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Learning To Breathe


Hey everyone.

Yeah, I’m at a point where I need to stop pretending that this little piece of the internet that I’ve got here is intended to be a daily blog. I want it be a daily blog, and I believe that one day it probably will be… But at the moment, my mind is far too messy to post something of substance every day. And honestly, I’m stressed out about so much that the last thing I need is to be putting a ridiculous amount of pressure on myself to put up blog posts every day that no one really reads any way.

All that aside, I am actually feeling… Not positive exactly. Hopeful? Zen? I don’t know, I just feel slightly at peace with the world right now, and that is a wonderful thing. But more about that later.

Workout – I’M RUNNING AGAIN!

I tested the waters and tried to run for real for the first time in 2 weeks on Saturday and I did it and it was pain free and it was absolutely wonderful in every way shape or form, even if I had/have a really bad head cold and felt like my brain was rattling around in my head the whole time =P.

IMG_7965 IMG_7977Now, a reoccurring theme with me when it comes to coming off of injuries is that I instantly want to go out and run ALL THE MILES… But obviously, that’s not exactly the smartest way to go about getting into running and often results in me re-injuring myself.

So today I hit up the elliptical. I am so sick of the elliptical at this point it’s not even funny. That being said, I believe that tomorrow’s workout will also be an elliptical one. Oh the joy…

I also did some strength training for the first time in about five thousand years. I am the very definition of a cardio queen… I just find cardio to be about a billion and one times more enjoyable than strength training (this is why I love Insanity and other plyometric workouts so much, they combine cardio with resistance), but I really need to get back into the habit of strength training regularly. I used to be so religious about making sure to have a balance between my cardio and strength training, and I definitely felt a lot better when I was doing a little strength training regularly.

I worked my legs and flutes and I can already tell that I am going to be in pain tomorrow… But a good kind of pain!

Like I said earlier, my mind has been even more of a mess than it normally is recently… And this has resulted in my being behind on pretty much everything. I am just completely overwhelmed by life and the world and school and then I get even more upset because I know that most people do so much more than me and that I have no right to be as overwhelmed as I am.

I actually opened up my Japanese text book today to try to start on the ten pages of homework that I had to do and to study for the test I had in the subject tomorrow earlier and wound up curled up in a ball shaking and crying (like I said, I’m kind of pathetic) for a couple of hours and got nothing done. I think I have to drop the class, I can’t handle anything or focus on anything and there really is no hope in my passing that class in my current mental state… And I am so disgusted and embarrassed about this fact. I used to be a really smart person and a good student. I was an above average student my whole life, got into one of the most difficult high schools on Long Island, and wound up in the honors track (every class I took was honors) all without really trying all that hard. These days, I struggle to remember anything and everything. I retain nothing that I read or learn, and I feel like a straight up idiot. Tack that on top of feeling like I am letting down my mom by not excelling in school or at life. I mean… What do I do? I have no job because every time I get a job, I wind up having a panic attack on the job and having to quit in change. I am in no clubs because I am too scared of being around people… And now I’m dropping a class that I really can’t afford to drop? I just… I don’t know.

Oh, and there is no way that I am graduating on time. I just feel like I am nothing but a financial and emotional burned on my mom… And I hate it.

All that said, I really am so lucky to have the mother that I do. I called her today in the middle of a panic attack, meaning I was hysterical and not making much sense, and she was nothing but kind and understanding. I am so lucky and really don’t’ deserve the absolutely amazing people that I have in my life. I also cried to my friend Shannon (she’s been not he blog before!), who was my one friend and savior at my last college. She just listened and helped me think a little bit more rationally.

So what am I doing?

What I really wanted this post to be about was how at peace I am currently feeling… Or was feeling. Writing about all of that negative junk that I just did has me a little anxious again. Good job Erin =P. But really.

