Sunday, January 31, 2010

Week #3 in Review

eww... it isn't come the bullets...

• Sunday and Monday I started including a few strength exercises into my workout. They are simple ones that use free weights and a bench. I got them out of a Biggest Loser book that my Aunt gave me. I never knew this before, but apparently i prefer free weights to machines. I guess i have given too much of my life to machines before with no progress. Sure, it was probably all my fault but i just like simple, okay?
• Water intake has been great!
Some days I have actually drank more than 8 cups!
I blame these ------------------------>
I got them at Target (of course!) The silver one gets a little too cold when you first put water in it but it isn't too bad. They both have a top that pops up with a simple button and great mouth pieces that make it very easy and quick to drink out of. I haven't taken them to the gym yet, but I plan on it this week.
• No fast food again! Woo!
• Lost 1 pound. My goal is 2 a week but 1 is better than none!
• Since I gave up on doing better with mornings I did much better this week. Less snooze buttons and woke up around 8 all weekend! Who knew?

• I only met my calorie goal 3 days this week. Technically I get a free meal but that still means I missed my goal 3 days!! That is horrible! I could give excuses like, it was my birthday, it was james's birthday, etc but I should have planned ahead and made that my free meal of the week. There are NO EXCUSES.
• I only exercised 3 days this week. This I can allow excuses a little more than the calories because there was an outside factor that was out of my control: SNOW! Here is a breakdown:
-Sun-Tues: worked out
-Wednesday: This is my normal day to miss and it was James' birthday
-Thursday: an unexpected project came up at work and I was there until 8:30 so i ended up missing Yoga. I was really upset about this because Thursday is my most stressful day at work and I like going to Yoga to de-stress. Also Thursday is the end of my work week so it is a good way to end the week.
-Friday: I got up to take a shower before going to Zumba and the water heater was broken! It ended up being just a tripped safety but it took me a while to figure that out since I am new at this home maintenance thing. Then I was just going to go run and James came home from work and wanted to run a few errands and then go to the gym together afterward, i was fine with this because at this point i was starving so i wanted lunch! Before we even got home from our errands the snow storm started! So we did not attempt to get back out.
-Saturday: snowed in! Got about 5 inches of snow and all roads were ice! I actually did get a little exercise... I played tug-of-war with Argos (120lb dog) for 30 mins and some other general running around in the snow, building a snowman, etc.
So really, unlike the calories, most of these were out of my hands BUT a failure is still a failure and must be listed accordingly! I could have looked up some at-home workouts or something.
• I ate a piece of Pecan Pie that I think was 456 calories! This brings me to...

• Check calorie info BEFORE I eat something!! In week #1 i learned that i needed to pay attention to serving size before I ate after i accidently ate 2.5 servings of pasta. Well now the whole picture has come to surface. Check SERVING SIZE + CALORIE INFO = SMART CHOICES. duh! I don't know why i didn't think of the whole picture before now. n00b.
• This is another "duh" moment - i do best when i plan out my meals. During week 2 i planned out all my meals and did great but during week 3, I didn't plan one, just looked in the cabinet and fixed whatever looked best. I have to say I have done a good job about having healthy items in the house but too much of even healthy things can be bad.
• My Aunt gave me some Biggest Loser books that have actually been decently useful. I got some great exercises out of there and some yummy looking recipes. However the chart in there says i should be aiming for only 1200 calories! I can barely meet 1300 and it wants me to do 1200! /faint! I am going to still aim for 1300 calories until i drop 4 more pounds and then I will drop to 1200.

• Get a few weights for home use or home videos so if i get snowed in again i have a plan B.
• Watch calories better!!
• Start consistently including strength training into my workout.
• Check out a Biggest Lower cookbook.

Other than the fact that i failed miserably at my calorie and exercise goals, why do I think this week went so bad? It's simple, I just wasn't as motivated. Let me explain:

Week 2 was extra busy due to mine and my husband's birthdays being in the same week. We had both families to eat with and friends to celebrate with. Between all the extra social activities, meal planning, and workouts I didn't have an extra second to breathe! The weekend passed me by in a blink and before I knew it, it was monday and i was grumpy and tired. I worked out 6 days last week and for 4 of those i got home at 8 or later. As soon as I walked in the door I have to start cooking and then eat. (This is way too late to eat anyways but i havent found a good solution to that yet). Then I log my daily calories and activities and it is time for bed. I have no time to just relax or do something fun. Wednesday, the day i usually have free was spent with his side of the family celebrating. Friday was the night was spent 45 minutes making a dinner choice and didn't sit down to eat until 8:30. Lastly, Saturday was spent with my side of the family and friends celebrating. I honestly didn't feel like I had a weekend. I was driven to my max and i was burnt out. The important thing here is that I was NOT burnt out on exercise or on my food choices. Just too much stuff going on.

