When you need motivation

To me running is fun and I have a great time doing it. But some days I’m just not feeling it. There are a lot of reasons as to why you don’t want to work out and need some extra motivation. Most of the time the hardest step is to actually get out the door, then once you get out and start running you no longer understand why you had trouble getting out in the first place. Here is a list of things I could think of that might help you those days when the doorstep mile feels a lot longer than normal.

  1. Buy new shoes or clothes.
    I personally like to do this every now and then. When I buy a new pair of shorts I can’t wait to get out and wear them for a run!
  2. Remember why you run.
    Whether it’s because you’re trying to get the “dream bod”, you’re training for a race, or it’s just your therapy. Remembering why you do this will make it a lot easier to get past that horrid doorstep mile on days you’re just not feeling it.
  3. Running is therapy.
    If I feel like too much is going on around me or if I feel like there’s a lot of chaos in my head I always feel better when I put on my running shoes, get my pulse going, breathe in all the fresh air, and sweat. This is also great if you’re angry/pissed off because then you’ll need to get that anger out somehow, which to me has often resulted in random PBs.
  4. Be happy you CAN run.
    I was never good at thinking this way, but after I had surgery and couldn’t run for a long long time I have started to appreciate it a lot more. Not everyone can think back to a time when they couldn’t run for a longer period because of a surgery or similar stuff, but most people have experienced a cold or something that has forced them to take a few extra days off from running. It’s equally as annoying, so think back to that time and you’ll most likely think “I should get out and run now just in case I’ll get sick in the near future”.
  5. Listen to music.
    Sometimes a run will be easier if you listen to music while running. Make a new playlist on your phone, put on your headphones and go for a run! What I like to do is look for new songs from different countries.
  6. Set goals.
    If you have a goal to, let’s say, run 100 km in a month. Then you have to run to reach that goal. If there’s only 1 day left of the month and you still need 8 km to reach your goal then it’s not that hard to get through that 8 km run even though it might be raining outside, it’s only 8 km after all.
  7. Have a challenge with a friend.
    My mom and I have done this a few months now. We both use an app on our phones to track our runs and with that app you can challenge your friends. Our challenge has been “Who can run the most kms in a month?”. You can make your own challenges, it doesn’t need to be the same as ours, do what suits your own goals and workout plan.
  8. Reward yourself.
    For some this means “If I run today I can eat chocolate tonight” for others it means “If I crush my personal best time on 5K I’ll allow myself to buy new shoes”. Do what motivates you.
  9. Sign up for a race.
    Having something to train for other than your ego is awesome. Knowing I have a marathon to run at the end of November makes it more tolorable to run in the bad late fall weather or spend hours inside on a treadmill. You don’t have to sign up for a marathon, obviously. 5K, 10K, half marathon, marathon, other. A race is a race and it’s all for fun.

RunningMotivation
Do you have any other tips on how to stay/get motivated?
What is your “go to” action to do whenever you need some extra motivation?

Marie Alessandra

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Short run-week recap.

Three times a week‘ she said, ‘being consistent‘ she said. It’s still a work in progress.
10juli16-2
Take a quick look at the photo below – this is what my week has looked like. Not a great run-week for me.. I’ve been so stressed out all week, I need to stop making too many plans at the same time. You see this mirrored in my runs. Being stressed and tired doesn’t  The run I’m the most happy with this week is the short 3.02 km run I did with my mom on Friday. Which is a little weird to me, because normally I’m not happy with a run unless it’s at least ‘so and so’ long. The reason I’m so happy with our short run is because Friday was a day where I really didn’t want to go out and run. I felt so *in lack of a better word* blah. Just blah and gross. I checked the app I’m using to track my runs and decided to take a look at the challenge of the month. My mom and I have been doing this fun little motivation thing for 2 months now; we have a challenge on who can run the most km in a month (the app let you make your own fitness challenges and challenge whoever you want). Anyway, I checked out our challenge page and realized I was only 2 km away from reaching 100 km this month and I automatically needed to reach at least those 100 km. Even though I now knew I was going to run I still struggled to get out the door. We’ve all been there, right? Haha! That’s when I asked my mom if she would help me get through this super short run. She came with me and that’s how I was able to do that run.
This weeks runs
It’s nice to feel happy with a run for other reasons than just the distance or time. But trust and believe, once I’m back from my vacation I’ll be chasing times again and train harder than ever before.