Something that I really want to focus on is bettering myself in any way that I can so I that I can get myself to, well, become myself. Right now I feel as though I am just trapped in this depressed shell and I can’t get out. There are so many things that I want to accomplish and that I can’t currently accomplish because I am just so stuck. It’s kind of hard to go out into the world and try to accomplish your larger-than-life dreams when you struggle to get yourself out of bed in the morning and often can’t leave your building because you are too disgusted by yourself to be seen by others. Again, I know I’m kind of ridiculous.

One small thing that I have been trying to for myself is start practicing yoga regularly. I am the kind of person that I get frustrated when I am not good at something instantly (which is ridiculous). I don’t like being considered a “beginner” in anything, I get embarrassed and frustrated… But to begin anything, you kind of need to be a beginner.

Last week, I signed up for the 15 day free trial on YogaGlo, a huge website full of hundreds of online yoga classes of all styles. Obviously, once the 15 days is up I am going to have to cancel my membership. I don’t have the money… But I thought it would be a good place to start!

Truthfully, I haven’t practiced every day like I had planned on doing… But I have practiced twice, so it’s a start.

Before sitting down to write this post, I did a 20 minute vinyasa flow for balance and followed it up with something very out of character for me.

Meditation.

Meditation is one of those things that I always know that I should do, but I can never actually get myself to do. My mind is just too busy and I get too anxious and antsy every time I try to meditate. Or I make the lame excuse that I don’t have time.

But tonight, something compelled me to give this highly praised practice another shot… And it was amazing.

The specific type of meditation that I did was called Isha Kriya, and the practice was led by Kathryn Budig. It was a simple guided practice done in a seated position. The meditation session in its entirety was 15 minutes in length and consisted of 3 different sections.

The first part was breathing and mantras. You inhaled and said, “I am not my body,” and exhaled saying, “I am not even my mind.” This portion lasted about 7 minutes.

Next was 7 receptions of breathing in and exhaling as a sound. I don’t know the technical term for this portion, but the point of the sound was that it caused vibrations in your solar pled.

The final part of the meditation was the par that I thought would be the worst for me. In fact. going into the practice, I didn’t even think that I would be able to finish it. This portion of the meditation was just simple silent meditation. Normally, this is when my mind floods with thoughts, and they are more often than not negative ones. However, crazily enough, this didn’t happen this time. I was somehow able to keep my mind almost completely devoid of any real thoughts… And it was amazing.

Once the session was over, I just kind of sat there in a trance for a little while. I just felt calm and at peace and… Hopeful. I want to get my creativity back. I want to start doing more of the things that I love. And I want to do them because I want to do them instead of doing them because I feel as though I will be a failure if I don’t do them.

I’m thinking that tomorrow I’m going to explore this amazing city a little bit and take some photos. Growing up, I was always super into photography, but now I rarely do it.

I also want to make time to sit and work on my book. I have been trying to write this thing for years now, but it’s only about 15 pages at this point. I love writing. I really do… I don’t get why I so often forget that.

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Oh, and the new Fall edition of the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan was released today, so that’s pretty darn rad.

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Good night all!<3

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Thinking Out Loud 10.9.2014 – Getting Deep Up In Here


Hey guys.

It’s, “Erin rambles on about the jumbled mess that are her thoughts,” day… Or, to put it in a better way, “Thinking Out Loud Thursday.”

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Thanks Amanda for creating this link-up and actually giving me the mental strength to sit and type a post (wow, that was melodramatic).

Workout – 45 minutes of intervals on the elliptical.

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1. Yup. As I briefly mentioned in my Monday post…. I’m still/yet again injured. I has been almost 2 weeks since my last “run” (ok, actually I ran 4 miles on Saturday because I thought I was healed, but I was wrong and am paying for it.

I strained a muscle in my lateral leg. The pain is most severe in my outer ankle area (hurts to the touch), but it pulls from my arch all the way up through my gluteal area. Not fun.

I just feel as though I am always injured, and yes, I am aware that I am to blame for this in a number of ways… But this just could not have come at a worse time.

