was definitely a harder workout than I expected when I was first reviewing it. The speeds were definitely a bit higher than I usually run when I do a distance run and the walking portions were still at 4.5 mph which kept my heart rate up. Thankfully, one of my favorite running songs came on near the end of my run to get me through the last few intervals.

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I was certainly a hot mess once I got off the treadmill but I felt accomplished. I followed up my run with a quick ab workout and a BIG bottle of water in keeping with my resolution to drink more water. Speaking of which… Continue reading

Cousins Shopping Day

4 Jan

Let me start this post by saying if you haven’t been to a Disney Store, please do yourself a favor and go. The minute you walk into the store you can’t help but smile and your day just seems a bit better…or at least that’s how I felt yesterday after my first visit. After getting a few gift cards at our family Christmas party, my cousin and I set out to the mall to pick up some new things. Although we didn’t have much luck with the shopping, we mad a point to stop at the Disney Store before leaving. My heart INSTANTLY melted. I felt like a little kid again. I was instantly drawn to all the Monsters, Inc. stuff because it is one of my favorite movies. I mean, how cute is this coffee mug?

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Lunch

It was hard to stop myself from spending money. After wandering around for a bit and finding more things that I will be adding to my Christmas and birthday lists next year, we stopped by a Chinese food place for a late lunch. We were absolutely famished by the time we arrived and as always, the food hit the spot. We both decided to order the beef and broccoli which was delicious.

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We hit a few more stops before both heading home to take much needed naps.

Workout

My workout for the night was a bit frustrating if I do say so myself. Although I like the gym that I go to, it’s on the smaller side so with all of the people who joined for part of their New Year Resolutions, it’s a tight squeeze. Thankfully, my workout was rather short. It was also the start of my second week of the Slim and Sculpt Program (mentioned here). After a quick five minute warm up on the treadmill, I hit the weights doing squats, dead lifts,  bench presses and rows leaving me VERY sore, but feeling accomplished this morning! Hopefully this second week of the program will be even better than last week!

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Hope you all have a great morning! Look out for another post later on today!

Back to the Grind

1 Nov

I’ve been lacking a lot of workout posts lately (or I guess any posts for that matter) but this semester has been kicking my butt. I can’t wait until Thanksgiving and Christmas break to get a chance to sit down and catch up on posts!

As for my workout today, I felt pretty unmotivated until I got to the gym at which point I wanted to do everything. I lost track of time quickly which I find is amazing because it makes workouts fly by. I started out with an awesome “shredmill” workout that I found somewhere on the web. I wish I could remember where I found it because this is one of my favorite workouts lately. It’s long but like I said, time flies when you doing it because of the constant changes with speed and incline.

Get ready to break a serious sweat!

This one definitely had me breaking a sweat and I was pumped up for some supersets when I got off the treadmill. I found a blog the other day called The Lean Green Bean which had tons of workouts. Definitely worth checking out! Anyways, after browsing some of the supersets she had, I came upon an arm and abs one that I actually thought I would finish. Sometimes when it comes to supersets, I find that I get bored or get to a move that I hate and just stop. This one I ended up pushing through and I was definitely feeling it a few hours later.

As for the rest of the afternoon, I will be spending it catching up on some school work and getting chores done around the apartment. I am hoping that between those two, the days between now and November 20th when I go home for Thanksgiving will fly by! Fingers crossed! Have an amazing Thursday!

Turn the Beat Around

30 Sep

Is it just me or does everyone else get incredibly tired of their running must after a few runs? Lately I’ve been finding myself skipping through a majority of the songs on my playlists and getting distracted from my run. I should also add that I am the queen of making mental notes and forgetting them seconds later. For example, if I am in the car and I hear a song that I’d love to add to my workout list, I make a mental note. The problem is that the song never makes it to my playlist…until now! I found an app for iPhone called Shazam that I’ve been using lately which listens to the song that is playing and saves it to a list so that you can download it later. Genius right?! Although I’m still working on adding some more songs to my lists, here is a list of my favorite workout songs now:

Another neat site that I use a lot to find new workout music is called jog.fm. I can’t exactly remember where I heard about the site but it has turned out to be an amazing find. The site allows you to enter your pace for either you runs, bike rides and walks and returns a very extensive list of songs that have the same bpm as you run/walk/bike. Nifty right? You can also listen to the songs on Spotify if you have it installed on your computer as opposed to typing them all into Youtube which can be a pain.

