Category Archives: Uncategorized

My aching back

I am sitting on my couch and I’m sorta comfortable. My back has been bugging me for days.

It started sometime Friday….a twinge, then pain. I blew it off because my period had just started and cramps and back twinges can symptoms for me. Well, a few hours after that initial twinge my lower back was full-on screaming in pain.

It hurt to stand up. It hurt to sit down. It hurt to stretch out in bed. Oh man, I was fucked. I spent the weekend alternating between the heating pad and ice pack. I consumed A LOT of advil. And I slept very little.

I hurt so bad, I called out of work. I gave up a Saturday serving shift. Then yesterday, Monday, I was still hurting so I gave up my bartending shift. (Side note here….my Q leaves for college in 3 days. Just so you have idea what it means to give up 2 money making shifts right now. ) When you hurt so much you can’t stand up, it’s going to be hard to serve food and make drinks with any speed. I still feel sort of guilty for taking off work. Yes, I know my body needed the rest but my brain can’t stop thinking about the money I could have earned.

I waited until yesterday so I could see my chiropractor. My lower back and hip flexors are locked up. Owie. I’m going back to see him today and probably one more time this week. Did I mention my daughter moves into college this week? You should see how much stuff she is taking with her!!! My chiropractor is a GENIUS! I may still hurt todsy, but my pain level is way lower than yesterday. I can’t wait to go back today!

On another note…

I’ve pretty much done nothing for days. Doing nothing gives a person lots of time to think. I have so many things swirling in my brain….Q and college, finances, work, passion, career, moving, life changes, health-me and big man, yanno, nice easy stuff.

One thing to come out of all that thinking….I need to write more, whether it’s here or in a pen/paper journal I am not sure. I want to find my zen again and I think writing will help me.


7 is the magic number 

Hard to imagine but there are only 7 weeks left in 2016. 

7 weeks to feel good about 2016. 7 weeks to feel accomplished in 2016. If you are like me, 2016 has not lived up to all its expectations. But I am a positive person and I am choosing to make the most of the next seven weeks. 

  1. November 14 – 20
  2. November 21 – 27
  3. November 28 – December 4
  4. December 5 – 11
  5. December 12 -18
  6. December 19 – 25
  7. December 26 – January 1

I present to you, 7 week healthy holiday challenge. This challenge is completely customizable. You choose your challenge. 

  • Set an overall challenge goal (eg. walk x miles, yoga x times, food journal everyday, etc.)
  • Set weekly goals
  • Set daily goals. 
  • Blog about it or join the JenGoesZen Community and join the discussion  

Each week, you decide your challenge and come up with a plan of execution. Focus on what is important to YOU. Focus on what will make you happy as we end this year and start a new one. 

I’ll be back tomorrowto tell you ny goals and plans. 

Until then,


Stupid cat

Not knowing what to write, I sent out a plea for help. I asked my peeps what I should write about tonight. 

Racheal said “Motivation: How to find it and use it when you do.”


Jennifer said, “Keeping it healthy during the holidays. Water intake, exercise and not depriving yourself and not over doing it. 😊”

Guess what….

I psyched everyone out. 

I did have plans to write about motivation. That was, until my stupid at decided to talk a walk. I really can’t blame the cat. He is simple. My stupid friend who didn’t shut my door all the way, I blame him. 

As if right now the cat is still outside. 

I am way too anxious to write. 

I’ll update. 

EDITED TO ADD: stupid cat is homloope. Approximately 3 hours into his adventure, I found him sitting on the front porch. He was cold. 

Wicked Wednesday 

I’ve seen many people post monday workouts along with the #nevermissamonday and it sort of bugs me. It bugs me because it makes me feel a tad guilty. And I have NO reason to feel guilty.  

  1. I choose to workout. I enjoy my workouts. I workout on my schedule. 
  2. I work double duty Mondays – school 7:30am – 2:30pm and bartending 4pm -12:30am. I tend to be incredibly tired on Tuesdays.  
  3. Wednesday is my usual gym Monday. 

I know nobody us judging me but I can’t help that feeling. 

As I said, Wednesday is my Monday in the gym. Today’s workout includes a ton of rowing. Trust me. Look at this picture.  A ton of rowing.  

Rowing gives me some time to think while I work up quite the sweat. I am still deciding if I liked this #wod but I guess I didn’t hate it. Rowing is deceptive.  It looks easy but it’s a sweaty workout. Add in all the other pieces, kettlebell swings and dumbbell thrusters and knee to elbow, and it was wicked Wednesday. 

When people hear I joined a gym, they ask how much weight I want to lose. What are my goals?  Apparently,  everyone joins the gym to lose weight.  

Not this chick. 

