Thursday, September 30, 2010


What does it mean?

Well to me it means being steadfast, not giving up even when things get difficult, put the full force of any energy I have behind something even if my energy level is low...

And ah, there is the moment of enlightenment;
















What does commitment REALLY mean to you? Sometime I look at it through rosy colored glasses. I don't think of what it will mean to me, that it won't be easy, that it won't be fun. When you start planning to commit to something, sometimes it seems a bit thrilling because it is new. But if you are in it for the long have to prepare yourself for the actual dedication necessary.

This may be one of those things that seems easy to understand, but I think when you really believe it, it can be a real breakthrough, one I hope I just made.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Hot 100

I have decided to join the Hot 100 Challenge. Find more info here:

Tuesday will be my update days :) And now onto my goals!

1. I want to be able to do 40 sit ups in a minute.

2. I would like to be comfortably in a size 14 pants.

3. I'm going to New Orleans! Well, in spirit and eventually in person. By the end of this challenge I want to have covered 349 miles (the distance between Houston, Texas and New Orleans, Louisiana) by walking, running, and biking. That means I have to cover an average of 3.5 miles per day.

So I wrote the top portion of that post yesterday. Probably a good thing, since it seems today will not be as good of a day as yesterday. Last night I started getting really grumpy, I couldn't get comfortable in bed, then I woke up this morning at 3:30 a.m.! WIDE AWAKE. So I got some stuff done I needed to around the house and watched some random sitcom on Hulu called New Amsterdam. I actually really liked it, lol. Then around 5:30 I starting missing Aaron, so I went back to bed. BAD IDEA! He got irritated because I woke him up with my hugs, and I couldn't really sleep. Then my boxer decided that there was definitely room on our bed for him...and if there wasn't he would make room. So I tossed and turned until 6:45. Then I went to the cafeteria when I got to work. I was already having a bad morning so you know I was craving some Hot Chocolate, or a Dr. Pepper, or something bad. But I made the decision to get something healthy. So I got some kind of muffin and some fruit and some water. Ah, temptation avoided. And I was even thinking of only eating the fruit when...disaster struck and I dropped my fruit! It went all over the floor in the entrance of my building. So I'm trying to pick it up as fast as I can, because I don't want anyone to see me...and of course I'm almost done when this overly concerned woman walks in and is like, "Oh you poooooor thing, you poooor pooor thing." Seriously? By this time I'm almost to tears. I just wanted some fruit!! Is that such a bad thing? I was TRYING to make good choices and the world is just against me today. I have a feeling today will not be the best of days...but I'm trying to remain optimistic. Really I am...I can make this a good day if I just keep my chin up. Sigh.

My Competition; Myself

I am competitive.
I want to win.
No question.
I want to be the best
..and I want recognition of the fact that I am the best.

But here is a shocker.

I'm not the best.

Don't laugh, but this has been a huge and difficult lesson for me. I think a lot of people in my generation grew up with parents trying to give them constant positive re-enforcement. This is great in many ways. I certainly think it is better than degrading your child. However, it has given me a bit of a complex. I constantly desire other people's praise, I want to hear how good I'm doing, and too often that dictates the things I do and the way I act. Too often that is my only motivation.

It is difficult for me to admit, but for the longest time the only reason I sang is to get other people's praise. It made me hate singing. It made me quit singing. I couldn't tell if I actually liked singing, the only thing I KNEW that I liked was the praise I received from my family/friends. And when I got to college that praise was extremely rare, and was more often criticism. I wasn't prepared for it. I wanted to be better than everyone, but everyone was better than me. So you know what I did?

I quit.

I dropped out of college and for about 5 years my mind drifted. I had no direction. The only direction I had ever understood was the quest for praise and affirmation. I thought I was a failure, because no one was patting me on my back. But I got tired of crying about how my life didn't mean anything, and my mind started to change...

When I did the MS150 (bike ride from Houston to Austin) earlier this year it was one of the first times I ever did anything that I loved, that I enjoyed, and that I wasn't good at. I'm not saying I'm an awful cyclist. I can push myself up a hill like no ones business, and that makes me feel great. But I am slow, really slow. And that is okay.