I'm glad it happened though. It made me re-evaluate my weekly routine to hopefully accommodate busy schedules in the future. I have a plan!...
-Sunday: I dont have to be at work until 12:30 so instead of working out after, i will work out before.
-Monday: Optional workout day - if the weekend looks light i can go ahead and workout here which will give me 6 exercise days. (my goal is 5-6 days a week)
-Tuesday: 6:30 Yoga class...not much i can do here. Maybe James cook?
-Wednesday: Normal off day. Relax
-Thursday: 7:00 Yoga class... I have time to eat before this one. James fend for self
-Friday and Saturday: Morning workouts!
This leaves me with only getting home late 2 days a week and on Thursday I will have already ate so the only day I will be eating late is Tuesday!! I hope to spend Sundays meal planning and blogging so i can start the week of strong!

Ya know, I'm finding out more and more that taking 5 minutes to review a situation can prove to be beneficial and those 5 minutes can be the difference between success and failure. I think this holds true for life in general.

Week #2 in Review

Week 2 went pretty well over all and I was feeling empowered! In fact one of my tweets was "i am kicking a$$ and it feels goooooood!" I had just gotten back from the gym and had ran my normal mile but this time I had increased the last lap to 7.0! I was pouring sweat and feeling so energized that i was close to bouncing off the walls. Then week 3 happened.... but we will get to that in the next post. (NOTE: I am writing this post a week late due to schedule conflicts revolving around birthdays!)

And I present to you: Week #2 in Bullet Points

• I exercised 6 out of 7 days! (My goal is to workout 5-6 days a week.)
• I haven't technically researched restaurants that we frequent but I have been good about researching before we actually go.
• Tried the Zumba class at the gym and LOVED it! Also I confirmed I still have no rhythm.
• Zero fast food! Whoop Whoop!
• Jogged 3 laps at 5.5mph and last lap at 7.0 - no problem!
• Woke up Friday at 8:00am!
• Finished blogging about resolutions.
• Got my reading back from the last time I gave blood and my cholesterol was back to 181!!! yay!
• Lost 2 pounds

• Totally missed my calorie goal 2 days and possible missed it a 3rd day. On the day I am unsure about we ate at my Aunt's house and I can not for anything find calorie info on the stirfry stuff she fed us. She is on weight watchers and has been very successful at it so im thinking it can't be too horrible but still i couldn't find anything close on the internet.
• Ate 2 desserts!! One of them i accounted for because it was my birthday dinner with my family but the second i just pigged out and it unfortunately it was the beginning of a downward spiral into week #3.
• Water intake was hit or miss each day. Some days I would drink plenty, the next i would barely down 2 glasses.
• Snoozes all over the place! Ack! I continue to fail horribly at the morning person thing.

• Drinking enough water greatly reduces the hungry urge. I noticed on days i didn't drink enough water i stayed hungry and kept wanting to snack throughout the day. On days I did drink enough water I sometimes would be okay to skip snacks. Which is good on days i go straight to the gym after work because i end up eating 3 snacks to get some "fuel" in my system for the workout. I read somewhere long ago that the hungry urge and thirsty urge were actually really similar and a lot of people get them confused and end up over eating. After observing my water intake i totally agree with that statement.
• Beans are surprisingly fatty. I know they are good for the protein but you are looking at close to 150 calories just for a cup of beans. For example Kidney beans are 110 for a HALF of a cup!
• Last week i wrote that i learned that a grilled chicken breast has 430 calories and i was floored! Well this week i can happily correct that statement! I had gotten the 430 from "" which i thought was pretty accurate but when i requested the nutritional info direct from Tyson on their 5oz boneless/skinless chicken breast I found that it is actually only 170 calories! yippee!!! This just reaffirmed my issue with trying to find calorie info on the internet - it can be so drastically different so you dont know who to trust. I try to check at least 3 sources and take an average of them.
• Speaking of references to trust for calorie info, i found "" and i feel really good about it. It seems to have a lot of foods in there (except kiwi for some weird reason) and it lets you put in your own serving size so it is really flexible. Also I trust their info a little more because most of it (maybe all?) has been verified with the Department of Agriculture and i figure they should be good at determining that stuff, right?
• Last week one of my goals was to get a Heart Rate Monitor Watch for my birthday....well as I researched them i realized that the really accurate ones require the use of a chest strap and im not so sure about that. I would really like to find someone, preferable a girl, that has used one to see if they are more trouble than they are worth. They do have some watches that don't require a strap but those seem to be a lot less accurate and wouldn't be any different then the monitor on the machines. I want the truest reading possible and i think to get that i would need to constantly monitor my heart rate.