Today it’s only one week left until my dad and I are going to New York again. I am so excited! It’s my favorite place on earth, it’s a place that calms me and makes me happy. New York inspires me. I love it so much! To me traveling makes it easier to organize my thoughts and forget about stupid and stressful things that doesn’t really matter. It’s almost like a cleanse. Now I’m rambling, haha! I hope everyone has had a great week! Good night.

What are you doing this summer?
Do you make “post vacation workout plans” before going too?

Marie Alessandra

Lagre

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Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

VeganCinnamonRolls

VeganCinnamonRolls
I’ve always been a huge fan of cinnamon rolls. The smell and the taste, heaven on earth! Cinnamon rolls are absolutely one of my favorite unhealthy things to eat, and for some reason I was craving them like crazy the whole month of June. But the thing that stopped me from eating them was that I was eating plant based (maybe better known as vegan) the whole month. It was getting more and more annoying because I was really craving cinnamon rolls. So one day I decided to veganize a regular cinnamon roll recipe in hopes that it would taste somewhat similar to regular cinnamon rolls, but without the animal products. And guess what?! They couldn’t have turned out any better! Pure perfection! My family also approved and we all agreed that I should bake these a lot more in the future, haha! I wanted to share my recipe for vegan cinnamon rolls on the blog because I know I’m not the only person who wants to bake vegan cinnamon rolls. This recipe is super simple and anyone can do it!
VeganCinnamonRolls1
Ingredients:
150 g Vegan butter
5 dl unsweetened Almond Milk
1 packet dry yeast
1/2 tsp salt
100 g sugar
15 dl flour

Filling ingredients:
100 g Vegan butter
1 dl sugar
4 tsp ground cinnamon

Intructions:
VeganCinnamonRolls2
– Melt the vegan butter on the stove. After it’s nice and melted pour in the almond milk and stir.
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– Put the yeast in a baking bowl and pour in half the butter/milk mixture. Make sure it’s not too warm, we don’t want to kill the yeast.
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– Stir well, try to dissolve the yeast as much as possible.
– Add the rest of the butter/milk mixture.
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– Add salt, sugar and flour.
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– Combine well and work the dough into a smooth and a little sticky ball.
– Put the dough back on the baking bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave it there to rise for 30 minutes. While the dough is getting big and fluffy get started on the filling.
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– With an electric mixer mix together vegan butter (the butter should be a little soft so that it’s easier to work with later), sugar and ground cinnamon.
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– Sprinkle some flour on the surface you’re baking on. The dough is a little sticky, we don’t want it to get stuck on your kitchen counter.
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– Take half the dough and roll it into a rectangle.
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– Cover the whole rectangle with filling mix.
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– Roll up the dough and cut 2 cm thick slices.
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– Repeat these steps with the other half of the dough.
– Preheat oven to 250 degrees Celsius (480 degrees Fahrenheit).
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– Cover a baking pan with baking paper, then start placing slices on there, swirly sides up. You will need more than just 1 baking pan, I used 4.
– Quickly melt some vegan butter in the microwave and use this to brush over the cinnamon rolls before covering the pans with plastic wrap.
– Leave them under there for another 30 minute rise session. Remove plastic before putting them in the oven.
– Bake each pan in the middle of the oven for 7-8 minutes. No, you can not put all the pans in the oven at the same time.
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Tip:
You can cover them with frosting after they’ve cooled down a little if you want them sweet.
You can also sprinkle on some cane sugar (the reason I didn’t was because we didn’t have any).
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I’ve tried to veganize a lot of recipes, but this is by far my most successful one. Let me know if you try making them and what you think!

marie alessandra

Lagre

Lagre

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Consistency is key

Where do I even start?
RememberMe
You know how we sometimes have a task to do that in theory is really simple and shouldn’t need a whole lot of thought around it do get it done but we make it into this extremely difficult and time consuming thing. I do this with blogging! The hardest thing about blogging is not blogging. The less you write the harder it is because when you finally write something you’ll want everything to be perfect. But with that pressure it won’t even come close. If you blog all the time and you’re being consistent it’s not hard, you won’t be too picky, it’ll become a habit and it’ll be good no matter what. Being consistent is key here. I personally think “perfection” will come with practice. It’s science, the more you do something the better you’ll get at it. Just post, post, post, it’ll get easier. And that’s my plan for now. Just do it!

