Monday, January 30, 2012

Dieting - Keep Calm and Carry On

Last night i started writing in a journal again. Like manually writing. Foreign concept these days, right? My hand sure thought so. It was cramping before the end of the first page. As I was writing my first entry I thought it might be good to share some of it on here. Sorry, you won't get the full thing. We all know that somethings just aren't meant for the internet. Besides, if i put it all on there then what would be the point of having a journal??

There is just something about writing by hand that is so nice. Something about the perfect lines of text that are just too formal. I like to skip lines randomly, doodle, and sometimes even do a little sketch. I can't do that here in this ever constricting maze of black and white. I did learn that apparently i like to  quote myself and blow them up and accent them like they do in magazines. I'll try to find a way to accent them on here but i can tell you, it wont be as pretty. :)

You know what's nice about writing by hand? 
There's no auto correct to derail your thoughts.

...There's just other thoughts to derail your thoughts. 
Write faster, hand!!

Of course my first journal entry would be about my biggest challenge right now, my weight. I have always struggled with my weight. I don't have it as bad as some. I'm not at any health risk, i'm just [forever] chunky. I don't know what it will take for me to get something done.

--- Dedicated --- Determined ---

I am constantly on and off diets. I'll count calories and make excellent progress only to crash and burn. It's a problem. I am aware but that doesn't stop me. I think "I should only have 1 cookie" or "I am full so i should stop here" but i still cram a second or even third cookie in my mouth and then feel horrible afterwards. Or i will eat everything on my plate because "it taste so good" like i'm never going to get it again... everything is mass produced.

It will be there tomorrow

It is like i don't have any willpower but it is there. I know it is. I've seen it! Hellooooo....?? I think it is almost like a form of depression? The more upset I get about eating, the more i eat. What sense does that make?? None I tell ya!!

For example just last week I was doing a great job on my diet and then i fell off a little on Wednesday because i was craving Far East Black Bean from Wok Hay. I was full halfway through but i just kept eating until it was all gone. I felt horrible that i ate the whole thing and i tried to get back on track but i was really down on myself. Then Friday i ate at a pizza buffet and then went to a party (aka beer) so i failed H.A.R.D! I don't even think Lose it can count that high. After that I lost hope and motivation. I didn't make a grocery list so i didn't go to the store.

I just wallowed in self pity instead of doing something about it

I know these things and i'm a believer that if something is making you unhappy that you should CHANGE it so why do i let myself wallow??? It MUST stop ---- there will be fail days and I need to just take them in and carry on.

Keep Calm and Carry On

That saying just took on new meaning...

Eating healthy is just so hard. It takes so much time to prepare and then clean up. Yes the food is delicious --- i feel 100x better --- and i'm never miserably stuffed. BUT time.... it is so precious and i'm trying to workout too.

They aren't kidding when they say healthy eating is a LIFESTYLE...

It takes up SO. MUCH. TIME.
"weh" right? Grow-up.

Maybe i could try one of those meal plan website that i got from Laura. I wonder if they generate grocery list? That's the annoying part.

Alright enough whining about my laziness and lack of willpower. It is my bedtime and sleep is very important to me. The important thing is that I don't give up.

Keep trying and keep changing! 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Big Week of FAIL 1/16 - 1/22

Hey there! Ready for an embarrassing recap? Great! Because i have one for you.

In a nutshell a fell off my diet after Tuesday and I only exercised twice the whole week. Yea.... Here's what it looked like:

Monday: Attended my mamaw's 92nd birthday dinner at Shoney's. I showed restraint and avoided the buffet. I picked a plain hamburger with sweet potato fries. No exercise this day.

Tuesday: A lady at work and I decided to try some weights. I badly need to incorporate weights into my workout routine because the more muscle you have the more calories you burn! I have a theory that the reason it is so much harder for older people to lose weight is because of all the muscle mass they have lost over the years. I know I am no where near as strong as i was in high school when i was constantly playing sports and it has only been 10 years. So you can imagine someone in their 40s would have considerably more muscle loss.

Wednesday: This was our planned "catch up on TV" night and I was really craving some Far East Black Bean from Wok Hay so i declared Wednesday a slight "cheat day" (dinner only) and totally veg'd out. Thus starting my downward spiral.

Thursday: I thought i was okay, I was back on track! I ran 4 miles because I'm training for a 10k in February. As a result I had plenty of extra calories by the end of the day. I was feeling good!

Friday: But then Friday happened... I didn't even make an effort to fit in exercise and a friend that i haven't seen in a very long time was throwing a house warming party. Before the party i went to dinner with 2 other friends and we went to a pizza buffet, need i say more? Then at the party i had my fair share of beers which were 100 calories a pop. I resolved just not to talk about Friday. Kapesh?