You know what I would have done if I would have compared myself to more than 90% of the other cyclists on the road during the MS150? I would have quit. They were better than me. They were faster, they were better equipped; some had trained harder, some had teams supporting them.

I did it alone, I went slow, I came in near the end....and I loved it, and I didn't quit...and I finished.

I was inspired to write this by a friend of mine who is doing a 5K with her brother this weekend. My friend is, in my opinion, athletic and amazing. I aspire to what she can do and the speed she can run. But she is worried, because her brother is faster than her. He started running just a month or so ago and can already easily beat her times. Basically, he is better than her (for now).

She is competitive too. I know it is frustrating to her, because she has been training, she has been pushing. But I know she will never stop.

"Just do your best," is what I tell her as encouragement.

And for the first time I'm saying that, not because it is the 'nice' thing to say, but because I mean it. I'm not perfect. I still want to quit, I'm sure I will still quit sometimes because I'm so crushed by the fact that I am not the best. But, I'm learning. The best experiences are when I aspire to be as fast as my brother-in-law who averages 25mph on his bike, when I aspire to run as fast as my friend Helen, when I aspire to be as dedicated and inspiring as my friend Candice...but I compete and aim to beat myself. When I am on that hill and my body is crying out to stop, when my mind keeps saying I could just get off and walk that hill, when my stomach says 'eat that ice cream, exercise tomorrow'. When I say no, when I keep going, when I push...I win every time. I am the best of me, every time.

I aspire to be like the best and I do my best.
And when I do that I don't need praise or anyone's affirmation.
Because when that happens I am proud of myself, I am happy, I am alive.

And that is victory.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The proposal, book & a boxer, and therapy.

Today has been awesome and crazy. It feels like it was jam packed full of stuff. Nothing of great importance just work. I was really productive and feel like I made good choices.

Awesome right? How often can I really say that? :)

Our date last night was super awesome! Aaron took me to the restaurant where we had our reception. And we saw a waiter that had actually waited on us at our wedding, lol. Dinner was so delicious. We got Spinach Artichoke Dip for an appetizer and then I had the Baked Ziti, which is one of my new favorite foods. There was no way I could finish it. After that Aaron took me to the park where we got married, and get this, he got down on one knee (something he never did when he originally proposed to me) and re-proposed. It was so sweet, and of course I started crying. It was a beautiful evening. Galveston smelled so wonderful; a mix of salty air and flavorful smells wafting from restaurants. Funny how smells can remind you so much of good times. And, the moon was beautiful :) We didn't see it until we were leaving the island because the horizon had been cloudy. But man, it lit up the sky!

And now it is Friday, and my good mood is holding out. I'm thinking tonight I will being making Aaron and I a mozzarella and feta cheese pizza! Yum! After that Aaron is going to a car meet and I'm going to curl up with Rex (my boxer) and a book I borrowed from my niece.

I feel good. I feel like me. Today I went to a therapist. That is right, I'm nuts. I went to him a couple of weeks ago and he was really able to help me with some family stuff I was having. Seems like a big reoccurring theme is Assertiveness and my lack of it. I feel weird seeing a therapist, mainly because I don't know where to start or what he wants me to say. It is scary trying to be honest and not trying to sugar coat things for someone. But that is my main problem...well, maybe not a problem, but the main thing I want to work on. I want to stop sugar coating. I want to tell the truth to everyone. I don't always want to be a doormat or the glue in a relationship. Ah, feels so good to have moments of clarity.

I'm hoping to start implementing this mentality. I want to start with family relationships. I need to 'set boundaries' as the therapist says. That requires me to be up front and honest with those close to me. Why is it so hard?

Anyway, that's about it for today. Thanks for reading!

(PS - Did you notice how I didn't blog about my diet or need to lose weight? It feels GREAT not to define myself but only those two things. Yes I'm making some pretty healthy choices and I will start sharing them. But I'm glad I'm talking about other things too. It feels healthier, lol, go figure!)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Must be the moon...

That is causing me and everyone else to act crazy :) Anyway, it is a good day for me. The sky has cleared up, and even though that means it is hotter outside, it isn't too bad. Next week is supposed to be a cooler, so I'm really looking forward to that.