If you skip all the other ones, read this one. I think no matter what diet you are on you will find circumstances where it is near impossible to make a good choice. Sure, there will be "best" choices but that doesn't make them good. I have two examples:
1. Certain restaurants just aren't healthy. One example is eating at Red Lobster, we were thinking about going there so I looked up their calorie info and not one thing on the menu was under 500 calories! Not one item! We didn't end up going there needless to say.
2. Social outings can be difficult. My husband and I have decently busy social lives. It is pretty much guaranteed that at least one night a week we will eat out with friends. For the most part we decide ahead of time and i can look over the menu and everything is dandy. However, one night this week some friends called us and asked us to eat and we were trying to figure out where to eat at. Several ideas were thrown on the table from both sides and we slowly vetoed each location because one couple didn't feel like that type of food or because i couldn't find one healthy thing there. This decision making process ended up taking 45 minutes!!! We didn't get to sit down to eat until 8:30! (and then we ended up changing our minds at the last minute and going somewhere totally different, haha) In the end I felt really bad because I felt part of the reason it took so long was because of my "diet" restrictions.
The most common solutions to this that i have read about are: To have one free day a week where you can eat what you want. (Use this day to fit in your weakness foods, like chocolate or fries.) Or after a goal has been met, like a certain weight, have a reward day.
Well, I don't like these solutions. Now that I have been eating better I feel really crappy when i eat horribly for a whole day and i also feel that would create a set back in a week's worth of progress that i have made. Also if I am so happy about meeting a certain goal, why in the world would I celebrate by doing that one thing that caused me to be miserable in the first place?!

I think I have found a good compromise: Have one free MEAL a week.
You can cushion this meal by saving up as many calories as possible before or after so you aren't completely defeating your over arcing goal but at the same time it isn't impossible to decide where to eat with friends. This would also help special situations like birthdays or family dinner nights since you don't want to be too demanding on what they cook and even if you were, who knows what they are cooking with (butter VS margarine, mayo VS light mayo, etc) Trying to figure out how many calories are in Grandma's famous meatloaf would be pretty much impossible. The key here is, as always, planning ahead. You don't want to use your free day on Tuesday with family night and then on Friday your friends call and want to go to Red Lobster for their birthday.

Since i am blogging this a week behind I'm not going to do goals because that would be cheating since i already know what happens, haha. 

Well, even though I missed my calorie goal i really feel like this was a great week. I tried new things, I increased my workout, i learned a lot and theorized some new things. I might have actually done better during week 3 if I had blogged about this when I was suppose to because I feel pretty pumped about all my successes!

I can't change the past to I might as well go ahead and tell you about week #3... gulp! (see next post)

Resolution #8 - Volunteer

When I was in highschool I was a member of the "Services Organization" and basically it was just a way for us to connect to volunteer opportunities. There was a book in the library that listed all the upcoming events and you just signed up for the ones you wanted to do. It was so simple.

Then I graduated and volunteering became a thing of the past. Not only was it a lot harder to find opportunities but I just didn't have the time. I could have joined a club in college but I wasn't outgoing enough to do it without anyone i know being there too.

Now that I have graduated college and gotten married I find that life seems to have leveled out some. I wouldn't say it has slowed down, just developed a rhythm. I think I would have time to volunteer now I just need to fond out where and how. So that is my resolution - find some places to volunteer and do it!

My plan is to start working on this one when it starts getting a little warmer and I get this gym thing more under control.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

2 quick things...

1. Most of the time when I go to the gym I go to the downtown location but the other day I went to the location that used to always go to before I got the job I have now and the girl at the desk was like "I havent seen you in forever!!" I explained to her that I had been going to the downtown locations and she was like "okay, well then i wont give you any crap" - ha! Does SHE read my blog? I like it!

2. I know i havent posted in a while and i haven't given up! I actually have my week 2 in review blog all outlined and i have been keeping notes on other entries but I'm trying to join a DnD campaign and right now creating and developing my character takes priority! (over the blog, NOT working out).

So have no fear i'm still keeping up with stuff and I will be back shortly with several blogs to catch you up!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Resolution #7 - Research Better Eating

There are two sides to this one:

1. Trying to eat healthy without being educated is like being blind. Some foods are sneaky. In the past I have tried my hardest to pick healthy things while eating out only to find out later that I picked something horrible. It is beyond frustrating.

2. I have acid reflux and I'm close to having high cholesterol. When I gave blood 2 times ago my cholesterol reading came back as 201! This wasn't the most accurate test but still it gave me a wake up call. Luckily the last time I gave blood (Christmas Eve) it came back as 184 which is much more comfortable.

So basically the goal is to:
• I want to learn how to make educated choices at restaurants in case i don't have time to research their menu beforehand. For example, this past weekend James and I went to a local diner and I ordered a vegetable plate that included corn, green beans, baby lima beans, and tomato/cucumber salad. I had kinda gotten an idea that most (all?) beans are high in calories but I had no idea until i got home that corn was so high in calories! So what I thought was an innocent vegetable plate ended up being about 400 calories!
• I want to learn the best foods for my specific health concerns.

The best thing to do would probably be to find a book with general food facts. Finding a book about specific health concerns will probably be pretty easy. On the other hand, finding a book about foods in general may be rather difficult. The biggest hurdle here is that it is so hard to find a book you can trust because there are so many out there that are people just trying to sell their "fad diet" and make a quick buck. Maybe I could find a book by the USDA? hrmm....