Well now that you have plenty of new sources for music, I hope you all add some new songs to your playlists and get going! As for me, I’ll be taking the next few days off because of a sneak attack from a cold but no fear! I’ll be back out on the trails before you know it. Have a great Sunday night and a wonderful Monday tomorrow!!

Do you have any favorite workout songs that you add to every list? Any suggestions that I should add to my lists? Leave them in the comments!

Running Ahead of Schedule

24 Sep

It’s time yet again for another long overdue post of catching up and filling in! I’ll try to keep it short as I have a very long post coming later this week but let’s start with Friday. After surviving all of my tests, I managed to make it through my Friday classes and got a chance to finally relax. After sitting around my apartment for a while, I realized that I hadn’t been down to see Mike the Tiger at all this year. For those of you who didn’t know this, LSU has the fourth best tiger habitat in the country which is home to our amazing mascot Mike VI who is a Siberian-Bengal tiger. Pretty epic right? By the time I got down to the habitat it was hot so I knew Mike wouldn’t be his energetic self but it was fun to hang out for a bit. During the school day, there aren’t many people down on that side of campus so it’s nice and quiet which is exactly what I needed.

Geaux Tigers!

Following my trek to the other side of campus, I went out for my run which consisted of intervals which quickly turned into a walk because it was just too darn hot. I’m not use to this sort of heat in September when back home, we are usually wearing jeans, watching the leaves change color and getting our cars ready for winter. I still managed to finish the workout under an hour, having run as far as I could before I felt like I was going to sweat to death and decided that once my body recovered a bit, I would hit the gym where I did the Speed Demon workout (under the Work It Out tab). I followed up the run with some arms and legs because I’ve been neglecting to do my lifting lately.

The kind of Fall that I am way more use to

Before I knew it, Saturday had arrived and it was time for football and well as tons of yummy food. I headed over to a friend’s apartment where they were cooking pulled pork and watching football. After watching all the other teams play, the LSU finally came on around 6:00 PM and it was a nail biter. We managed to scrap by 12-10 to win the game but it was far from the 20 points that we were favored by but as everyone else has said, a win is a win is a win. Sunday arrived too soon and I spent most of the day catching up on rest that I had missed the night before. I recently signed back up for Netflix which was probably a bad idea considering the number of shows that I have gotten hooked on. I’ve specifically been watching Nip/Tuck every night before I go to bed. I have to say that I’m at least proud of myself for pacing the shows and not watching an entire series in a few days like I did with Dexter.

The Mad Hatter himself.

As for today, I continued to recover from what turned out to be an interesting weekend and made it through all of my classes without falling asleep or losing focus like I thought might happen this morning when I woke up. After getting out of classes, I studied for a bit, ran some errands and got back to the apartment to finish up some chores that I had been putting off. Once the sun had gone down a bit, I laced up my running shoes and set out for an evening run around the lakes which ended much better than I had expected. I just started running…not fast but I kept going and after forty minutes, I had run the entire lake. Yes. You heard right. I ran the entire lake which I had only planned to do by the end of October. I was so happy and have now set my sights on running the extra part of the lake sometime later this week once I give my legs a chance to recover. Maybe by the end of October I’ll even be up to a 10K. Fingers crossed that my legs and hips will hang in there for a bit longer!

It may not have been fast but I did it!

Well that is all I have for now but be on the lookout for a longer post come Thursday afternoon or possibly Friday. I have yet another Calc II test this week and then I will be free for an entire week from tests before the onslaught begins again. I hope you all have a great week and do great things in the world!

Proceed With Caution

17 Sep

Sorry about how long it has taken me to get another post up but today was yet another interesting day in the life of Nicole McKenna. I woke up this morning to a dreary raining day that left me wanting to go back to sleep but alas, classes wait for no one and eventually I was up and ready to go. Before leaving the apartment, I snuck in a quick breakfast of two kiwis and a banana knowing that it would be a while before I had a chance to grab some lunch. The majority of the morning was uneventful….that is to say until I got to Oceanography which is my last class of the day.