Last night I was having a bit of a boohoo evening where I felt so old and boring, and was just not happy with myself. So I was hugging Aaron in bed, and he was like, "You are so silly. You are 26! I have never met a sillier 26 year old thinking their old."

He was right, that was silly and stupid! Haha, but I think I will always have those moments. Funny how sometimes you have to choose to think young. I think one reason I was feeling that way is it is getting close to my birthday. 2 months away from today actually.

The last two years I have literally had a breakdown on my birthday. This year is going to be different! I am going to celebrate me! :D I'm thinking a dinner at the Melting Pot (a fondue restaurant) or a romantic picnic with a cheesecake covered in fruit for desert. I actually like the picnic idea best. I'll have to tell Aaron!

This has been a good and accomplished year. I mean, I did my first 5K, my first 10K, did the MS150, and my first Triathlon! That is pretty awesome. And I'm going to celebrate next year which will be even MORE awesome! What is on the agenda for next year you may ask? Well I know for sure I'm going to do the following:

Do the MS150 Again

Do an Olympic Distance Triathlon

Run/Walk a 1/2 Marathon

Do the Warrior Dash

There are other things I want to do and learn, but these are the top 4 things I am definitely going to do in my 27th year of life :)

So tonight is a full moon. I've already called Aaron and arranged a romantic date. I'm thinking dinner on the beach. Thanks for reading, have a good night!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hello, My Name is Olivia

So, after much careful thought I have decided to revamp. Not just my blog, but my life. There is some social pressure that makes me feel like it is wrong to revamp, to admit mistake, to simply change my mind...but I'm going to ignore it, because it is stupid.

It is okay to change my mind, it is okay to take a new direction, it is okay to make mistakes, it is okay to restart even if it is for the 3rd, 4th...100th time. The first thing a help desk tells you to do when you have a problem is, "Did you restart?"

So, I'd like to introduce myself. In no particular order, here's a list of things about me, past/present/future. They are me.

I am Olivia Alexander
I am assertive
I am not on a diet
I am healthy
I am beautiful
I am athletic
I am neat
I am creative
I am talented
I am agnostic
I do not believe in the typical structure of family/society
I don't do something unless I enjoy it
I admit when I'm wrong but I don't dwell on it
I am a cyclist
I love dogs
I am a runner
I am a swimmer
I like kayaking
I have a boyfriend
I like healthy food
I do not drink soda
I eat organic
I read a book a week
I listen to a wide variety of music
I drive with the windows down when possible
I don't like to have a lot of friends
I don't like to be overly social
I don't like to have too many commitments
I don't like to stay in one place for too long
I like being outside
I like camping
I am a great singer
I love dogs
I love money
I love adventure
I don't let fear run my life
I am a good employee
I am not a flake
I am a conservative and support limited government
I like to drive our mustang
I am sexy
I am confident
I am so much more than I can list out.
I am changing.

And the main point of this entry...

I have a blog
It isn't about being fat
It isn't about weight loss
It is about me!
Who I AM.

Olivia, Warrior Princess!(Insert crazy Zena Warrior Princess yells/sound effects)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Gym Boss

So, I got my new toy yesterday, and I really like it. It is called the Gym Boss, and basically it is an interval timer. And of course I had to get it in bright pink :) Last night I used it, and had a great workout. The first workout I had in a long time. What I did was a brisk 5 minute walk; then I alternated 90 seconds of walking and 60 seconds of jogging/running. I did that 10 times. Then I walked for another 25 minutes. So I had a good 55 minute workout! I can't tell you how accomplished I feel after it. And it wasn't too painful and the interval timer just beeped whenever I was supposed to start running, so there was no worrying as to whether I had walked or ran the correct amount of time. I could just go. Tonight I plan on using it for my bike trying something called pyramids (1 min push, 1 min ease, 2 min push, 2 min ease, 3 min push, 3 min ease).

I am so happy I actually did the exercise I had committed to yesterday and I didn't eat horribly. I know today is going to be even better.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Starting the day right and new commitments...