My goal for crossfit is simply to attend regularly.  At least for the next two months. I am a few days shy of my two monthiversary at Ambitious Fitness and I’ve been pretty consistent but not completely.  With the long holiday season just ahead, I’d like the solid crossfit base. I love the intense and demanding workouts and with more consistency I can make and see changes.

Speaking of changes. I am determined to document this journey. To that end I started taking #flexfridaypics for my good friend,  Lisa.  

I think I see progress.  I’ve been told there is noticeable improvements.  Am I crazy or are there changes? 

I do notice changes during my workouts. The biggest change is all about my pushup game. My pushups are getting better. I feel stronger. I’m still modifying my pushups but the are getting better, faster. I’m going down and up a lot easier and smoother. Stronger.

And the there are my calves.they just feel.strong.  

I feel strong.  

Around my hood

Every now and again I remember just how much I love where I live. South jersey is expensive and I work hard to live here. My daughter is in a great school and has grown up in a fantastic neighborhood. I live 10 minutes from the beach and boardwalk. Less than 45 minutes away is an amazing free zoo. 

Last week, our friends came to visit. Normally, we head to their place in the mountains for a break from the summer tourist craziness. 

We did the shoobie(our word for tourists)thing with our friends. I will let the picture tell the story.

Ocean City, NJ boardwalk (near 17th St)
A string band for entertainment. No parade just the band.
I love this picture or my friend taking pictures.
A necessary sign. Seagulls are vicious!!

I LOVE the Cape May Zoo. Close to home, free (donations welcome), and amazing.  We go there at least 4 times each year and yet I still take too many pictures.  Here are a few.

This was my first visit to the Naval Air Station Aviation Museum and I was amazed. 

Look at this wall of veterans! 

The letters here made me cry. 

I keep learning more about the history of my area. I am continually amazed. 
The next few pictures are from Sunset Beach in Cape May. 

Flag Ceremony at Sunset. 

Beaches and bunkers, sunsets and flags, history and good friends. 

I had a great week with my great friends.  

I hope you eniyed seeing some of the sights on my area.

Fall Challenge week 1 recap

This was a very busy week that flew by so fast I can’t believe it is late Sunday night already.

Where did the week go?!?

Tuesday: I went to an amazing workshop and spent the day learning ways to integrate Google into the classroom.  I love when I go to a professional development day and learn something.  I’m excited to apply what I’ve learned. 

Tuesday night: a rare date night with Big Man. At a restaurant. With drinks. Like grown ups. 

The rest of the week is boring. Work. Three closing shifts and one morning of cleaning houses and one opening shift. 

And that brings us to today. 

I decided I was starting slow. The challenge officially started last Sunday but I unofficially started Wednesday.  And I’m following along as best as I can with my work schedule.  

My water goal was simple….make water the go-to drink more often than not. At home this is usually pretty easy. Besides my coffee I  drank water. At the restaurant it has been too easy to grab soda. This week I made a conscious effort to fill water not soda 75% of the time. 

My big goal for this challenge is to make small changes that lead to bigger changes (more about this in a different post because seriously,  I am just figuring out what I want my goals to be for the next few months). I will continue to increase my water intake. 

I did not take two walks but I did do several days of self care. I went to see my chiropractor who is so much more than you’re basic chiropractor and has been working miracles on my foot (yet another post). I had drinks and dinner with my husband. We strolled hand-in-hand around the lake and historic village. I colored my hair which always makes me feel better. I napped on Saturday afternoon. 

I hit over 10,000 steps all but one day last week. 

Not a bad week for a slow start. 

My spirit animal, isn’t she cute?

New challenges 

I first started blogging way back when (don’t ask me exact because I suck at dates and this is not the first reincarnation of my blog) as a way to document a weight loss challenge. I’ve had ups and downs in just about every aspect of life. I’ve changed and grown so much since the first time I blogged. The first time I tried to lose weight. The first time I participated in a weight loss or fitness challenge.


I’m back….

I have been involved with a FB group for years now but not really actively participating.  I joined a 90-day challenges with this group as a way to get myself back in the game.

 I have not been taking very good care of myself. I work a lot. [In case you don’t know….I am an English teacher at an alternative high school  and a waitress/bartender at Applebee’s and I sell Buskins leggings and all summer I do various jobs during school hours] I work a lot and haven’t been exercising. I haven’t given myself time for yoga or meditation.  

I work, I come home, I sleep for a few hours and then I do it again.  

This challenge sign up came across my FB feed at the right time. The challenge officially started on Sunday but I had a very slow start. I knew I had some plans that included food and drinks so I slow rolled my way into this challenge. 

With permission I am including the challege overview.  

It is late…like 2 am late….but I just got home from work less than two hours ago….I will write more tomorrow.  For now,  I’m back and challenging myself to work on myself. To find a balance and take better care of myself.  

Peace out, bean sprout. 

For now.