Category Archives: Personal

Flight to Happiness

So many things has been flying around in my head these last few weeks.. Some good, some bad, mostly confusion. I’m not saying it’s all bad. This week has been really great on the health front. Both diet and activety has been on point for the most part! I’ve been running, I’ve been walking, I’ve even done some pilates ab workout videos at home. I’m finally back in the zone!

This morning a friend picked me up at home and went to the gym with me. I think it’s a lot easier to go to the gym when you’re not alone (and not just because I don’t drive, haha!). It’s kind of weird to be back on a treadmill for a run longer than 20 minutes, but I’ll get used to it again soon. I knew I wouldn’t be able to run a full 60 minute run on the treadmill today so I just threw in some intervals here and there and allowed myself walk breaks whenever I absolutely needed them. 60 minutes of that, followed with 15 minutes where I just walked. I was exhausted! Ended my workout with 50 sloppy crunches and some random stretching. Even though this probably doesn’t sound like an A+ workout I would rate it as so! I was sweating buckets and I was happy, and that is pretty much what I needed this Saturday morning.
Oslo - Berkeley
I am so happy that I’m going to Berkeley to visit Mari on Tuesday! Nothing can cure a messy mind like the comfort of traveling half way around the world and hanging out with one of your best friends in the whole world. Am I right?! I am so relatable sometimes. I’m planning on having a very healthy and happy trip. Not as in “I will not be eating anything unhealthy” or “I will treat this trip as a bootcamp”, not at all! I will be eating unhealthy things and I will be relaxing a lot. But I do plan on eating mostly healthy and I will be going on walks and such with Mari. She has a gym membership with Berkeley Rec Sports so I’ll probably purchase a day pass there a couple days aswell. We’ll see. The main thing for me (other than visiting Mari, of course) is to focus fully on myself and what makes me happy, because I truly need that right now.

Things are changing and that’s okay. Hope everyone is having a wonderful Saturday!
Marie Alessandra

Lagre

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Cancelled triathlon, Marathon training, & going back to Cali.

A week ago today I got back from a weekend in Hamburg (Germany) with my parents. We ran the Hamburg Half Marathon, which I’ll be posting a recap of very soon. I was originally going to go to Nice (France) tomorrow with my mom because she was supposed to compete in the Nice Triathlon on October 2nd. But can you guess what was cancelled? Yup, the triathlon was cancelled because of what happened there this summer. Which is understandable, of course. So my mom and I decided we’re not going to go to France at all, we can start marathon training together here instead. I don’t mind that at all, the Norwegian fall weather is pretty much perfect for long (and short) runs when it’s not raining.

I still feel like I need a vacation though. And when I need a vacation I make it happen! I think this is one of the craziest things I’ve ever done, haha wait for it.. My friend Mari (who you all probably already know if one of my best friends) is currently taking a year at UC Berkeley. All summer we talked about how awesome it would be if I could come visit her when she moved down there but we also knew that would probably never happen because it’s pretty much halfway around the world and it would be really expensive for me. Well.. Guess who bought a plane ticket to Oakland the other day?! Hahaha! I am so freaking excited for this! I can’t wait to see my friend, I miss her so much and it’s going to be so much fun to see how her Berkeley life is. I am also super excited for the trip itself, the travel part of it – I have never travelled this far by myself in my entire life so it’s a pretty big deal for me. Another thing that I am really excited about is that I get to celebrate Halloween in America! Which is a life-long dream of mine, haha, don’t judge my goals in life. Mari worries that I’ll be bored while she is at school, but I’m not too worried about that, I’m already looking into places to run. This is going to be fun!

For the next 4 weeks I’ll be doing my best at training for Firenze Marathon by running as much as I healthily can, take long runs with my mom, make sure I eat as right as I can, and simply enjoy the wonderful weather whenever possible. Then on October 25th I’ll be going to visit Mari in California! Can you tell my level of excitement is blowing up!?
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Any suggestions to where I can run or what I can do while I’m at Berkeley? (I’ll be there from October 25th to November 2nd if that makes any difference)
Do you have any fun plans this fall? Races, trips, celebrating something?

Marie Alessandra

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It’s been a minute.

A New York minute.
New York, Statue of Liberty
New York, Yankee Stadium
Washington DC
Washington DC, I have a dream
I’ve had such a wonderful vacation! My dad and I went to my all time favorite place on this planet, New York. We stayed at the same hotel as we always do because why change something that is perfect, right? I went to my first ever baseball game. New York Yankees vs San Francisco Giants. And even though I didn’t really understand the sport that much it was still fun to have seen. Another thing that was a first timer for me this year was going to Washington DC. This vacation has been perfect. The warm warm weather, all the Central Park lunches, Subway fun, all the walking, all the things we’ve done a thousand times before, all the things we did for the first time this year, everything! I love New York so much.

I figured a quick little recap of my vacation would be the perfect first blog post of my new routine of getting more into blogging (like I’ve mentioned earlier – 3 times a week). I’m back from vacation now, feeling extremely motivated and I’m ready to get back into the best shape of my life!

Did you visit any fun places this summer?
Marie Alessandra

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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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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
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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!
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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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I had surgery this week!