Saturday: I started the day by sleeping in and then went to a friend's baby shower. I had planned to do a Kinect workout and make a grocery list after i got home but it was so dang gloomy and i had a horrible headache (not hangover related, i swear!) So i ended up laying in bed all day and reading Mockingjay. I was even too lazy to finish logging my calories this day.

Sunday: Didn't even try to log calories this day. We went to breakfast at James' mom's house and she always cooks a metric ton of food and i think i ate a pound of bacon. When we got home all i could think about was finishing Mockingjay so i put the rest of my life on hold and just read for hours. It was really nice actually.

So, needless to say i really lost focus with my eating and exercise this week. I think it started on Monday. We didn't have anything to watch while we ate dinner so we decided to rewatch Battlestar Galactica. It was even better than i remembered! We watched both pilot episodes which are 1.5 hours each. I usually go to bed around 10 but we didn't finish watching those until after midnight. Then, i couldn't resist reading at least a chapter or two of Catching Fire so i stayed up until about 1:30am and had to get up at 6am. I have not been that tired in a very long time. I could barely put my thoughts together the next day at work. As a result of my loss of sleep, i dragged all week. This sucked my motivation right out of me. I've always made sleep a priority but the lesson here is sleep is VERY vital to living a healthy, active lifestyle.

I'm not going to recap the other resolutions because nothing changed. The whole week was a fail and I feel horrible about it. Emotionally and physically. Last week my run was really easy because i had kept up with exercise and eating the right stuff but when i ran this week i thought i was going to die before i reached a mile. I was breathing hard and my muscles were burning. Not to mention, my stomach problems are back this week with a vengeance. Besides all these physical setbacks, i am just really disappointed in myself and that's a horrible feeling.

I did realize that these recaps really help. I actually thought i was on target with exercise last week until i recapped it and saw that i only did something twice the whole week! i was shocked. Same with my eating, i thought i was fine some days because i was under budget but when i looked at what i really ate, it was not a pretty picture. One night for dinner i had 3 fried cheese wedges and 2 beers. What kind of dinner is that, people? I mean seriously! No wonder i only lost .4 of a pound even though i was under budget! It makes perfect sense now. I think it will help me keep focus and understand things if i do my recaps on time.

My game plan for this week:
It's already too late to go to the grocery store this week because Thursday is my birthday and i have more important things to do then cook and do dishes all day! :) Then we are hosting a friends game night on Friday and there will be lots of snacks and adult beverages involved. So i'm going to just try to make the smartest choices i can tomorrow (Wednesday) and try not to over do it on Thursday and Friday. Saturday I will make a grocery list and go to the store Saturday or Sunday and my diet will start back Monday!

As for exercise i plan to lift weights tomorrow with the lady from work and then run or do the kinect on Saturday if i'm not too hungover. (at least i admit it, right?) That's still an embarrassing amount of exercise but at least it is better than nothing.

My goals for week of 1/30 - 2/5
- Recap on time
- Get to sleep on time (around 10-10:30)
- Exercise 5 times

This is really early for such a huge backslide. I hope i got it out of my system. :(


Resolutions Recap Week of 1/9 - 1/15

Another post that is long over due is a review of my resolutions progress! I can't be held accountable if i don't track my progress! This recap if for the week of 1/9 - 1/15.

Work Towards Living a Healthy Lifestyle
I feel this resolution has been pretty successful until this weekend. For the week of 1/9 - 1/15 i went the whole week without going over my calorie budget once! I was very excited about this as it was a first for me.

My exercise schedule was as follows:
Monday - Kinect workout
Tuesday - Rest (run was cancelled)
Wednesday - Rest
Thursday - Ran
Friday - Rest
Saturday - Kinect workout
Sunday - Kinect workout

Let me tell you, those Kinect workouts are no joke. Especially the Boot Camp and Sports Training. I thought i was going to collapse by the end. But in a good "pushing myself" way. I would like to only have 2 rest days every week but during the above week you will see I had three. You can see that my activity was cancelled but really that is no excuse, i should have still followed through with an exercise of some kind. This is something to work on.

I also failed at portion controlled. James and I got a milkshake at Mooyah to share and i was only suppose to eat 1/3 of it but i looked down and i had ate 1/2 of it without realizing! Luckily i had the calories to cover it but still, it is the point that i had decided to only eat 1/3 and over ate.

On the positive side, during this week we ate at Panera, Olive Garden, and even ate at Mooyah but i held strong and pre-planned my choices. If i really wanted something a little higher in calories i countered it with more exercise.