Over the course of the last month or so, I have just been spiraling further and further down the rabbit hole of depression and self loathing. I am having trouble getting out of bed in the morning, I don’t feel up to talking to anyone (even if it is just over text messages), I don’t have the mental stamina to complete my school work. Basically, I just feel like curling up in a ball and turning the world around me off. The universe feels too big and loud and terrifying and I don’t feel strong enough to be a part of it.

During the course of this spiraling into a deep sea of depression, there was one single thing that filled me with hope and joy and a sense of meaning… Can you guess what it was?

If you said running, than you are correct.

In fact, the day that I discovered I was injured, I had a therapy appointment before I went to the doctor for my leg. We had an amazing session and we spoke about how bad I have been doing and how running has been my saving grace. She told me how important it is that I keep running, as it is the one thing that gets me out of bed in the morning and that makes taking on the world, while still almost impossible, somewhat bearable.

Of course, right after that appointment I was told that I couldn’t run again for a while.

I completely lost it.

Yup, embarrassing myself, as I frequently do, I started crying in the middle of the medical office. The worst part of not being able to control your emotions is knowing that your reaction to the given situation is inappropriate in respect to the situation. I just feel like a toddler throwing a fit over not getting a toy that they want or something. As a result, I wind up crying even harder because of how pathetic I feel. It is a vicious cycle.

On top of being in a black hole of depression already, not being able to run is a double whammy when it comes to worsening my already less-than-ideal mental state.

On one hand, running is my saving grace. It is my love. It is what I feel passionate about. It is the one thing that makes me feel like maybe I’m worth something. It makes me grateful to be alive in this wonderful, beautiful, and magical world of ours. it makes me thankful to be alive and to have a body, regardless of the size of it, that can carry me for miles and miles.

On the other hand, it is no secret that a lot of my issues stem from a deep loathing of myself, and, more specifically, my body. I was already freaking out over the fact that I feel as though I eat way too much and that I am gaining weight and getting bigger by what feels like the day. Now, I am unable to run or do intensive exercise. All I can do is the elliptical or the bike… Not exactly the top of the list calorie burning machines. I already wanted to get this extra weight off (which is almost impossible for me since I destroyed my metabolism with my eating issues…I really need to get back on track with working on that), but now it feels more impossible than ever. I feel and look puffy and larger. I don’t want to leave the room because I don’t want people to see me. I was already struggling with getting to class, now if feels almost impossible. In fact, I skipped out on two classes this week because I just physically could not get myself out the door. I just crumble… It’s bad.

I think the worst part is knowing on a logical level that a lot of it must be in my head. You don’t swell up 20 pounds over night, but to me it appears as though I do. I have trouble differentiating what is real and what is just a false projection from my disordered mind. It’s like there is this constant war going on inside my mind and I can’t make it stop.

It is exhausting… And quite honestly, I don’t know what to do about it.

Another piece of all of this is that I feel like every time I take one step in the right direction recovery wise, I wind up taking about 10 steps back. At the end of the summer, I was seeing progress, I really was. To others (mainly my mom), I know that it seemed as though therapy was doing nothing and I was in just as bad of a place as I had been for years… But I wasn’t. The thing with recovery is that it is a painfully slow process. Any change, infinitesimal as it may seem, is crucial and important. The recovering person notices them, but everyone around that person sees absolutely nothing.

I explained it, both to my mom and to my therapist, like this – For years now, I have hated my body. I obsess about what I look like, what people are seeing and thinking of my size, and how food is the enemy 100% of the time. At the end of the summer, these thoughts consumed my mind about 98.5% of the time. This 1.5% change of mentality may seem laughable in size… But to me is was huge. 

And now I’m back at 100% of the time for these bad thoughts… And I hate it.

I also feel like I am wasting my mom’s money on therapy and I am wasting my therapist’s time. I feel selfish for even going… I am just at a stand still.

2. SOMETHING MORE POSITIVE!!!!

There is actually one thing that fills me with as much joy as running does.