This week turned out a lot different than what I had expected. On Tuesday they called me from the hospital and told me I could get my tonsils removed on Thursday this week if I wanted. They pretty much gave me an offer I couldn’t refuse *wink wink* Finally! I’ve been waiting for this moment for so long, I almost didn’t believe it. I was nervous. Not about the surgery itself, I was nervous about everything else. I have never had surgery before, I didn’t know what I had to do, where I’d have to go and so on. But this turned out to be really simple and nothing to worry about at all.
tonsillectomy
My dad took the day off of work so he could drive me to the hospital and pick me up after my surgery. It was really nice. We got there in good time. Lift A to the 12th floor. Up to the desk with the little window to tell the lady there who I was and give her some papers. Then she told us to just sit down and wait for a nurse to come. While waiting we just talked about random stuff, I started my Snapchat story for the day, and we played with some Duplos (or, my dad made a house while I took pictures of the little Duplo cow) haha.
A nurse came out in the room we were sitting in and called my name. We shook hands. Hello, hello, just follow me. She looked so much like Juliet from Lost – if anyone else remembers that show. Her name was Heidi and she was super nice. I followed her into a room with a desk, a computer, some scary looking chairs, and a bunch of cute little baby blue and mint green lockers. She asked me a few different questions, gave me a bunch of pills I had to take, and gave me a hospital shirt and a robe. I went to the bathroom to change and put all my things in a locker. She told me to just sit and wait for the green dressed ladies to get there (apperantly the green dressed ladies were the surgery nurses or something like that).
Before surgery!
I didn’t have to wait very long for the green dressed ladies to get there. There were 3 of them, and I’m sorry but I can’t remember their names. I followed them into the surgery room, where I had to lay down on the surgery table. They started measuring my pulse and tried to get the needle connected to the liquid bag thing into my hand. Not as easy at it sounds, my veins are sneeky little bastards that doesn’t want to be poked. It took them 5 or 6 tries, but they got it in the end. Then I got an oxygen mask for some extra oxygen before they put me in general anesthesia. Z z z.
Right after surgery
Before I knew it the surgery was over and I was waking up and being annoying to the nurses. They told me I needed to sleep and rest some more, but I just really really wanted to talk. So I started asking them if they worked out at the gym I work at and random stuff like that. Then I think I fell asleep again for a minute or two again before I woke up and started talking to everyone again. Apperantly I really liked the blue hospital shirt and I wanted to sneak it with me home, haha! After the worst of my drugged self was gone they called my dad and told me he could come and pick me up in about an hour (but I think it turned into 2 and a half hour or something instead, haha, oh well). I got some more pills I had to take, then they gave me a popsicle. When my dad got there I tried to drink some water and I felt like I had a huge blister at the back of my throat. One of the nurses came over to check it out and she just told me she would get the doctor that had done the surgery on me to check it out. After he was done with another surgery he came to look at my throat. Luckily it wasn’t anything too abnormal, my palatine uvula had just gotten really swollen and it didn’t let me swallow correctly. After some more time of waiting for me to be less.. High(? haha) I got my clothes and went to the bathroom again to change from the hospital clothes to my regular clothes. While I was changing back to my regular clothes I had to look in the mirror and check out this uvula thing myself, and oh – my – God! It was huge! I came out from the bathroom all “wow, my uvula is HUGE, it’s like an alien!”. My dad helped me with my shoes and we were ready to leave. The nurses were so nice and wished me all the best. We got some strong painkillers prescribed and went down to the hospital pharmacy to pick them up before we drove home.
after tonsillectomy
Today (the day after my surgery) has been a rollercoaster. I woke up at 4:30 this morning in extreme pain, my throat and mouth was so swollen and it all hurt so bad! I managed to find the painkillers the hospital had prescribed to me and tried my best to get them down. But I realized that I’m no longer able to swallow water.. It goes up through my nose instead.. That’s not fun. I think it took me about 5 minutes or more just to swallow 2 pills. But better late than never. I went upstairs to get me a popsicle, because that’s the only thing I’m able to “eat” right now and it also cools down the swelling. And that’s pretty much how the whole day has been. Painful. I’m still not able to drink water, so I’ve been living on popsicles and sorbet all day. I really miss chewing, haha! My throat and palatine uvula are still extremely swollen (I would post a picture of my throat, but I honestly don’t think anyone would appreciate it, haha!). But hey, this is only temporary! Once this is over I’m never going to struggle with my tonsils ever again – they are gone for good now! And I couldn’t be happier! Sure, the next 2-4 weeks will be slow, but a tonsil free life is totally worth it! I had a really pleasant experience at the hospital and everyone were really sweet to me.
marie alessandra

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Back to healthy eating

Healthy eating is the root to everything great. For me. I feel happier when I eat healthy, my body feels better, I have more energy, and all in all nothing feels right unless I am following a healthy eating plan.
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This was my breakfast today. Sourdough crisp bread with egg, tomato and brown cheese.
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I haven’t been feeling great about myself this year. That’s sugar coating it – in all honesty I’ve been feeling like pure shit this whole year. Most of 2016 I’ve been sick and not very active or healthy. And every time I’ve started getting back to being active and/or healthy I get sick again and everything falls down, crashes and burns. It’s really hard to stay positive when nothing seems to be working ever anymore. I’ve had enough. So now I’m going to make everything as great as I can so that I don’t have anything to complain about anymore. Let’s be happy.
Weekly planner
I bought these “weekly planner” sheet papers a couple weeks ago and figured they would be perfect for planning meals and workouts. After I had eaten my breakfast this morning I started writing down the meal plan for this week. If you read through the meal plan I’ve written: yes, I know I eat the same all the time and that I am very boring, but that is what works the best for me. Also, this is not going to be some super strict plan, I can change things if I feel like it. As long as it’s healthy and somewhat similar.
My Meal Plan
I’m sorry this was so short. I just wanted to write and post this now.

What is your favorite healthy thing to eat?
marie alessandra

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