Resolution #6 - Pay off a Loan

This resolution I obviously can't go into great detail with for privacy reasons but basically we have 2 loans that are semi-close to being paid off:

• James' car (Mazda): Payment x 1.5 = 10 month payoff
• James' student loan: Payment x 4 = 10 month payoff

Both of these loans are close in balance remaining but the student loan's interest rate is half of the car loan so even though the student loan multiplier above looks ridiculous both payments to pay off in 10 months is the same amount. So basically I can pick whichever I think is best to pay off first.

I think I have decided to pay off the Mazda first because it has the higher interest rate and paying the minimum on the student loan will give me more money to pay on the Mazda loan. Then, in 10 months when I pay off the Mazda loan I will take that payment and add it to the student loan payment which will pay off that one pretty quick! Once I get both of these paid off I can put that money towards my student loans!! we wont even talk about how much is left on my loans!

Not that you have much info to go on but does anyone see a reason i should pay off the student loan instead of the Mazda loan first? If not, February is the first month of my MEGA payment as i like to call it. ha!

Friday, January 22, 2010

oh the irony!

So as some of you may have heard I am failing miserably at this morning person thing and it is extremely frustrating. I started taking my showers at night and moved my wake up time forward from 6:30 to 6:50 to help every little bit i could but it isn't making things any easier. Every morning trying to get out of bed at 6:50 is like trying to move a mountain and i am often late to work because of it.

HOWEVER! On my day OFF i wake up NATURALLY at 6:38 and I'm AWAKE! can you believe that?!

I'm starting to think my brain just likes to eff with me! /shakes fist

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Week #1 in Review

Well, today marks the end of the my first week with my resolutions. Looking back i've had some failures and some successes and I've also learned a few things. Usually when I fail at something I get discouraged and quit but for some reason I'm not seeing these small failures as failures, I'm seeing them as experiences to learn from. The surprising thing is this wasn't a conscious effort... it just happened. Not only do I not feel discouraged, but I feel empowered this time! What made me change my view/outlook? I have no idea.

Here's my week in bullet points:

Jogged 1 mile on Friday! (At speed 5.5) - My goal was to take it easy and slowly work my way up to a mile by the end of February and I did it by the end of my first week! I guess i under estimated myself. The funny thing is I wasn't even trying to jog a mile. I had walked .5 of a mile and wasn't really feeling challenged and was feeling good so i decided to jog a little. I was listening to my music, watching the TVs and looking around and before i knew it I had jogged half a mile and wasn't feeling tired at all so i kept going! at about .75 it started getting a little rough but i pushed on through to the end! I was so shocked that I actually tweeted a picture of the treadmill to make sure i was reading it correctly! So I guess I will bump my goal for February up to 2 miles!
Mostly avoided fast food - Only had fast food twice this week and I normally wouldn't count that as an accomplishment except that one time was for breakfast and I don't really count that. James and I ate at Firehouse Subs when he met me for lunch on Tuesday. What I chose to eat there is a different story and you will find that under the Failure heading...
I exercised 4 out of 7 days - Technically my goal is to exercise a minimum of 5 days a week but since this is the first week that I was getting back in the gym I am counting 4 as an accomplishment! Going forward if i only make it 4 it will go in the Failure category, dont worry.
Water intake! - I know it is important to drink lots of water but I hadn't actually planned to work it into my route yet but 2 days this week i drank 8 cups of water and 1 day i had 6 cups! It is funny though because one day i can be thirsty all day no matter how much i drink but then the next day I can't seem to make myself drink anything. I'm sure I will have more "thirsty" days as I work out more.
1 time snooze - A few posts ago I re-evaluated my snooze button policy and decided that I couldn't stop using snooze cold turkey so I decided to allow myself 1 snooze. I successfully only pressed snooze once this week....except one day (in which i almost over slept!) which leads us to...

I pressed snooze twice on Wednesday and almost overslept. - When i decided to stop pressing snooze i was able to move my alarm forward from 6:30 to 7:00 but then i decided to press it once so now my alarm is set for 6:50 to allow for the snooze. 7 is the absolute latest I can get up and still make it to work on-time. Well on Wednesday I hit snooze twice and therefore it was 7:08 by the time i got out of bed and as a result i clocked in at work at 8:04. Being 4 minutes late to work doesn't really bother me that much but what does is that i let myself down by breaking my 1 snooze rule.
Slept in - For my quest to become a morning person to be successful i read that i need to wake up at the same time every day for 2 weeks. After those 2 weeks I could vary the wake times a little but basically i need to train my body first. Well i slept in on both Friday and Saturday!! Saturday was a little understandable because my friend Andrew had his birthday party on Friday night so we ended up staying out until 2am! But regardless Friday was unacceptable! On top of voiding my "morning person training" the YMCA has a Zumba class on Friday mornings at 10:15 and I want to give it a try but I couldn't because i slept too late! (i did still workout just didn't go to Zumba).
Calories - I only met my calorie goal 3 out of 7 days this week and that is subtracting my calories burned during exercise from my calories intake! Also I don't mean that I missed them by like 50 or a 100! On Tuesday I missed my goal by 490 (after exercise subtracted) and on Thursday I missed it by 514 (no exercise)!! AHHHHHH! I'm trying to only take in 1300 calories and that is ridiculously low in my opinion but still that is totally disregarding even the idea of a goal. I think it is best if i just move on...
Coffee calories! - This whole week i have been using a flavored coffee creamer and didn't even think to check the calories! Normal creamer has a pretty small amount so i didn't even think about it. Then this afternoon James asked me if i included my coffee calories so i went to check the info and it was 50 calories!! Luckily I only drink 1 cup of coffee but still! ack! that really adds up!!
Firehouse - When we went to Firehouse I thought I was making a good decision by choosing wheat bread and leaving off the mayo but turns out it was still a horrible choice at 740 calories! Then on top of that I had a lapse in will power and picked regular potato chips for 240 calories! This just reiterates my point that a lot of my bad food choices stems from lack of knowledge. That is the reason for my Resolution to research better eating. I need to get on it! Which leads us to...