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(from my Instagram)

It sounds stupid, but if I could be absolutely anything in the world, I would be a musician. Now, I’m not talking like a Taylor-Swift-status-billionaire-superstar status musician… I would just want to be in a band with a moderate fan base that I could love. Music is the most powerful form of expression in my opinion. I have wanted to be a lot of different things career-wise in my lifetime, and none of the career paths that I have aspired to really had anything in common. The only common factor among my passions in life is this overwhelming need to make people feel something. I think this is why writing has always been a reoccurring theme in my goals in life. When you read a good book, watch a powerful movie, or listen to beautiful music, it elicits some sort of emotion within in you. Words have the power to be your best friend, your biggest motivator. Words can make you feel less alone… And that is what I love so much about music.

I listen to music by bands who weave words with melody in ways that make my heart cry out. I listen to music that can bring a real smile to my face whilst also brining me to tears… And listening to live music? There is nothing better.

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Jeremy McKinnon of A Day To Remember absolutely killing it. 

It sounds like a cliche from a bad teenage movie… But music really has saved my life in more ways than one. I have been listening to my favorite band, Silverstein, since 7th grade. 7th grade also happened to be the time where my depression really manifested into something truly nasty. I have continued listening to that band through the years. I know that every time I am having a really hard time, their music has been there for me, and it will continue to be there for me as long as I have hearing.

There is also something truly beautiful, at least to me, about being surrounded by hundreds of people who all have the same deep connection to a certain song or band that you do. We are all pressed together like sardines in a can, we are jumping, we are struggling to keep up with keeping the crowd surfers from falling to the floor. My hair is being pulled and I am being absolutely demolished by the people around me (don’t even ask how many bruises I have on my body right now)… And for some reason, being accidentally punched and kicked, being knocked over while trying to hold up a dude about twice the size of me, and being drenched in sweat that isn’t even my own… It’s beautiful.

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So in conclusion, I have been doing really really awful lately… But I had one really great day on Saturday, so I am choosing to focus on that instead.

This too shall pass.

…Right?

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Injured Again


Hey guys.

I really am trying to get back into the swing of blogging. Like I said the other day, I miss it. And I am in desperate need of an outlet… Especially now.

Warning: this post is going to be even more depressing and lacking in energy than usual. It will also very likely be mildly melodramatic. Proceed with caution.

Workout – 30 minute interval cycling workout on the stationary bike + 25 minutes of intervals on the elliptical.

So, as the title kind of already says, I am injured. Again.

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My life for a while.

During my run the other day, I was feeling sharp, but not unbearable, pain in my inner ankle/calf region of my right leg. I figured that the muscle was just tight, as my calve muscles typically are, and that the hills of Central Park were just getting to me. I thought I just had to get used to the uneven terrain and hills of Central Park. Nothing to worry about. I was just thrilled that the deep blisters on my heels were finally recovered enough to be able to actually run without having to stop due to pain.

The next day, I did speed work on the treadmill and felt fine. Actually, I felt great. Such a great workout. I was stoked.

So after my workout, I packed up my things and went home for the long weekend. That evening, I noticed that the muscle in my leg was feeling very tight again. Again, I didn’t really think much of it.

I spent that night at my grandparents’ house, and laced up the next morning for a 5 mile run. Well, I made it about 3 miles before I was hobbling and crying from pain. Being my insane self… I forced myself to do at least one more mile… And then I had to stop. I couldn’t take it.

I had a therapy appointment and had to drive out about 45 minutes in severe pain. I made an appointment with my chiropractor for right after my therapy session and rushed there after. Unfortunately, due to the new health care laws, my chiropractor isn’t really able to spend as much time with each patient as she used to. So I was hooked up to the electric stim machine to loosen up the muscle for a while, and then she came in, looked at it, told me to go get an ace bandage, and wrapped my leg up with ice. She also worked on the muscle a little bit and I, one who has a VERY high pain tolerance, was sobbing. I can’t even explain the amount of pain.

Needless to say… She told me not to run. I, being the emotionally unstable person that I am, started, to my complete mortification, crying… Yup. Crying. Right there in front of everyone. I felt like the world was ending.

Like I said, quite the melodramatic post.

