To follow yesterday’s Beyoncé video – which if you didn’t watch, go back right now and do so – I decided to post some of my favorite inspirational pieces.

The World Humanitarian Day song did its work on me. I’ve been wanting to become a Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteer, but Jon and I decided that this summer was a bad time to start. The plan was to get involved once we got back. I’ve forgotten about it until watching the video yesterday. “And know that I meant something in somebody’s life.” I asked myself what can I do in my small space in this world. My first step was to start the application process to be a Big Sister yesterday.

I’m a huge fan of inspiration boards, posting quotes around the house, in my wallet, goals on my mirror, etc. I put up fitness encouragement, quotes about courage, motivation to push me out of my comfort zone, reminders to be help me be a better person, and more. These motivate me so much. I encourage each of you to learn the power of putting these tangible reminders around you.

Here are a few of my current favorites: (Each one links to the image on my Pinterest board)

when did we forget this?

dig it


encourage instead

Dr. Seuss

live it

no one is


Do you put up quotes or pictures to motivate you?
What are you favorite types?

I can’t believe I didn’t see this until 11 days after it posted.

I mean, not like it was the last day of our honeymoon or anything. But still.

This is Beyonce’s performance at the United Nations headquarters for World Humanitarian Day. It’s fabulous and you all need to watch it.

I want to leave my footprints on the sand of time
Know there was something that meant something that I left behind
When I leave this world, I’ll leave no regrets.
Leave something to remember, so they won’t forget.

I was here. I lived. I loved.
I was here. I did. I’ve done
Everything that I wanted and it was more than I thought it would be.
I will leave my mark so everyone will know
I was here.

I want to say I lived each day until I died.
And know that meant something in somebody’s life.
The hearts I have touched will be the proof that I leave.
That I made a difference and this world will see.

I was here. I lived. I loved.
I was here. I did. I’ve done
Everything that I wanted and it was more than I thought it would be.
I will leave my mark so everyone will know
I was here.

I just want them to know that I
gave my all, did my best, brought someone some happiness.
Left this world a little better just because

I was here.

Be inspired.

(Also, it looks like it might not play embedded. Just click to watch on YouTube.)

For a little more info on the performance, here is Mashable’s write up.

This came in at work yesterday.

It makes me happy. That is all. 🙂

Now let’s have a conversation about Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).

I got to think about this because a strange thing is happening. Remember the three pounds I gained on our honeymoon? Remember how I said I’m starting to get back into a more strict food plan again? And remember how I have barely posted about my workouts because I have barely done any workouts since we got back? Trying to get our home put together and all.

So the “strange” part of this story is that I have also lost one of those pounds in the last week and a half.

What’s the deal, body? Why can’t you do that – or more – when I am trying?

Enter the BMR.

I’ve calculated this before, ages ago, and then forgot about it. After some more reading this week, I revert back to one of my favorite fitness bloggers, Cassey – who literally posted about this very topic last week right when I was looking for it. So far I like her explanation the best, so I’m just going to copy it below. (I tried some auto calculators around the web, and though they were slightly different, they were all very close. I just like to see the math myself).

Note these numbers are NOT calories. There’s an extra calculation for that.


English BMR Formula
Women: BMR = 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) – ( 4.7 x age in years )
Men: BMR = 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) – ( 6.8 x age in year )

Metric BMR Formula
Women: BMR = 655 + ( 9.6 x weight in kilos ) + ( 1.8 x height in cm ) – ( 4.7 x age in years )
Men: BMR = 66 + ( 13.7 x weight in kilos ) + ( 5 x height in cm ) – ( 6.8 x age in years )

Your BMR = _________

Now once you get that number – use the Harris Benedict Formula to determine how many calories you need to function daily and maintain your current weight:

To determine your total daily calorie needs, multiply your BMR by the appropriate activity factor:

If you are sedentary (little or no exercise) : BMR x 1.2
If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) :  BMR x 1.375
If you are moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) : BMR x 1.55
If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) :  BMR x 1.725
If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training) :  BMR x 1.9

Now you know how many calories you need to maintain your current weight.

So what if you wanna lose 5 lbs? Well 1 lb of fat = 3500 calories. So to lose 1 lb, you need to create a 3500 calorie deficit.

Working through this, and depending on my activity level at the time, my maintenance calorie level should be ~ 1,900 – 2,200 per day. When I’m wanting to slim down, the range should be more around 1,400 – 1,700 net calories. As opposed to the 1,100 – 1,200 I was averaging.

Now before anyone jumps down my throat for eating so little, that number is net calories with a workout. So I might eat 1,500 in a day, then burn 350 in a good workout, equaling 1,150 net calories for the day. What this BMR is telling me is that my daily net should be quite a bit higher.

I should point out that while I do step on the scale regularly, I am not a “slave” to the thing. I’ve simply been through weight gain and loss before. The scale helps me stay focused. We all know how I like to track things.

Hooray for eating a little more! Hooray for keeping my metabolism working! Hooray for dropping a pound without trying!

Now, don’t worry. Even if I can manage to maintain a healthy weight without some sweat, I wouldn’t be happy with that. I need the activity, the high heart rate, the mental game. I want to feel strong, not just have my jeans fit comfortably. These are the final few days of taking it easy on the workout side of things. Next week starts my 1/2 marathon training schedule!

Now I’m simply heading into this training schedule with a growing understanding of my body, metabolism, fuel, energy, etc. And the importance of sleep. Which is really why I haven’t been running so much these two weeks.

Anyone else surprised by your BMR numbers?

Ok the title is a little misleading, but it felt right. Our weekend was a mix of unpacking, organizing, reorganizing, fantasy football drafts, shopping, banking, pre–season football, going to a movie, listening to an audio book, and some relaxing.

All in all, a good, productive weekend.

The apartment is coming together, slowly but surely. I’ll post pictures at some point, but probably not for several weeks. It’s an older apartment with some strange wall papers, and needs to be perfectly put together and clean to be worth a photo. If you can get past the blue and red elephants in the bathroom, it’s very spacious for the price and in the perfect location!

The one huge mistake we made this weekend?

Going to Target. The first weekend after the University started classes.

Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

One little quirk about Jon and I is that we actually love shopping – or more often “window” shopping – at Target. We just leisurely walk around, look at things, talk, goof around, and hang out. So we thought taking some of our wedding gift cards would be a great way to spend Saturday afternoon together.

Au contraire!

Instead we were bombarded by hoards of squealy little college girls, guys being dragged along by their girlfriends, far too many small children whose parents made the same mistake we did, employees with too much to do… and to top it all off, a cart that loudly refused to go straight. I swear the Crazy Target Lady was out with plenty of clone minions.

We were lucky to get out alive.

We did succeed in finding our dishes and another storage shelf on clearance, and a new microwave to replace the one that’s been barely working since it lived in a house with six guys.

In other news, our house made it through two fantasy drafts in a row. We didn’t eat dinner for two nights. Football took over.

AND we finally went to see Dark Knight Rises, during which I got to see my Steelers. Loved seeing the Pittsburgh black and gold in “Gotham.” Might have been the highlight scene for me!

That’s all the exciting news from my world. Happy Monday!

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