Research - My main goal over all is to research smart food choices in general (i.e. wheat or whole grain, reducing acid reflux, etc) but I also want to research smart food choices at specific restaurants or basically plan ahead. James and I had decided ahead of time to go to O'Charley's so I was able to look up their nutritional information and get an idea of what I wanted before we went. As a result I felt confident about my food choice and felt good about myself. Firehouse was a last minute decision and you see what it cost me.
Snooze - Mondays are rough.... okay?! So I am allowing 1 snooze on Monday but for the rest of the week there will be no snooze allowed! NO SNOOZE FOR YOU!
Zumba - If nothing comes up on Friday I would like to try the Zumba class (dance/aerobic) at the YMCA.
Blog! - I still need to blog about Resolutions 6, 7, and 8. I just think it is important that I finish that. Especially if I am going to talk about their success or failures.
New Toy! (long term) - I never really saw the point of the Heart Rate Monitor Watches until now. First, i didn't realize it kept track of calories burned. Secondly, I usually like to do my own thing on treadmills and as a result the estimated calories burned is not accurate because they are not based on my weight (some let you enter your weight but not all). Third, I rarely put my hands on the monitors. I think it would be really cool to be able to accurately monitor my calories. Lucky for me my birthday is just around the corner. I am going to try to drop the bug in James' mom's ear. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

• Grilled chicken has way more calories than i thought! I realize your meat portions are suppose to be small but a 6oz grilled skinless chicken breast has 450 calories! that is like a whole meal!! That just really surprised me.
• Serving size, serving size, serving size!! Twice this week I blew my calories because i didn't pay attention to serving size. I HAVE to learn to look at that FIRST not after the fact!
• I took Yoga in college and really like it but that was about 4 years ago. Some of our friends have a Wii Fit and it has Yoga on there. They were showing it to us and let me do some of the Yoga. I instantly remembered how much fun it was and how good it made me feel so now plan to incorporate it into my workout twice a week. Which is great because I think that will really help me not get burned out so quickly. Also I have some back issues and Yoga will be great for that. I <3 Yoga!
• Even if you don't follow the Slim Fast diet, the website ( has a great tool for planning out meals and some really amazing recipes. You can plan out your week or even whole month if you want! And as a bonus it gives you a complete grocery list after you have picked your meals!! Another great website that has gotten be through this past week is They have a healthy living section where most of the entrees are around 350 and they even have a "healthy living on a budget" section for healthy AND cheap ideas! Can't beat that!!

Well, I think that sums up my first glorious week with my 2010 Resolutions. It was pretty eventful and challenging, I must say. You know, now that I think about it, I think blogging may be the key to my change in the way i view my progress this week. With every mistake I made I found myself thinking "I can't wait to tell people what i learned". It seems my blog has inspired at least 2 people and that makes me proud and drives me even more. I want to keep it up. I feel useful. I want to help other people that may have struggles where I have struggled in the past. I want to find mistakes before others do to maybe prevent them from encountering that pitfall. Even if their goals in life are different I want my motivation to motivate them. These resolutions are very much for personal benefit and if at the end if I'm the only person that gains anything from this whole experience then so be it and I would still call it a success. But honestly, I think it is the thought of helping others along the way, even if just one person that keeps me going.

What it comes down to is - I'm motivated by you being motivated by me.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Just Want to Share...

Today for the first time in a really long time i actually drank 8 cups of water! It's a tiny accomplishment but it's something! hooray!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Only 4 days and I've learned so much!

First things first, when i really get to typing my fingers don't like to capitalize "i" so i know it is probably annoying to you perfectionist people but that's just the way i type and lucky for me most things auto correct it, unlucky for you Blogger does not. Alright, now that I have that out of the way, on with the topic at hand.

Week one with my new resolutions is only half over and i've already learned a few things...

1. Going from 3-4 snoozes to zero is impossible (yea, you heard me, impossible!) So i've taken a baby step and only hit it once. So instead of waking up at 7 I wake up at 6:50 and hit snooze once. Eventually I will get to the no snooze thing.