Yummy breakfast!

After surviving my less exciting Astronomy, Calc II and Genetics classes already, I hoped that Oceanography would fly by as usually but before the class could even start, the screen which originally showed the PowerPoint for the day switched to an LSU alert informing us that there was a bomb threat on campus and that we needed to quickly, but calmly evacuate campus. We all sat there a little surprised for a moment, reread the message and at that point, most of our phones started buzzing with text alerts sent by the university. After sitting in close to an hour of traffic as 25,000+ people evacuated campus, I made it to my friend’s apartment and hung out for the afternoon with the intention of getting some studying done but rainy days, cancelled classes and a dog with enough energy to power the city of New York were enough distractions that not much was accomplished.

The pup with endless energy!

After seven hours of searching buildings, all of the residential buildings were cleared and we were allowed to head back to our dorms. They are still working on searching some of the academic buildings but to be honest, the process is moving pretty quickly. LSU has at least 459 buildings on campus (one of our dining halls is called the 459 because it is the 459th building on campus). With that being said, although most of us hoped that classes would be cancelled for tomorrow, we will probably be having them.

Text messages from LSU
CNN article
Traffic leaving campus

I had thought that the day couldn’t be more interesting than having a bomb threat at a school that I am attending but I was mistaken. Upon arriving at my apartment, I also received a text informing me that the UREC was going to be open for the rest of the night is people wanted to workout so I quickly threw on workout clothes. As I went to grab my running shoes, which I keep right next to my yoga mat, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the one and only bathroom cockroach hanging out on my yoga mat. This time, instead of freaking out, I yelled out to my roommate to call one of the guys upstairs to take care of it. Apparently, because we are on the first floor, we tend to get a lot more than some of the other floors and the guys upstairs are use to taking care of them. I can now say that, although the roach won the first round which took place in the bathroom, I have won the battle. Hopefully there won’t be anymore battle royales with the little critters.

Roach – 0
Nicole – 1

After the roach fiasco, I finally made it to the gym to bang out a run which consisted of 3:00/2:00 run/walk intervals for an hour followed by abs and arms. I felt good about the run and hopefully this week, I’ll get a chance to up my intervals on one of my outside lake runs. For the most part, those runs have been going well and I have even dropped some of my intervals below 9:00 minute pace which I was ecstatic with. I’m hoping there is only room for more improvement and I’d like to be able to run the entire lake by the end of October without stopping. (Fingers crossed!)

As I said last week when I posted, I have a bunch of tests this weekend, some of which have now been rescheduled so it may be a few days before I get a chance to post again but until then, I hope you all have a great week! Go out into the world and do amazing things!

P.S. I also updated the Fashion Page so be sure to check it out!

Study Break!

13 Sep

I honestly can’t believe I have been able to go this long without writing a real post and I feel like after writing this one, I never will again. I figure while I cook up some dinner, I might as well take a much needed (and hopefully deserved) study break! I have so much to talk about so get ready for a long-ish post. The past week or so has been hectic as a prepare for a serious run of exams and catch up with homework but in between the mayhem, I made time for  fun and adventures.

First stop for my adventurous weekend was to the Farmers Market that they have every weekend in downtown Baton Rouge. I had heard about it my freshman year when I was here at LSU but didn’t have a car so there was just no getting there. Then, in the month that I was here, I was so tired and worn down that I hardly ever went off campus but this year, it happened. A friend of mine had mentioned two weeks ago that he wanted to go and although we ended up missing it that weekend, we were both up early enough to make it this time. We drove to downtown which, being from outside Boston, is a huge difference. In Boston, it’s easy to lose your way because of all the tall buildings that leave you with few landmarks but in BR, there are only a few tall buildings and it’s a far cry from the hustle and bustle of Boston.

Farmers Market

Once we got to the market, we took a quick look over all the booths before going back and stopping at the ones that had caught our interest. Although there were a few that I wanted to stop at, I didn’t bring cash with me knowing that if I did, I would end up coming home with tons of items that I didn’t need. We stopped at a few of the cheese stands which my friend enjoyed and he picked up a few goat cheeses to try out which he said were amazing. There were also a ton of bread, meat and dessert places that were definitely calling my name. I’ve officially learned my lesson and next time will be bringing some money with my so that I won’t just have to torture myself by looking at all of the scrumptious items for sale. In addition to all of the food items, they also had some live music which was awesome. Basically, if you’re in the Baton Rouge area, you should definitely hit up the market!