This is just like how I was back when I was in school. If the teacher asked the class a question I would never raise my hand even though I knew the answer, because I was scared it might not be the best answer or that maybe I would say something wrong and people would laugh. I swear, even if the question would have been “When was Marie born?” I probably wouldn’t have raised my hand because I would be scared I’d say something wrong – even though there is no way I would answer that wrong or as I was most worried about: not being able to give the best answer (for your information the correct answer is December 1st 1992, yes I know when my birthday is and that is the perfect way to answer that, haha!).

Haha, guess what?! At this exact moment in time while I’m writing these things I once again start worrying about this not being good enough to post. It’s not like it’s something important I’m writing, it’s just my blog – my blog! See my problem? Haha! At least now I have explained what’s up. I do have a few things I want to write about, a couple race recaps I need to write, a few random things I want to write and post, which is perfect right now because my plan is to start posting something here at least 3 times a week. Need to be consistent.

Perfectionism is sad, and it never works. So let’s just have fun with it.
marie alessandra

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I’m in Sweden

Tanum, Sweden
Tanum, Sweden
Tanum, Sweden
Stairs up the mountain, Sweden
Tanum, Sweden
Tanum, Sweden
Tanum, Sweden
Tanum, Sweden
Rock Carvings in Tanum
Rock Carvings in Tanum
Hello world! I am currently in Tanum, Sweden. Why am I here, you ask? I’m here because I’m signed up for a race! My dad and I are here in Tanum to run a 10K. But that’s still a few hours away, so before I write about that I figured I’d just post these pictures from yesterday.
marie alessandra

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Warm weather, Mini meal prep & Bare belly run

We’re already 2 weeks and 2 days into the month of May and let me tell you; it’s been a good month! A great month, really. At the end of April we had some days where it would randomly snow and I didn’t really think summer would be here for a long long time. Boy was I wrong! Once it was May summer arrived. We’ve had multiple days with around 30 degrees (86 degrees fahrenheit), and so much sun! Which of course means I’ve been running as much as I’ve been able to! I was sick a few days, but I came back even stronger.
16 mai 2016
Yesterday was a perfect day! Before I went out for my run I decided to do a quick meal prep for the week.
Mini meal prep
Nothing major. I just wanted to get the basics done so I made 2 boxes with french beans and whole grain rice, and 2 boxes of french beans and whole grain fusilli pasta. I’ll make the tofu chicken or whatever I want to have with it the same day as I’m eating it, I just wanted to have most of the meal ready because I’ve been so bored with cooking lately and I personally think meal prepping can help you with staying healthy even when you’re bored and lack motivation.
Basic meal prep
After my mini meal prep I went out for a nice little run in the sun.
Norway in May
It was great! I even challenged myself a little and ran with a bare belly! I have never ever done that before, and at this moment in time I don’t feel extremely happy with my belly or anything so it’s not like I have amazing abs I want to show off, haha. I wore a tank top but I stuck it up under the edges of my sports bra so that it was almost like just wearing a sports bra, but having the option of covering up if I started to feel uncomfortable. I did use my cover up solution a couple times, but all in all I am proud of myself for how much of the run I did with a bare belly. Why is this so important to me? Well, I am one of those people who can travel halfway around the world to a beach where I know no one and I’ll probably never see any of the people there ever again in my life – yet I won’t feel okay wearing a bikini or shorts because I’m worried these random people will think “ew, she looks gross”. Some people will say this is stupid, some people will know exactly what I mean. Anyway, I feel like if I’m able to run with shorts and a sports bra here – where I actually risk running into people I know, then it’ll be easier and easier to feel confident and be happy in my own skin no matter what I wear and how my body looks that day. Maybe it will also motivate me to do more ab workouts, haha?!
Enjoying the sun
After my run I enjoyed a bowl full of delicious strawberries and a banana. Yum! Strawberries are probably my favorite thing to eat in the whole world!
Let's have a great summer

Do you like my new blog header?
Has summer arrived where you live?
What is your favorite summer food?

marie alessandra

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So happy with my progress!