2. I've made some good food choices but have also made some bad ones. One was lack of knowledge and the other was just not thinking. James and I went to Firehouse for lunch on Tuesday and I love the Smokehouse Brisket there so i figured i would get it and just leave off the mayo and pick wheat bread. Well... I got back to work and looked up the calories only to find that it was still 740 calories even without the mayo! ridiculous! The other bad choice was that i didn't look at serving size so when i thought i was eating 300 calories i actually ate somewhere between 750 - 900!! I almost cried! (okay, not really but i was really upset).

So from this i reaffirm i need to look up the calories BEFORE i eat something. In both cases if i had paid closer attention to the nutritional facts i would not have made the mistakes. Lesson learned.

3. Always take my workout clothes with me. I unexpectedly had to work over on Monday and James had said he wanted to to go to the gym with me and we planned for me to swing by the house to get him on the way to the gym. Well during the middle of the day he decided that he didn't want to go workout because he didn't have any gym pants (only shorts) and was afraid he would freeze! I should have been able just to go straight to the gym but nooooo because I had planned to go back home so I didn't bring my clothes. Then since i had to work late by the time i got home to get my clothes it was so late the gym would be closing soon. There are 2 lessons here... always take my clothes and don't go home before the gym!

• I have done really well on going to the gym. I have decided to do Yoga on Tuesdays and Thursdays to add a little variety to my workout and i just really like it.

• I haven't done so well on the food. I didn't track my food on Sunday but on Monday i had 1320 calories which was great but then on Tuesday i had the outrageous 2090 and today i haven't fully calculated them but this was the lunch that i messed up on so I know it is WAY over 1300.

• The morning person thing is rough. I have been getting in bed at 11 instead of 1030 so i'm paying for it in the morning. I didn't expect it to be easy though.

• One issue I am having is I get home from the gym way too late so by the time i cook dinner it is already 8:00 which is way too late to eat dinner. I hope once i get better at this morning person thing that i can start going to the gym in the morning.

I'm not giving up hope yet. I can see this resolutions thing will be challenging but I'm still having fun! Wooooo!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Resolution #5 - Get in Better Cario Shape

For the most part I am going to follow the points of Resolution #4 and just tag some goals on there:

• The first day I go to work and I am not out of breath with I climb the stairs will be my first small victory.
• Run 1 Mile by end of February
• Eventually jog a 5k without walking at all - 5k TBD after I kind of see my rate of progress

I guess I could have combined 4 and 5, huh?

Resolution #4 - Get Back to the Gym

James and I have had a membership to the YMCA for all of 2008 and the later half of 2009 yet we go for a few weeks and then completely neglect it. I mean we don't even pretend to go. (At least we don't try to delude ourselves, right?) To make matters worse, my work has a work out "gym" and I barely even find the motivation to go there!

• The YMCA location that we live closest to is too small for the number of members they have. After 6pm it is packed and during Jan - March (when everyone is working on their New Year's resolution) it is so packed that sometimes you can't even use the equipment that you want and that is annoying. Another annoying part of the gym is the lack of parking. They always have some kid events going on and even if the workout room isn't crowded the parking lot always is. (/weh)

• My work "gym" can barely be called that. They have 2 ellipticals and 2 treadmills, 3 bikes (I hate bikes), and a few weight machines. I'm not complaining because at least it is something but it basically makes working out during my lunch break impossible because a lot of people go to lunch at 11:30 (I go at 12) and take all the equipment. Then after work everyone else gets off at 5 and I don't get off until 5:30 so once again they beat me to all the good stuff. My only chance is to workout before work but that is unlikely since currently I can barely wake up in enough time to get to work as is. ***NOTE: That may change if I am successful with Resolution number 3! ***

Okay... now that I have my excuses out of my system I can get to business. Last time I tried to start working out again I really pushed myself thinking "I am young, I can handle it!" and I ended up with a hurt back and foot and 6 trips to a Chiropractor. From that I learned that I am still young and I can should be able to take a lot but I have really neglected my body since high school. I was very athletic in high school but after I graduated I didn't keep it up. I almost always start to go to the gym and go for 2-3 weeks and then stop going. I have lost weight before because of diets but I don't think I have ever went to the gym enough to lose weight. That is sad.

So I have to start slow. Not because I am a wuss but because I have basically neglected every muscle in my body for almost 10 years. My plan is to start January as cardio only. The first few times I will just walk (at an incline) on the treadmill then I can slowly move into jogging. After I get my cardio going a little I will through weights in the mix. My goal for mixing in weights in February.

I have heard a few times that working out first thing in the morning accelerates your metabolism. Does anyone know if this is true? If it helps at all? As we all know I am NOT a morning person so if I am going to lose sleep for something it better have some hella benefits!! :)

I don't really have much of a game plan here other then making myself actually go to the gym. Here are a few things I could think of though:

• Goal is to workout 5 days a week.
• Go very light for the first month. I've been out of shape and out of the gym for a long time now. Also with my recent semi rapid weight gain I think my heart is under more stress. January = Cardio only.
• Get more intense for February. Look to one of my fitness magazines for workout plans that mix cardio and weights.