Here’s the thing, I had just come from therapy, and that already typically makes me more emotional that I usually am (and I am already a pretty emotional person). I had just had a great session, we spoke about how I have been scaring myself lately with how low I have been. I have been unable to find it in me to even text my best and only friend, let alone attempt to make new friends at my new school. I haven’t been able to find it in me to do my school work. Leaving my dorm to go to class is unbearable. My only salvation? Getting up and running every morning. Joanne (my absolutely amazing therapist) said how important it is for me that I even get up in the morning to run. It is the one thing that allows me to face the world. It is the one thing that makes me truly grateful for the body that I have and that makes me think about how much I truly love this world. It is the one thing that keeps me going and feeling like maybe I may have some sort of purpose in this world. I spend most of my time feeling like a failure. I don’t know what I am doing with my life. I don’t know what I am meant to do. I don’t know what my purpose is. I hate my body. I don’t have friends and I don’t feel as though I can handle having friends right now, yet I am terrified that I will now be alone forever. I feel as though I am wasting my college experience and that I am wasting my life.

But running makes me feel a glimpse of hope. It is the one thing that can actually make me feel ok about myself.

With my being in such a truly terrible place right now… I need my running now more than ever. And I can’t do that.

On top of that, I have no idea when I will be able to run again. It is my favorite season for running right now, and it only lasts a few weeks. Also, like I addressed the other day, I have gained weight and I am not ok with this… And now I really can’t workout except for the bike.

I am just at a complete loss. And I know that I am being stupid and dramatic and trust me, I of all people know that there are much worse things in this world than a temporary injury preventing me from running. It is just that I have really been scaring myself recently and running was my only salvation. I just feel like it is always something going wrong and I just don’t know what to do. Also, my mobility is very limited. I have trouble getting up and down the stairs due to pain, and walking is painful and problematic… I am not good at sitting an doing nothing. Again, I feel as though I am wasting time.

I just don’t know.

Sorry! I’ll try to be more positive tomorrow. I just really needed to vent.

On a more positive note… I put up a new makeup tutorial today! It’s a fall look inspired by the iconic autumn drink, the pumpkin spice latte. Hope you enjoy!

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I’m typing this post whilst wearing a onesie…


I just thought you guys should know.

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Obviously I am verrrryy serious about my onesie wearing….

ANYWAYS! It’s been a few days, and I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! Mine was alright, Christmas is always a bittersweet kind of thing. My father passed away almost three years ago, and Christmas really just doesn’t feel right without him. However, I am blessed to have such a wonderful (albeit slightly crazy) family that I love so much. I really am lucky. I have a large extended family and we are all very close. Even my dad’s side is close with my mom’s side! I’m also close with my second cousins and their families which is something that I know not a lot of people are able to say. I really am thankful for what i have.

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Awkward family photo, featuring me and a few of my cousins.

Moving on, I’ve been feeling pretty down lately and haven’t really had the motivation to sit down and write anything. I’m stressed beyond belief with wanting to transfer colleges, social things, and just my own personal issues that I have with myself. Those all really came to head when, while doing insanity the other day, I fell and sprained my ankle. Being me, I had a complete meltdown over how I can’t afford not to work out and then went to the gym to do the elliptical. It didn’t hurt as much after the gym, I was happy about that.

Then, being the genius that I am…. I went to a concert with my best friend.
Yeah, probably not the best idea to stand on your newly sprained ankle for 5+ hours… Needless to say, I stood on one leg a majority of the time, couldn’t jump around or anything, and my ankle was roughly the size of a baseball by the time that I left.

Driving home was also quite the interesting experience (it was my right ankle that I sprained).

I’m happy I went to the concert though! It was Bayside’s (a band) holiday show and Man Overboard (a band my friend and I really love) were playing it too. It was a great show, I just wish that I wasn’t in too much pain to enjoy it. I also feel really bad for my friend because I know that I probably wasn’t the most fun person to be at a concert with that night …

Anyway, I have been icing the bejeezus out of my ankle and have been wearing my ProCompression compression sock non-stop. The swelling has gone down a little bit but it still really hurts if I don’t have my sock on. I think it just really needs support.