On this same note, i feel i succeeded at marking smarter choices. I had a veggie burger at Mooyah, I had soup and salad at Olive Garden, avoided the breadsticks, and I really wanted a bagel at panera so I found the lowest calorie choice (French Toast at 130 calories) and downsized my salad to a half to compensate.

Focus on House Projects
Cleaning was a total fail. I cleaned the kitchen out of necessity as i needed the dishes to cook the next meal but i didn't do anything else. The good news is the house isn't that messy because I have been so busy. However, one rainy day we let the dogs in without wiping off their paws and now there is mud everywhere downstairs. It is sickening. Luckily, a friend at work owns a carpet cleaner and she is going to let me borrow it. I just hope it is strong enough. haha... /cry.

We did manage to work on the workout room a little. We bought an Xbox Kinect so we moved the smaller TV downstairs and shifted the treadmill to allow lots of Kinect space. As a result the pile of junk that had collected in the corner had to be moved as well. Woo!

I also found a really pretty linen cabinet at Ikea since we don't have a linen closet. How weird is that? Now we just need to plan a day trip to Atlanta to buy it since it would cost more to have it delivered.

Be more Organized
I really haven't done much with this except use Evernote more to organize my meal plans. I still don't feel like i am using it to its maximum potential though. However, i still love it! it makes it so easy to compile notes on multiple projects when the notion hits. I already think it is an amazing tool and I'm just starting to learn to use it.

Visit Grandparents
January has slipped by without me planning a breakfast with them so i need to look ahead and plan one for February.

Be More Positive
It is hard to give examples of this one but i feel I have made some progress. I have had some conversations where negative things came to mind and i remembered to shut my mouth before i said anything. This led to a few awkward pauses as my brain races to think of something else to say but that's okay. I'll get better.

Also, a co-worker was having a bad week and was being very negative so instead of letting it bring me down i offered some ways i could help and it not only kept me from getting down but turned his outlook around as well!

Well, you know how this one went. It didn't. But as i explained in my previous post, i was distracted so it wasn't just my blog that was neglected. My whole life was put on hold so i could finish reading The Hunger Games series. In the future, I'd like to try to get more than one post out a week though.

Keep a Journal
I still need to start this. I'm thinking of doing it for a few minutes while i eat breakfast in the morning. The problem is i often push snooze too many times and then i don't have much time after i get ready so this may not be the best time. It would be the quietest but not the most reliable. My hesitation with starting my journal is that i don't know where to begin. I know i shouldn't have any expectations and i should just let the words flow but i can't. I have a disease that i have to have a plan for everything and it has become more apparent lately. Even this post, I outlined it on a piece a paper before i even sat down at my computer. The same... i guess you could call it fear, struck me the other day when our book club was painting. We weren't suppose to paint anything in particular, we were just suppose to let the brush hit the paper where ever it landed and let our imagination run wild. But i don't think i have an imagination. Everything i think up is the result of research and planning. So, every stroke i made on the canvas was symmetrical to the previous rather i liked it or not. This probably sounds weird to anyone that knows me because i am usually very relaxed and go with the flow. I wouldn't consider myself OCD and i'm definitely not one of those super uptight planners that know every detail and have things scheduled to the minute and freak out if anything changes. I can go with the flow but i have to have a plan from the start and it can change from there. I just can't start. I can't make the pen move.

Okay... let's end that psychological rant. That went a little further then i planned. (see plan exceeded and i'm okay with that but i had a plan at the start!)

Learn to Knit
This one is obviously less important than the other resolutions so it has been put on the back burner until some of this chaos passes.

Pay off Scion
I still need to calculate the monthly payment to make this happen. Luckily, since this is a monthly occasion i can still fit this in before the end of the month.

Over All - My Challenges
- With such a busy schedule, it is hard to stay on top of making a grocery list and going to the grocery store. These meal plans require a lot of ingredients and some odd ball stuff that is harder to find so it takes longer than my usual grocery store trips. Not to mention, i typically went to the grocery store only about once every three weeks since we ate out so often so going twice a week is hard to get used to.
- Most of the recipes in my meal plan are for 4 servings. This is great for leftovers for lunch the next day but then we ended up not eating the planned lunches which wasted some food.
- I need to get to bed on time so i can wake up on time to fix breakfast and potentially write in my journal. I was doing great at first but lately i have hit snooze way too many times. I even had to come home and take a shower on my lunch break one day because i almost over slept by turning off my alarm in a sleepy daze.