Official Start Date: Sunday, January 10th.

Resolution #3 - Become a Morning Person

About 2 months ago I had decided I was going to try to become a morning person. The game plan then was to focus on going to bed earlier and so I could wake earlier. This included waking earlier on weekends then normal. I had a decent amount of success with this. For about 2 weeks it was perfect! I even woke up around 7am on weekends on my own which was previously unheard of.

But then the weekends become my weaknesses... I would stay up later thinking to myself "I can get back to my normal schedule tomorrow". That turned into me staying up late all weekend and then Mondays became harder and harder and eventually I was back to my old routine again.

A down side to becoming a morning person is the lack of excitement on vacations. When we went to Chicago, since we were an hour behind I would get tired at 9pm so I'm sure I wasn't much fun to have as a guest in a big city where there is always tons of nightlife. O'well, there are are downsides to everything, i suppose.

• I plan on getting back into the routine of going to bed early (between 9:30-10).
• First two weeks: Wake up at 7am EVERYDAY, this includes weekends!
• After two weeks: Wake at 6:30 Mon - Thurs. Wake at 7:30 Fri - Sun.
• DO NOT PRESS THE SNOOZE BUTTON EVER!! Every morning I press the snooze button and every morning I feel groggier afterward and regret it. Snooze button is NOT allowed.

Ideally I would like have a job where I could sleep late and wear jeans everyday but until I find that job, I guess I better start working on making the best of what I have now. If I don't, I think Mondays will be the death of me.

Resolution #2 - Be a Better Granddaughter.

This one is plain and simple - I am lucky enough to still have grandparents alive on both sides of my family and I take them for granted. I see my mom's mom usually only on holidays and I see my dad's parents about once a month. This is unacceptable!

Something I have learned about myself is that I have a horrible sense of time. James and I will be talking about something and I could swear that is just happened 2 or 3 days before and then when I really think about it, it has been over a week! I'm not making excuses for me ignoring my grandparents but having no sense of time definitely adds a challenge to this resolution. The only solution I know here is set a visit day and write it on my calendar and if something comes up make sure I reschedule right then.

I'm going to aim for 1 visit every 2 weeks for each set of grandparents. I'm not sure if I will visit in the same week or alternating weeks. I'll figure that out as I go.

First visit: Saturday, 16th.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Resolution #1 - Avoid Fast Food

I don't consider myself a bad cook but being young I just don't have a lot of recipes under my belt yet so mostly I end up making chicken, chicken, burgers, chicken, stir-fry, chicken, steaks, chicken, chicken, pizza, chicken, and repeat... I think my husband is about to ban chicken from the house! So since we get tired of eating the 5 things I know how to make, and we are decently busy people we end up eating out a lot. While eating out, I rarely make good eating choices and have found there to be 3 main reasons behind my poor choices:

• Lack of food knowledge - Some foods are sneaky about being bad for you. Like there are several salads that I get at different places and I thought I was doing good only to find out that they have crazy amounts of calories! For example the Buffalo Blue Zalad at Zaxby's... I would even leave off the bleu cheese dressing and I was still eating close to 1000 calories in 1 meal!!

• Lack of time/panic - Some places I know there are healthy things on the menu but as I'm standing in front of the register or have a waiter/waitress hovering over me I feel the clock ticking and panic and just go with what I know only later to find out that again it was a horrible, horrible choice.

• Lack of choices - There are some places that I just can't find 1 healthy thing on the menu! Basically almost all fast food places.

I find myself falling weak to these 3 issues mostly at fast food places, hence me making this resolution. Now that we have pin pointed the problem, we are on to the game plan (or at least a rough outline of one)

• Pack my lunch - I'd say 90% of the time that I eat fast food it is for lunch. Rather is be during my lunch break or just while out running errand on my day off. The fact of the matter is that I usually just don't have the time nor the money to always go to a sit down restaurant.

• Plan ahead - For the most part, James and I frequent the same restaurants so I need to just sit down one day and make a list of the best items at every place. I can download this list to my iPhone or Google Docs and it will always be within reach! That takes care of the knowledge and the panic issue! Also it works for fast food or sit down places!

• Avoid some places all together - The places that I can't find anything healthy I just need to buck up and stop going there. If I just think I am going to die if I don't have X item from X place then I will just have to eat a smaller portion. For example I LOVE McDonald's fries so if I am craving them with no will power in sight then I could either not get a cheese burger or get a kids meal so it still has fries but a much smaller portion.

• The good - I think this resolution will actually be pretty easy to stick to. Eating at fast food places has been kind of bothering me in general lately. A lot of the time I leave there just feeling gross. Mostly it is all the grease. After I have inhaled my food I have time to reflect and think to myself "I can't believe I just ate that when I SAW grease drip from it!" Or I will go somewhere for lunch and then get back to my desk only to feel sluggish and unproductive for the rest of the day. So this fast food avoidance has kind of been in the works even before the New Year.