Hello and happy Friday! This week has been amazing! Not only have my eating been on point, but I’ve also been able to go for a run every single day and I’ve had so much progress with my running that it’s almost unbelieveable to me. Even though nothing is a 100% perfect yet, I am still so happy with how things are going! Work, run, work, run, work. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s spring or if it’s because I finally get to run again and I’m eating healthy, but my mood has finally started to improve so much. I love it!
marie alessandra breakfast
I am in a good place, sort of, and I have accepted that it will take me some time to get back to where I used to be when it comes to my running times. All I can do is work, work, work, then before we know it I’ll be smashing my distances and PR’s again! I’m already excited, haha. On Monday I went for a nice little 6 km run. I was really happy that I finally was able to get all the kms in less than 8 minutes. I had to walk a lot, but at least I still managed to get them all under 8 – which was the goal. On Tuesday I went for a 7 km run. 4 of the kms in 7-something minutes, 3 in 6-something. That’s progress again! I still had to walk a lot – and I’m pretty sure it will take some time before I can get through a whole run without any walks again, but as long as I’m getting faster again I don’t mind it too much. I haven’t gotten through a whole kilometer without having to walk yet. It’s a work in progress.
22apr16
On Wednesday I went for the same 7 km run. And guess what?! I was able to run the two first kilometers without having to walk! Haha, the smallest things make me proud and happy now, and that’s honestly pretty refreshing and motivating. The rest was again a mix of running and walking, but at least I did it with a little more tempo! As you can see all the km’s except for 1 was in less than 7 minutes. Which I’m really happy with, let’s facd it: last week I struggled to get through a km in less than 8 minutes. Then there’s Thursday! Yesterday’s run was the best one yet, the first time this week I’ve felt like it’s actually been a real run almost, haha! The first 3.5 km I didn’t have to walk at all! I was able to push myself a little more – get out of my own head and just keep going whenever my brain went “you NEED to walk now, WALK!“. I only walked a little, then I started running again. The next time I walked was only because I had to take a sip of water and I’m still having a little trouble drinking without having it go up my nose (yes, that is a valid excuse for having to walk when you drink, don’t try me!). The next time I walked was the same thing. Yes, I only had to take 3 short walk breaks this time! And only 1 of them was for something other than needing a sip of water. 5 of the kilometers were 6-something minutes, then the last 2 were 5-something. YES! Now that is progress!
marie alessandra
Another little thing I want to mention really quickly is that now that I don’t have super long hair my neck doesn’t feel all stiff and sore after my runs. I am so glad I cut my hair, haha! I’m gonna go for a nice little Friday run aswell, but I’m probably going to take it easy and don’t push myself too much, I don’t want to go too crazy too eary on – I’ve done that before and it’s not the smartest thing you can do, haha.

I hope everyone has had a great week!
Done anything fun this week?
Do you have any plans for the weekend?
marie alessandra

