Thirty, Thinning and Thriving

I turned 30 on Sunday and ate all weekend like I had the metabolism of a 15-year-old. I started my weekend of delicious gorging with chilaquiles and an oatmeal shake from Tiztal with Gwen on Saturday (I could eat this every morning for breakfast), moved on to a cheeseburger, fried egg-topped fries and a grapefruit-prosecco cocktail from Au Cheval with Christian on Sunday (I could hear my arteries blissfully clogging) and finished off with Chili Chicken Biryani from Tandoor on Monday (the owner made the grave mistake of telling me they deliver. I’m ruined.)  Was it worth it? Ho yeah. I highly recommend all of those things if you’re in Chicago and in the mood for a great meal.

Christian very sweetly surprised me with this beaut.  I cried like he’d just given me a pit bull or an engagement ring.

I am incredibly spoiled by @xtianastro.

A post shared by Sara Jane Castro (@saryjanecastro) on

I was itching to take it for a spin all day Sunday and was so glad I’d had the foresight to take Monday off of work.

Have you ever taken a day off just for the hell of it? I highly recommend it.  I don’t mean calling in because you’re sick or taking a day off because you’ve got an endoscopy scheduled.  I mean just taking a day to do whatever you want.  No hard plans, just pure, unadulterated freedom ahead of you.

I started the day with a nice run.  The furthest I’ve ever run solo is 3.1 miles in a 5K. Since I’m 10 K training, I wanted to add another half mile to that distance.  It was so nice and cool out, I probably could’ve gone a solid 4 or even more! The plan is to run again on Wednesday, Friday and in a 5K on Sunday. Come at me, 10K!


After my run, I dropped off the pile of Salvation Army donations that spent the better part of the last two months staring at me from a dining room chair.  If you want a killer bicep workout, haul two trash bags full of oversized clothes and faded/worn-out towels several blocks.  (Woohoo to oversized clothes!!)

I walked another 1.5 miles to Tandoor, ate a blissful solo lunch and planned our meals for the week.  I’m quite pleased with myself for not overeating.  It would’ve been so easy to down the entire plate of chicken biryani and the entire basket of naan with nobody there to see me but, I managed to walk out of the restaurant feeling satisfied and not stuffed.  Bonus: I had enough food leftover for supper and lunch the next day!


After lunch, I made my grocery list and shopped in the serene mid-day silence.  I am really looking forward to being a stay-at-home wife/retiree one day.  I didn’t have to dodge a middle of the aisle cart even once! I think even grocery shopping hater Christian could appreciate the nirvana that is an empty, fully-stocked, fully-staffed, weekday grocery store. Because I had so much time to plan and think about what I had on hand, my shopping list was short and my bill was braggably low. I returned home and got to work testing out my new birthday toy.

I decided the inaugural use of my KitchenAid should be for something sinfully delicious that I could easily give away.  Otherwise, I’d just eat until I was sick. I chose Brown Eyed Baker’s Bourbon Butter Cake.  It’s amazing how easy it was to bake a cake with this mixer.  If you don’t have one, I highly recommend you a) get engaged and receive one as a wedding present or b) date Christian who will be generous enough to buy one for you.  I recommend you go with option A if you don’t want an all-expenses-paid trip to Fist City. But I digress.

This cake smells unbelievable.  I had a little trouble with the glaze (in that I forgot it was on the stove and it turned to Werther’s Original-strength candy – whoops!) but otherwise, I’m quite pleased with my results.  After tasting a tiny sample, I was a good girl and froze the rest to be eaten during emotional fits of hysteria shared with loved ones.


I finished my perfect day with my Monday training session with Leah. My weight loss has been in the plateau stage for a while (completely unrelated to the all-you-can-eat-a-thon weekend described above) so Leah worked up a revitalized food and exercise plan for me and took my measurements.  Seeing those inches come down was just the boost I needed!  Since I started working with her, I’ve lost over 12 inches!!  It’s so easy to lose sight of how far I’ve come when I see myself every day so having those hard numbers in front of me was great encouragement.

What encourages you when you’re in a slump? How do you light a fire under dat ass?


ate a ton, aspire to a life of leisure, got encouraged


3 thoughts on “Thirty, Thinning and Thriving

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