• The Bad - The biggest concern I have here is actually taking the time to make a list for "pre-approved" items. Some places make their nutritional info pages annoying, like when you have to click on each individual item and then it opens a separate window or when you have to "create a meal" to even get any info. I can get a little lazy if research requires too many clicks. However, on a good note, while I think this list would be a huge help I do not think it is imperative to my success so if it takes a little longer then it should I wont automatically fail.

Fast Food, You're a Goner!!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2010 - Here I Come!

Happy New Year!

Every year, just like everyone else, I make a new year resolution or two and work on them for a month or two and then fail miserably at them. So this year I almost decided to save myself the trouble and just not make any resolutions. That thought lasted a whole 2.7 seconds because let's be honest here, that just isn't me. I love to participate in things like this just because! So the next approach would be "what would make me more likely to keep them?" Here I came up with a few things:

1. Avoid the "lose weight" resolution
Problem - Been there, didn't do that. I'm an instant gratification kind of person so every time I say "I'm going to lose weight" and then after two weeks I have only lost a pound I get horribly depressed and then eat my way back up to my original weight or above it!
Solution - So I decided to find some small goals that would give me instant gratification that would inadvertently lead to weight loss!

2. Avoid hugely "life changing" unrealistic goals
Problem - Don't get me wrong, I think most things are possible to start or stop cold turkey but it is going to be a heck of a lot more challenging than if you ease into it. So if I'm already prone to not keeping my resolutions why would I want to make it even harder on me?!
Solution - Instead of "stop eating fast food" I'm going to try "avoid fast food". This will hopefully prevent me from getting frustrated when I only have 30 minutes to eat and forgot to pack my lunch. Also, more importantly, this will give me a little wiggle room instead of completely throwing my resolution out the window the first time I get in a predicament where I have to grab some fast food.

3. Plan for failure/boredom
Problem - With only 1 or 2 resolutions if I fail at 1 or 2 then all hope is lost and I am done for! Or if something that sounded like a great idea and then later I realize I don't really care as much about it then again my resolution fun is over til next year.
Solution - Make several so if i fail or get bored of 1 or 2 then I still have some to keep hope alive! Or if one takes a while to get going then I have others to keep me in the "resolution spirit".

4. Be held accountable
Problem - If no one knows you are failing at a goal then who cares? Sure it sucks to be disappointed in yourself but it sucks even more to be disappointed in yourself and to let other down too! Also more importantly they can't support you during the difficult times.
Solution - I once read in a magazine to blog about your weight loss to give you a sense of being held accountable but I've never been much of a blogger nor felt like anyone reads this thing anyways. However, now that Twitter has came along hopefully if I post things about my blog on Twitter then people will read it and hold me accountable! Cheer for me when I do good, boo me when I do bad, and coach me when I need help! So....basically my success rate depends on all you Twitter folks.... no pressure. =)

**As a side note, I had those points formed so much better in my head but then James turned on Mythbusters and I caught myself staring at the TV ever so often only to glance back at the computer and realize I had totally lost my train of thought. Alright.... back to the resolutions**

So with these points in mind I have made 8 small resolutions this year, none of them including "lose weight" might I add. They are:

1. Avoid fast food
2. Be a better Granddaughter
3. Become a morning person
4. Get back to the gym
5. Get in better cardio shape
6. Pay off Mazda or Student Loan
7. Research better eating habits
8. Volunteer

(You can also find these resolutions on my right sidebar as i continue to blog and this entry gets pushed down into oblivion.)

As I said earlier I didn't make one of them "lose weight" but ideally if I succeed at 1, 4, 5, and 7 (geez, i didn't realize so many would affect my weight) then losing weight should come naturally and would be an added bonus! Plus that would make weight loss a life change instead of a fad diet which would prevent yo-yo dieting.

You may wonder why I listed 4 and 5 separately. While 5 probably relies on 4, 4 does not mean i would be doing Cardio. I mainly want to be in better cardio shape because every day I take 2 flights of stairs at work and it makes me out of breath! that is embarrassing at 26!!!

I would like to clarify that number 7 doesn't mean find a diet. It means looking at foods from all angles. Also researching what is best for me. Like there are things that say 1 cup of coffee is good for you but I also have acid reflux and even just 1 cup of coffee seems to make my acid reflux worse and give me stomach issues later in the day. So in that case I would look for another drink that would have the same benefits as coffee but doesnt increase my acid reflux. Maybe there isn't anything better, maybe i would just need to compromise and only have coffee like 3 times a week or something. Also I may be on the verge of having high cholesterol so I would like to research foods that would lower that. That might mean not cutting out eggs but just switching to egg whites. You get the idea? (Please note: at this point no research has been done so everything i just said could be completely wrong about coffee and eggs)

I plan to start blogging about these individually to go more in-depth and kind of outline a game plan for working towards each goal. I will probably break them all down into their own entry unless it is just really short.

Alright, time to get ready for bed. Right now my solutions and this new resolution method sounds like a really great idea and I like to think that I am good at analyzing situations therefore looking back at situations in my life and learning from them but only time will tell.

Getting older is all about getting wiser, right? I believe it should be.