Well, I started to write a post yesterday, but needless to say it was just a huge pity party post. In summary, yesterday was bad. Everything seemed to go wrong that could go wrong. But, that is life sometimes. And I'm glad to say that today has started off on a much more positive note.

First of all, I woke up this morning at 4:15 and went to the grocery store (was too tired last night). I packed my husband and I both a super healthy lunch. Mine is pretty big since I won't get home until after 9:00 p.m. tonight, I included breakfast, lunch, and dinner in my bag. The menu for today is:

Cheerios w/Granola Clusters
Trix Yogurt (the only kind my hubby will eat)


Low Sodium V8

Turkey Pepperoni
Cheddar Cheese

I will admit that I finished off the box of pop tarts that were in my cupboard. So, after that and all that is in my lunch box I'll be hitting approximately 1600 calories for the day.

Not too bad, and definitely better than the 2500ish calories I've been having daily. I have decided to create a reward for myself if I stick to eating within a healthy calorie range for the next week, I will be ordering myself a bento box. This one to be exact:

I am really excited. Just one week and I can get this super cool lunch box! :) It is kind of neat to be excited about a reward that is obtainable and a reward that isn't eating. I almost ordered it yesterday but decided it would be more fun to see if I could push myself for a week.

I have decided to commit to 3 things within the next couple of months.

1. A 6:30 a.m. Health Related Fitness class that meets at my work gym every Monday and Wednesday beginning on 9/20/2010. The Health Related Fitness (HRF) Program’s method is to connect the brain with the muscle by combining an education component with prescribed exercise. The Basic Course for beginners runs for12 weeks. Each class meeting includes a 15-20-minute lecture on such topics as training principles, caloric expenditure, weight management, environmental effects, and the role of exercise in various chronic diseases. At each meeting students follow individualized exercise prescriptions, which are based on assessments of aerobic power, body fatness, muscle strength, muscleendurance, and flexibility. The exercise prescriptions are in two parts, aerobic training and muscle fitness. These plans provide specific workouts on the aerobic and resistance equipment available in the work gym. The staff is comprised of exercise physiologists with advanced degrees and certifications from the American College of Sports Medicine. So yeh, I have my fitness evaluation next week. I'm pretty excited to have the accountability of this program, and to network/meet other people with the same problems/goals as myself.

2. Wellness Walks on Tuesdays & Thursdays at 11:00 a.m. The walks take place around my work place and officially begin on September 21st. Again, I'm excited to meet people around my work place with the same goals as mine. Not to mention with the wellness walks, plus the HRF class I will be getting in 4 days of working out at least a week.

3. Bike around the Bay. Now this is the one I was really reluctant to commit to, because I haven't been riding a lot. Bike Around the Bay is a fully supported two-day, 150-mile bicycle ride around Galveston Bay. The ride starts in Anahuac, Texas, and continues along a scenic route that includes many fascinating sights and highlights. I will be going over two HUGE bridges on this ride, but at least the rest of it is flat. I'm also hoping for cooler weather. This means I must start training. So, I have to start training. I plan to read up and refresh myself on bike training today, so I'll be posting up more plans for training. For more info on Bike Around the Bay go to

Thanks for reading! I'm so glad to be blogging again thanks to my best bud Candy!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Move more + Eat Less = Weight Loss

The Equation:

Move more + Eat Less = Weight Loss

That's it. It is that simple. But I stray so easily from it. I know it is what I need to get back to. I know this blog helped me do that, so I'm back. :) Can't say I will never stray again, but I'm ready to try again.

My goals? Simple, just like the equation.

For the next two-ish weeks I will:

1. Eat 1400 Calories or Less per day, and make those calories healthy if possible.
2. Exercise 30 Minutes per day.
3. Fast twice a week.

That's it. Starting on 9/20 I will probably try to increase the workout time.

I want to lose weight. I want to be skinny. But losing 20 pounds and gaining 25 pounds isn't going to do that. Losing 1 pound a week, and it never coming back is better. I know it is. I know that eating the right way makes me feel better, healthier, and alive.

I know I need to do this.
I know I can do this.
I know I will do this...

...but that last one is kind of a leap of faith.