Over All - My Success
- The Kinect has been an excellent purchase. It is fun, easy to use, and i feel like it really works me hard, believe it or not.
Loseit! added the ability to log food items by scanning barcodes and it has made tracking things so much easier.
- I am really enjoying the Eating Well meal plan that i found. The food has all been delicious and easy enough for me to fix. They have been a little time consuming but it is worth it.
- With all this eating healthy I have felt amazing. I don't feel sluggish and running has actually been easier. Also, I have had very little stomach/Acid Reflux issues where before i was popping Tums like candy daily.

Well that's it for my recap. Now, i just need to work on the recap for the week of 1/16-1/22 and i will be caught up!

For now, i need sleep!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Hunger Games Series

Well, a post is definitely long over due. Although I have a good excuse! I am in a book club and this month's book was The Hunger Games. I started reading and could not stop! Literally. I immediately bought the second book, read it in a little less than a week and then bought the third book and finished it in a day and a half! I have never read a book so fast in my life but it totally consumed me. I couldn't think about anything else and i have been really busy/productive lately so i just decided to put all my plans on hold for the weekend and do nothing but read. It was fantastic. The lazy weekend and the book, actually. Here is a very basic review to avoid spoilers.

The first book, The Hunger Games, was very good in itself. There is lot of action and characters you can relate to. Some of the problems/conflicts that occur are predictable but i didn't think the resolutions were.

The second book, Catching Fire, was still an interesting book but i didn't feel like it completed enough of a story arc to be a stand alone book. It was definitely meant to setup book three and because of that it felt more like "Part One" of book three instead of an individual book in a series. The love triangle angst was full force in this one.

Book three, Mockingjay, was just as exciting as the first with lots of action and thankfully less love triangle angst than the second. I thought the ending could not be more perfect. There were some parts towards the end that really grabbed me.

Katniss, the main character, is a strong female lead but is still very real. She has her weaknesses and often over thinks things which leads her to be wishy-washy and sometimes make the wrong decision. In fact, she makes her best decisions in "spur of the moment" type situations because she is so passionate and determined to do the right thing. She doesn't see her self as very compassionate but in reality she is compassionate constantly without even realizing it. She does have a lot of "relationship boy drama" going on throughout the series but i think that is realistic for a 17 year old girl.

I would comment on her love interest but i don't think i could without spoiling something. (Dang it!)

The books do a good job of building on the characters so i felt like i watched them grow up and mature. I experienced them coming into the person they were at the end and because of that I understood their actions and decisions based on previous things i had seen in them.

I noticed a lot of commentary on modern day society, especially in the last book, that were on the verge of being harsh but i felt had a lot of truth to them and were very thought provoking. However, what really drew me to the series was behind the angsty love triangle relationship, there was this unwavering love and self sacrifice for loved ones that happened repeatedly. It was having that person that will alway be there for you emotionally, do absolutely anything for you, and never leave your side. To me, that is unconditional love x100. Maybe this makes me sappy or a hopeless romantic but i just can't help it because what makes this hit even closer to home is that every bit of it makes me think of my husband, James.

I truly am the lucky one.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

2012 Resolutions

Evening Folks,

I said i would have my resolutions up this weekend and boy am i cutting it close. But, seriously, would Stacy do it any other way? Nope. Anyways, before we look forward, let's take a moment to look back at my resolutions for 2011 and how i did:

  • Complete a half marathon - SUCCESS 
  • Work on Arm Strength - FAIL
  • Reach Goal Weight - FAIL
  • Educate Myself on Eating Better - FAIL
  • Use Less Paper - SUCCESS
  • Pay Off a Loan - FAIL
  • Be Less Selfish - FAIL
So... about those resolutions... yea, they were a big ball of fail. I know what really hurt me, i blogged about them (late) and then never thought about them again. I shouldn't even really say i had resolutions last year because really i just considered having resolutions and then dropped it. To make things even worse, not only did I not reach my goal weight but i made it 1.6 lbs (down 18.4 lbs) from my midway goal and then just quit and now i am very few pounds from my original weight. Talk about depressing. But that just goes to show that, yea, i lost weight but i did nothing to educate myself along the way. Once i stopped counting calories i couldn't make the decisions to maintain my weight. At first i started making a few exceptions for fastfood, extravagant desserts, and huge portions but eventually they worked themselves back into my normal routine and back came the weight.

Anyways, enough about 2011, on to 2012! This year i have a list of resolutions and i am actually very excited to work on every single one of them. Something just clicked on January 1st and i have been on crack (not literally!) ever since then. Not just at home either, I started a new routine at work and i have been kicking butt there too. I have finished my workload by lunch and left with a maximum of 3 emails in my inbox, all in which i needed a response before i could proceed. This is a change from a workload that i never completed everything in a single day and emails that i would have to work a 11 or 12 hour day to even get control of. Witnessing these accomplishments everyday has been very empowering! Luckily coming at a time when i was so down on myself and thinking that i may not be skilled or smart enough to handle the new position. If i can keep this up, i will rock people's socks off!