Some of the vendor stands

The next adventure was definitely one that I wasn’t expecting to find in Baton Rouge. The same friend that I went to the farmers market with sometimes goes running with my and I had mentioned how back home, I found a park with trails that I absolutely love to run at. I even got Chris to go there with me for a run! He then proceeded to ask me if I knew that Baton Rouge had a swamp in the middle of it which had trails all around that you could hike. I honestly had no idea being that the area of Baton Rouge where we live is largely structured around the college. Come Sunday morning, we are up and ready to head over to the Bluebonnet Swamp and hike a few trails. We arrived at the park and started off on our adventures which ended up being a ton of fun. The trails were a lot flatter than I am use to, being that Massachusetts has hills everywhere but it was very cool to find the wilderness in the middle of a city. Although we didn’t get to see any alligators, which I was VERY much hoping to see, we saw some other wildlife that was definitely new to me….and some of which proceeded to scare me half to death but I managed to make it through all of the trails without getting eaten by anything. You can see the pictures from that trip here. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the slideshow to upload on here.

Turtles hanging out on a log at the swamps

Aside from those adventures, it has been a lot of school work. Because of Hurricane Isaac, a good majority of my tests got pushed back and now I have one every school day until next Wednesday although one is already out of the way. I had my Calc II exam this morning and I’m pretty sure I aced it seeing as how I though it would take me the entire hour and I was done relatively early. As always though, I stayed longer to check over anything and ended up using the whole hour anyways. I’m planning on spending the rest of tonight studying for my Oceanography test tomorrow and hopefully getting a goodnights sleep so that I will be ready to go when the actual test comes around tomorrow afternoon. Wish me luck! I hope you all have a great rest of the night and an amazing Friday! Get ready because it’s almost the weekend!

P.S. Funny story. I had to have blood drawn today and although it didn’t go as smoothly as I had hoped, I survived. In fact, I went through the entire process without even shedding a tear which is a first for me. I have officially reached Big Girl status…..or so I thought. The bandaids that they gave me at the health center were really itchy and as I was driving to Walmart, I remember that I had some Hello Kitty ones in my car that I wasn’t allergic to so I replaced the shiny disco ball bandaids with the pretty pink ones. Long story short, as I was standing in line at Walmart, the woman noticed that I had the Hello Kitty bandaids on and said it was strange that they gave a grown up those bandaids. At that point, and awkwardly, I might add, I had to admit that I had in fact bought the bandaids myself at which point she laughed hysterically. If nothing else, I made at least one person smile today and that is more than enough for me!

They are just too cute!

Fight Through the Pain

6 Sep

It’s Thursday and you know what that means! The weekend is just around the corner which means some much needed R and R for everyone I’m sure. I know that I can’t wait to kick back tomorrow night, pop in some flicks and just unwind from such a short but crazy week. I snuck in a quick breakfast of half a banana with Special K and skim before setting of for the day. Today started off like any other with classes, specifically Organic and Calc 2 recitation. Apparently, the TA that I had last week for my recitation was in the wrong class and never realized it so I had a completely different person teaching today. Once classes were over, I was planning on hitting the lakes again for a run but, as is normal in Louisiana, it was hotter than the surface of the sun so I opted for the UREC instead which I knew would be pretty quiet at 11:30 AM.

Some yummy and filling breakfast to start the day off right!

On the walk over there, I realized how sore my shins were from yesterday so I decided to spend an hour on the treadmill instead on one of the harder programs so I would be sure to break a serious sweat. By the end of the workout, I had covered 3.38 miles and had burned 622 calories (although, as I’m sure most of you already know, the machines are very bad at predicting how many calories you ACTUALLY burn). My legs were definitely feeling it at the end but I knew I wanted to get some strength in too so, giving my legs a bit of a break so they could recover, I started with abs and then moved to arms. For abs, I used this awesome workout from Tone It Up and the arm workout is the one I spoke about here. I was definitely sore by the time I finished those but managed to garner enough energy so I could crank out a leg workout. It consisted of the following:

Leg Press: 3 sets of ten at 110lbs

Standing Calf Raises: 3 sets of ten at 40lbs

Hip Adduction/Abduction: 3 sets of ten each at 70lbs

Prone Leg Curls: 2 sets of twelve at 40lbs

Glutes: 3 sets of ten at 30lbs

My body will definitely not be too happy tomorrow but I do it all for the love of fit (see what I did there? 🙂 ) After leaving the UREC, I stopped in at the apartment to drop my stuff and then headed over to the Union where they apparently believe that air conditioning only works when it is set to 4°F. It was so chilly in there when I walked in after, not only leaving the gym, but walking outside where it feels like 100°. Definitely not the shock I was expecting. I ended up grabbing a tuna salad wrap from Einstein Bros which was far from spectacular but filled me up. Plus, fish has a lot of good protein so that was a good post-workout meal.

Tuna Salad Wrap

As for the rest of my afternoon, it will be spent at the library working on some assignments and attempting to get ahead to that when this weekend comes around, I will be able to crash when the clock hits 12:30, I will, after hitting the lakes of course, be able to lounge around and hang out for the weekend, or at least until the football game comes along on Saturday night! This week, Washington State Huskies are going to be at Tiger Stadium for yet another crazy night of football. Hopefully we can up that record to 2-0 without any problems. As for the rest of the day, I hope you all have a wonderful afternoon and just keep in mind that you’re almost there!

It’s almost Friday!

It’s About Winning the Small Battles

5 Sep

Good evening everyone! Sorry it took so long to get a post up today but my after class routine of coming home and getting stuff done around the apartment didn’t exactly go as planned because there was a student involvement fair on campus. Every year, near the beginning of the fall semester, LSU has a majority of the student organizations around campus come to what is called Free Speech Alley and talk to people who are interested in joining their group. As you can imagine, there are a ton of organizations on campus so actually finding the ones that you want to join without this fair would be pretty difficult. After my last class, I met up with a friend and we ventured around for a bit. I found the booths for some Pre-Med societies that I have been meaning to join since Freshman year which was cool and my friends found a few engineering groups to join.

Some of the tents from the fair

;

After an hour or so of walking around in the very hot weather, we ventured to the Union where we grabbed some Panda Express for lunch where I picked up a Panda Bowl with white rice and beef and broccoli. It was quite tasty and definitely hit the spot. The rest of the afternoon was far from excited and involved a lot of homework, studying and of course, hanging out with my friend’s dog who is a lush. She is a German Shepard/Corgi mix and is beyond adorable. Not to mention that she loves giving big, ole sloppy kisses pretty much anytime she feels its necessary. Once I finally had enough ambition to leave my friend’s apartment, I drove back to campus determined to set out on a run around the lakes that would beat my times from the other day.

Sunset over the lake

I was planning on adding the extra street in too which would make it even more difficult because it ups the distance a decent amount.I set my RunKeeper app to 2:00/1:30 run/walk intervals which was a full minute longer of running than my last interval run on Monday morning. I felt great for most of the run aside from the very end but I still managed to keep all of my running intervals under a 9:45 pace which was awesome. I am hoping that once I start running the entire route, I’ll be able to crank out some 9-9:30 miles so that when I go to run a half marathon, I can make a dent in the race and maybe maintain or coast a bit more for the last few miles depending on how the legs are feeling. Even though I was checking my paces after each of my intervals, I wasn’t really paying attention to my total time but at the end of my run I was VERY happy. I managed to run the entire 4.06 mile route in under 48 minutes even with my walking intervals. I honestly guess it was going to be close to the hour marker but was happily surprised.

Very excited!

I got back to my apartment and popped down in the living room to stretch a bit before my muscles cooled down to much and then whipped up a veggie burger and a granny smith apple with a glass of milk for dinner. It definitely hit the spot and now I can happily continue with my homework and other duties for the rest of the night feeling completely accomplished! I hope you all had a great Wednesday and are ready to take on Thursday tomorrow! Oh, and just incase you didn’t have the greatest day, check out this dog! How cute is this little guy?

Found this pic on our school newspaper site! Made me smile for sure!