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Spring cleaning my thoughts

As I mentioned in the previous post there has been a lot of stuff on my mind lately. This whole year so far has felt really messy to me. I constantly kept getting sick, I wasn’t able to stay positive or motivated for long enough to get back into a good healthy eating plan, I wasn’t able to run very much because of my throat, whenever I felt like things were going right I would get sick again. Then I finally had surgery. The time after I got my tonsils removed I obviously wasn’t allowed or able to be active, which gave me a lot of time to think. Normally thinking too much is bad for me becuase it gives me time to find (or create) flaws in whatever I’m thinking about. It started out like that this time too – I saw all the flaws with my life and myself. Like always I told myself I would change things and everything would fall into place once I could start doing stuff again. All the things I wanted to change and how I was going to do it was the main thing on my mind for the first weeks. Then I went to Berlin.
This is Berlin
What I haven’t already mentioned is that I am one of those people who are great at making plans, but I am also really good at coming up with reasons as to why I shouldn’t do the things that I planned. I kept having these thougths in Berlin too. What I wanted to change to make things better, how I would change those things, why I shouldn’t do whatever I came up with. But for some reason I was finally able to organize my thoughts quite well while we were walking around on German ground. And I’ve started to realize that one of the main reasons as to why I don’t do things that I feel like would make my life much more enjoyable is that I am scared that the outcome won’t be as I’ve hoped. I’m extremely scared of failure, therefore I stop myself before I even get the chance to try. What’s the worst that can happen? If the answer isn’t death and as long as it isn’t illegal, then it probably isn’t a big deal and you get a new chance. I know this is such a cliché, but Nike’s “Just do it” came to mind and all I could think was “Yes! Just do it! If there’s something I want to try or do then I’m just going to do it!”. And I don’t just mean big things like travel to places, quit a job, buy a house, etc. I mean everything! One of the little things I started with was to send a text to an old friend of me. She had put out a story on Snapchat from Australia and I was curious about what she was doing there, if she had moved there or what – instead of just leaving it at that and forget about it I sendt her a message and asked her what she was doing there and all that. Long story short, now I have a coffe date with a girl who used to be one of my best friends back in 2008-2010 that I haven’t seen in 3 years. I’ve done a bunch of little things like that now.
Asked people stuff, try things I want to try, wear something that I’m not sure looks nice, go for walks when I want fresh air even though it looks like it’s going to start to rain soon, just small random things like that. You might think this all sounds really silly, but guess what – taking a lot of small steps on my way to the bigger things will make it feel a lot smaller. As a runner I’ll compare it to marathon training – you start your training with short runs, then you run longer distances, then we do some short interval sessions here ande there, all of the sudden you’re doing really long training runs, and by the end of doing all these things for weeks then you have the race, the real thing, the main race: the marathon – which doesn’t feel too hard because you’ve been training for a long time, not only doing long runs but also quick intervals. Everything you do prepares you for something bigger. You get what I’m trying to say? Anyway, I’ve been thinking about cutting my hair for a really really long time now, but I haven’t done it because I keep thinking “what if it looks ugly, what if I regret it” what if, what if. So what, it grows out again! So this Friday (the 15th) I did it. I went to the hairdresser and had 12 inches (30 cm) cut off. And I couldn’t be happier! It feels great and I love it! The more you force yourself to just do whatever you want – the more natural it becomes to just do things without overthinking everything, and before you know it you no longer worry about stupid things.
Haircut
This week I also finally started running and getting back into healthy eating again. Sure, running isn’t as easy as I want it to be right now. I have to walk a lot and I don’t run as fast as I’m used to. But hey, I’ll work myself back up to where I want to be in no time! I’ve done a few run-walk-run-walks and I’ve also been walking a lot when I couldn’t run. Right now I’m really just doing as much as my body allows me to. I signed up for a virtual race that I learned about from Karen. I was thinking about going for the 5K, but I figured that I wanted to challenge myself and go for the 10K instead. So that’s what I’m going to do. It’s going to be hard for me, considering I haven’t run 10 kilometers in forever, but I don’t mind. I love a good challenge. I think this is going to be fun because I didn’t get to run Berlin half marathon this year, so this is in some ways making up for that loss. I also have more races planned for the year, new ones finally! I’m really excited for that.
Now to the healthy eating part of this post. Honestly, this was one of the things I really wanted to go deep into with this post, but we’ll see how this goes. I don’t think I’ve told you this, but December was a really bad month for me – I came back from Italy and just felt sick after the marathon and I only bothered to eat easy Christmas stuff like chocolate and anything else that is bad for me. Then I went to London with a friend – continued to eat random and unhealthy while there. Came back home, more chocolate, Christmas, more unhealthy food, New Year’s, then this whole year has been a rollercoaster with messy eating, tonsil hell, not being able to work out, and just feeling worse and worse about myself. After this long with too little activity, too much bad foods and a messy eating schedule it’s quite obvious that I’ve gained some weight. I don’t really weigh myself very often because it’s so easy to get obsessed with the numbers and forget about the important thing, which is how healthy your body is and how happy you are – seriously, I will only step on a scale when I feel great about myself and when I know 100% that the number won’t affect my mood. I already knew I had gotten bigger and I was sure I had gained weight, but I got it confirmed after I had to weigh myself before the tonsillectomy. And I was not happy about it. And what do we do when we’re not happy with something? That’s right, we change it! It’s not like I’ve all of the sudden turned into a whale or that my clothes don’t fit anymore (a couple more pounds and I’m pretty sure I’d have to go up a size tho, haha!), but my body a lot softer and less toned than I am okay with. To be brutally honest I’ve been feeling the F-word lately. Fat. Yes, I said it, I’ve been feeling FAT. I’m not saying I AM fat, I know most people wouldn’t consider me as being fat – I know I’m not even close to being overweight, what I’m saying is that I weigh more than I’m personally okay with, I’m not as toned as I’m used to, and my jeans are not comfortable to wear for longer periods of time. I’m just trying to be honest here. And this makes me think about when I first started being healthy and got into running. Back 2013 when I came back from a trip to New York I changed my lifestyle completely (you already know this if you’ve read my About Me page). I wasn’t happy with my health or my body, so I decided to change it. My main thing was to eat healthy foods and eat at the right times. It worked then, so it’ll work now. So I’m just gonna follow in my own footsteps and do whatever I did back then again now.
BeforeAfterRunning
I never ever thought I would share these pictures on my blog, but I guess this is the right time. This was me back in 2013 when I first started my healthy lifestyle. As you see a lot changed in a short amount of time. I don’t know what I weighed in either of these pictures – I believe that using pictures to track your progress is a lot smarter than using numbers because numbers don’t let you see how you look. If it wasn’t for these two pictures I wouldn’t know how much my body had changed. This took me 45 days (that’s 1 month & 2 weeks). The first 2 weeks I was eating healthy and doing crunches, after those 2 weeks I went for my first run, which made me add running to that list. So that’s 2 weeks of healthy eating and daily crunches, and 1 month of healthy eating, daily crunches, and running whenever I could. I wasn’t fat in the first picture, but I was soft (is that word starting to make sense to you now?) – then in the 2nd picture you see my tummy is a lot more toned and my thighs are a lot slimmer. So yes, I’m currently doing what I did back when I first started, doing what I know works. You don’t just learn from your mistakes, you also learn from your own success. I will probably be writing a lot more from now on because sharing things keep me motivated and I really enjoy writing about these things.
And I just want to give you all a little advice: don’t be anything you don’t want to be.