Not being able to do Insanity with my ankle like this is really making me feel like a failure. You aren’t supposed to skip days, but I just can’t jump on my ankle. I feel horrible.

Right now I’m upstate, which I guess is good since I wouldn’t be able to do Insanity here anyway. The weather is crazy here. I went for a sloooooow three mile run and I swear that I thought my face was going to fall off!

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Don’t let that seemingly harmless road fool you! It was completely covered in ice and I wound up pretty much ice skating for most of my run. It was also raining/snowing and I wound up drenched from head to toe. On the up side, my ankle by hurt! My guess it that it was because I was too frozen to feel it.

Being upstate is so nice, cold, yes, but nice. Last night we went out to a restaurant called Soma’s for my aunt’s birthday. The restaurant cooks over a wood grill and uses all locally grown products and local meat (though I don’t like to think about that.)

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I had blackened salmon that came with a garden salad and probably THE BEST roasted vegetables that I have ever tasted!

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I also unleashed my inner country girl and sipped tea out of a mason jar.

Now, I’m just chillin at my aunt and uncle’s country house in my onesie and blogging. As nice as it is up here, I’m excited to go home. I only have like… 2 and a half more weeks until I have to go back to school… I just want to spend as much time at home as I possibly can.

Until tomorrow mis amigos!

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A lot of words, not a lot of pictures..


Sorry to say that this post won’t necessarily be all that aesthetically pleasing…

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Although, i have to say, this picture from my run today isn’t all that shabby!

Today was another one of those draining days of class and homework and not much else. I had planned on waking up early to run this morning. Yeah… didn’t exactly happen. I really needed sleep, so I just went for a run after my 9am class instead. Geez Louise, is Florida humid. This entire week has been so overcast, so every time I go outside I just expect that it’s going to be cool out. It’s not. 

I just did an easy thirty minute run, only covering 3.37 miles. My plantar fasciitis is really acting up bad. I know that I need to take a break from running, but I just can’t. Honestly, I just feel so terrible about my body that I just can’t afford to be reducing my mileage… I’m going to do the bike tomorrow though instead of my planned speed work! I know that in the long run, it’s better to take some time off to recover than to keep running on an injury. 

By the way… my injured self rocked my compression socks under my yoga pants to class today. 

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Woohoo for blurry pictures whilst I walk down the stairs.

After class and my run, the rest of the day was really spent workshopping stories for creative writing. Our larger assignments (longer piece of writing at the end of each topic that we focus on) are presented in workshop. We all email our pieces to the professor and she forwards them to us. We then write up some feedback and discuss them in class. We workshop about four people a day. Today happened to be my day, and the focus was personal narratives. Honestly, what I wrote for this class was probably the most personal thing I have ever written. It was heavy, really heavy. I sent it in and then five seconds later wanted nothing more than to email my professor and beg her not to send it out to anyone. I was so scared for what people would think. Like I said, it was really heavy and personal.

I was shaking all throughout class, terrified. And by the time it came my turn to be workshopped, I was practically in tears. Not much was said, except for the fact that my piece made everyone cry. Wonderful. My teacher did tell me that it was a really great piece of writing and said I had some really powerful lines. It made me really happy, all my life I have dreamed of writing books. The fact that someone could enjoy my writing means the world to me. 

After class, I did some more working out. Ab work was more than necessary.

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Tone It Up‘s Sleek and Slender Abs With Karena

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POP Pilates Abs On Fire

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And finally… XHIT’s 5 Minute Abs (By the way… Can I just please be Rebecca Louise please?…hehe that rhymed!)

 

I really need to start doing more ab work. I will definitely be feeling the burn tomorrow.

My night ended with a Greek event for Sigma Chi’s derby days… long story short: I saw frat guys dressed in drag twerk.

I shall leave you now with that mental image in your head 😉

Wow… this post had more pictures in it than I thought it would. 

 

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