You Can Go Hard or You Can Go Home

2 Sep

Good afternoon everyone! Hope everyone is having a wonderful and productive day because I know I sure am! I woke up SUPER early this morning after going to sleep relatively late so that I could go through all of my pictures and put my post for yesterday up but it was definitely worth it. Before 10 AM, I had already cranked out a Calc 2 homework, and Organic homework and cleaned my room. If you’ve ever taken either Calc 2 or Organic, you know how frustrating those classes and homework can be so it was nice to, for once, be able to breeze through them. Midway through my homework sesh, I sat down for some breakfast to get the intellectual juices flowing. Breakfast consisted of a bowl of Vanilla Almond Special K with a sliced up Granny Smith Apple which was delicious.

I promise it looked more appetizing than that

Following the intense homework sesh, I decided to hit the UREC which was FINALLY open after what felt like days and days of being closed. During the hurricane, the entire campus was closed, including the UREC and honestly, there was just no motivation to workout when I was stuck in a tiny apartment for days on end. Then, on Thursday, admin decided that it was going to be safe enough for people to go out and possibly go to the gym if they wanted which meant that EVERYONE flocked to the gym. That’s not even an understatement. I walked in and instantly turned about because it was beyond crowded. For a school of more than 23,000 undergrads, you would think they would have a larger gym but alas, it doesn’t, although it is an amazing fitness facility. Long story short, I went for a workout which ended up being hard. I knew I wanted to be sore when I left because I hadn’t gotten to get a really epic workout in for a few days although the past two days I did good circuit workouts. I tend to find that if I don’t get a run in, I feel like I didn’t work that hard. I like the satisfaction of seeing the mileage on the treadmill at the end of a good, hard run.

Today’s workout started with, what I call, the Speed Demon workout. It sounds bad but you can adapt it for your fitness level which makes it an awesome workout. As your stamina increases, you can increase the speeds that you run at, or keep them the same. Basically, the workout starts out slow and then gradually increases your speed to either your max or close to it over four minutes then drops to back. Then you repeat. It works out to be a total of thirty minutes which, by the time you’re done, if you aren’t sweating hard, you did something wrong.

Speed Demon Workout

Fortunately for me, T.H.E by will.i.am came on during my last hard intervals which got me through. If you haven’t heard that song, it’s definitely one to add to the workout list. It always get me pumped up. After getting off the treadmill, I had run for half an hour, gone 2.5 miles and had (according to the machine) burned 263.2 calories. I was definitely happy to get off the machine when I was done but it was on to the next workout for me. Sundays, by default, are my hard days so it made sense that today was extra hard. My next mission was to tackle the two apps on my iPhone that I use pretty regularly. The first one is called Arm Workout (creative, I know) and is how I learned how to workout my arms which, before the past year or so, I never did. I used eight pound free weights for the routine which includes each of the following for thirty seconds: overhead press, bicep curls, tricep extensions, bent over row, front raises and bridge dips. Definitely a good starter if you’ve never really work your arms before. They have the option to do different length workouts and if you buy the full version, you can do different routines too. My second app that I use is called Six Pack Promise by Athlean-X and is a serious ab workout. It has a 60 day program that you can do if you want to get super cut but I usually mix up workouts from the first two weeks into my routine. This one, unlike the other, is not free but it is definitely worth the $1.00 investment in my personal opinion.

With my arms and abs worked out, I only had legs left to do. I did the following exercises on machines with short ten to fifteen second breaks in between reps….just enough time to grab a sip of water and get back on the machine.

-Leg Press: 3 sets of 12 at 95lbs

-Calf Raises: 3 sets of 10 at 30lbs

-Adduction/Abduction: 3 sets of each at 70lbs

-Prone leg Curl: 3 sets of 10 at 40lbs

-Glutes: 3 sets of ten at 30lbs

I’m sure my legs will not be happy with me tomorrow but my stretching after my workout was thorough so maybe it won’t be too bad. We will definitely find out. After returning from the gym, I heated up some yummy veggie pasta and topped it off with a bit of light alfredo sauce which I ate with a HUGE bottle of water. I’ve been really bad about drinking enough water lately so I figured today is a good day to start. Anyways, I am off to get some more homework done before heading to church but I hope you all have a wonderful afternoon/night and Happy Labor Day!