What do you think about my new hair?
Do you hold yourself back from doing things you want?
Are you getting any spring cleaning done aswell?

marie alessandra

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Out for a walk

Today I went for a walk with my mom. I am slowly trying to get back to working out (if you didn’t already know I had throat surgery 3 weeks ago) and my mom has been sick for a few days now so she also has to take it slow at the moment. A walk is better than nothing. 8,12 km in 1:43:13. Nice and slow, but oh-so great.
10apr16
10apr16-2
10apr16-3
I have a lot of stuff on my mind, but I think that needs to be in another post. Anyway, today’s walk was really great. Sometimes a little fresh air is all you need.
marie alessandra

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Quick Tonsil Update

Hello my little Easter bunnies!

It’s been 10 days since I had my tonsils removed now and I am finally starting to feel a little better. Hopefully I feel better for real and not just because I’m on a lot of strong pain medication, haha! Well, I suppose it must be better today because this is the first day after the surgery that I have been able to drink water without it going up my nose and being an incredibly painful task close to impossible. Yes, my throat has been so painful that I haven’t been able to drink anything. One day was so bad that my mom had to take me to the E.R. because I was in so much pain I couldn’t even swallow my own spit. Removing your tonsils ain’t no joke. I’m really looking forward to when the recovery time is over so I can start running again. I miss it so much! I miss so many things, haha! Honestly, the thing I miss the most is eating anything that isn’t popsicles or ice cream.. Yup, that has been my post-surgery diet. And some yogurt. I miss chewing! Haha, that sounds so sad, but it couldn’t be more true. It’s going to be nice to start doing something again. One thing that I am a little sad about is that I won’t be running Berlin Half Marathon this year because – hello – obvious reasons. But I am still going to Berlin, and I’m still going to the expo and and all that just for fun. Sad I won’t be running my favorite half marathon this year, but I’m still looking forward to the trip. Now I’m going out for a little walk (just a 5 minute walk I’ve been doing every day after my tonsillectomy, sadly nothing crazy), enjoy the rest of the Easter!
27mars16
27mars16-2
How has your Easter been?
Eaten anything good?
(haha sorry, I just really miss eating)
marie alessandra

How to make a Healthy Easter Egg

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