Oh yea, i guess i should stop flapping my jaws and list the resolutions so we can get to the meat of this meatloaf (what?):
  1. Work Towards Living a Healthy Lifestyle
    • Less Fastfood
    • Practice Portion Control
    • Make Smarter Choices
    • Exercise Regularly
  2. Focus on House Projects
    • Clean Regularly
    • Complete Sweep Twice/Year
    • Decorate
    • Home Improvement To-Do List
  3. Get More Organized
    • Recipes
    • Contacts
    • Learn Evernote
  4. Visit Grandparents Once/Month
  5. Be More Positive
  6. Maintain Blog
  7. Keep a Journal 
  8. Learn to Knit and/or Crochet
  9. Pay off Scion Loan
There they are in all their glory! Quite a list, huh? I don't think any of them are too complicated though. The Healthy Lifestyle section will definitely be my biggest challenge. There are just so many fad and fake sources out there for food that it makes it hard to find the true basic stuff. I'm thinking about just looking for some old nutrition textbooks to be honest. I think that would be the most genuine material. Maybe I could even find a non-credit nutritional class. Hmmm... (gears are turning!)

Anyways, that is all i want to touch on these right now or else i will end up with a blog entry that is gigantic. I'll post an entry on each resolution and go more in depth over the next few days. For now i am going to pack my lunch for tomorrow (planning ahead!) and get in bed so i can accomplish amazing things at work and come home to start my workout routine on the Kinect or Wii. (I plan to alternate)

What are your resolutions? I want to hear them! Point me to your blog post so I can read about them!

Good Night!

2011 in Review

Well here we are and a new year is upon us. How did that happen? When I was younger it seemed like it took forever for a year to pass and i would always hear my parents say that time flew by. Well, now i know what they were talking about. You blink and it is December again.

I wanted to do a year in review like i have seen several people do but i don't really feel prepared. I didn't really log anything along the way. But just on the fly, I do have a few major things that i can think of and i even happen to have a few pictures to match so here you go!

January was a good month for both me and my husband (Jams) career wise. His tiny company was bought out by a big corporation based out of St. Louis. This transition came with a 1 year guaranteed job and a raise. (Woo!) At the same time I received a promotion from Customer Care Lead to Supply Chain Analyst. This also came with a nice little raise and a bonus system! (double woo!) This was all new territory for me but i will go on that tangent in a post on a later date.

In April my friend Devon and I ran our very first Half Marathon!! It was definitely one of the proudest moments of my life. I will write about that on a later date as well.

I'm a little fuzzy on the date but towards the end of Summer Jams and I finally achieved a childhood dream and got a Jeep Wrangler! (Jams hates the color but i love it!)

Lastly, this isn't really a milestone but I still want to mention it. Suddenly Jams got bit by the "gun bug" and it has become his number one hobby ever since. (i think it might have had something to do with that Thomas fellow he's been hanging around.) He eats, breathes, and sleeps guns now. And of course i like to tag along. :)

Well... that's all i have. I told you it wasn't much. But now that I know i want to do this kind of thing at the end of the year, i can be better prepared. I will makes notes and take more pictures. For some reason I am excited about 2012. Maybe just because i really like the number 12. When i was younger i always wanted either 3 or 6 as my jersey number in sports but both of those are very popular numbers so i decided to go with 12 and it just stuck. 

So here's to 2012! It's going to be a good year. I can just tell.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Quick Update and Recipes

Hey Everyone!

I had planned to post my resolutions by now but I have been in high gear kicking productivity's butt and just haven't had a moment to sit down and draft out a blog. (You know i can be long winded at times) But never fear, i have the list of resolutions so i am working on them day-to-day. I'll get them on here soon!

However real quick, i wanted to share two quick links with you:

The first is an amazingly delicious low-calorie smoothie recipe. I hate ice in my smoothies but this one uses frozen fruit to get a nice texture without the icy pieces. I absolutely love this!

The second is a couple different life saver 28-day meal plans. There are even different calorie brackets for each plan! It was 11pm one night and I still needed to plan out my grocery list when i stumbled upon those meal plans by Eating Well magazine. The only thing you have to watch is that the items are different serving sizes. Most recipes are 4 servings but every now and then you will come across a 1 or 2 serving recipe. So keep that in mind when you are making your grocery list!

I promise i'll get my resolutions up this weekend! In the meantime, enjoy the links!! =)