Spring is here!

It’s been a really long time since I’ve last posted something in here. My last post was definitely about how gloomy February is and how unmotivated I feel. Well, March is here, and with Daylight Savings Time today and the change in weather, I feel much better.

I keep a small calendar on which I mark off my work out days and other important timelines (i.e. changing contacts, lady times, etc.). This is something that I did in college which kept me motivated to go to the gym. Somehow, seeing those color checkmarks in the corner of the days encouraged me to go the gym often. I guess the gold star system really works for me.

So, to recap, out of the 29 days of February, I worked out/went to the gym for 21 of them. That’s a lot of working out! Needless to say, I feel like I’m in pretty good shape as far as my stamina and endurance goes. Now, how many of those 5 pounds that I wanted to eliminate in 2012 did I lose? -5. That’s right, I gained 5 pounds in February. How is that possible when I worked out almost daily for the entire month of February? Well, I could sit here and blame it on muscle gain (which there has been) and bloating and all of that. But I’m not going to. The truth of the matter is I felt burnt out and stressed in February (which seems to be the trend almost every single year–I need to figure out what the source of the problem is so I don’t keep relapsing). I rarely had nights where I slept for more than 4 consecutive hours. No matter how early I went to bed or aides I took, I could not stay asleep for more than 3-4 hours per night. I even tried napping during the day and I found myself just lying in bed or on the couch tired but still very much awake until my alarm went off. I was just so exhausted from the lack of sleep and pressures of the job. As a result, I reverted back to my high school days where I would eat to gain energy. I don’t remember sleeping in high school, but I remember being tired and eating all the time. The heaviest and largest I’ve ever been in my life was junior year of high school because of that habit. Luckily this time around, I exercised my face off (much different from high school me) which has negated some of the enormous calorie intake so I haven’t had buy bigger clothes or anything. But I’ve definitely gained weight and it’s because of my work off then pig out habit.

So, what do I need to do? I need to sleep more and stop eating so much sugar. My sweets craving kicked into high gear last month which is the main culprit of my weight gain. Yes, I’ve gotten stronger. Yes, I’m in better shape, but I haven’t been seeing results because of my sugar and simple carb intake.

Last weekend, I took a long weekend to just lock myself in my apartment and sleep during random parts of the day. I literally did nothing. I even took a week off from working out. But it was exactly what I needed because when I showed up to work after the long weekend, I felt incredibly refreshed and like my usual self. I returned to the gym on Tuesday and I’ve had some amazing workouts since. I’ve gone in every single day and my workouts have all been incredibly productive. And now the weather is warming up (we’re supposed to have a few days in the 70s this week), we’re getting more sunshine, and I’ve rested, I feel wonderfully rejuvenated and inspired. Despite my two hour work out today (totally by accident. . . I got carried away because I was very much in the zone and it was completely empty at the gym), I went for a quick post-dinner run. I think I’m going to do that more as long as the weather cooperates–go for a brisk post-dinner walk/jog just to get some fresh air and to distract myself from crazy chocolate cravings.

I’ve decided to actively reduce the amount of simple carbs and refined/processed foods I eat. No, I’m not going to eliminate desserts or go organic or anything like that. I’m just going to make a more conscious effort of stay away from pastries, breads, and white anything. Hopefully this will help me actually see the results of spending hours at the gym.

On a girly-er note, I spent lots of gift card money on cute workout clothes today. I bought some fun colored sports bras and cheap t-shirts. I’m completely stocked up and set for a long time now. I’m looking forward to my next workout now simply because I want to try out my new sports bras! So silly.

Ok, I think that’s long enough for now. :-)

Gotta Be Startin Something

So I have officially jogged 3 miles in the past two days! WHAT NOW?!

Now that I’ve started, I remember how awesome it feels after a run. The trick is not to miss a day for a while and we should be good! Ryan’s awesome and keeping me super motivated. Due to the fact that his legs are a tad longer than mine, he tends to go faster than me, but every time I’m slowing down or about to stop he pushes me a little bit further than I thought I could go. 

I knew I could do it, I just had to start in my own time I guess. I’m actually excited about the 5k now. We figured out it takes about a half hour of running/fast walking to do 1.5 miles, so we should finish the 5K in about an hour. My goal is 50 minutes. 

Also I am signing up for the Warrior Dash when I get paid next, so that’s also exciting. 

Sidenote: I’m considering going back to school for marketing/ brand development. Thoughts?

I know this blog is dead, but I thought I’d add this here. A little too late, I know, but I feel good about it.

Arrivederci Carbs

Well… for now.

I’ve decided to cut back on my carb intake. After researching, most weight comes from people overeating the wrong types of carbs, so that’s my plan. I’m not getting rid of them all together, only because I know when you go back from no carbs to carbs you regain weight like mad crazy.

Not gonna lie, have not started my work out plan yet. I feel like every time I’m gung ho about starting, something happens. I had an awful cold last week that basically made it painful to get off the couch. Poo.

In happy news, we officially repicked a wedding venue and a new date. After all the family stuff happening, we realized our families could no longer afford our original plan (sorry guys! I know we were all looking forward to a mostly free beach vacation!), so we started looking at other unique venues. Well we found everything from a ranch in the mountains of North Carolina to a vineyard in Michigan.

We eventually landed on Heritage Prairie Farm RIGHT HERE IN ILLINOIS WHAT?! I am a little sad that we won’t be having a destination wedding anymore (good bye childhood dreams…. sigh…), but this place is pretty much awesome. You get the farm for the day and EVERYTHING is included (tables, chairs, linens, dishes, set up, tent, dance floor, food, BOOZE, favors…), the only things we have to bring in are DJ, photo, and a cake! You can decorate the tent however you want, but it comes with basic decorations that I think are pretty awesome, but of course I’m going to DIY that shit and make it super super awesome. The date is now early September 2013 on a Friday night.

Some wedding examples from the farm for your viewing pleasure:

http://www.coupleofdudes.com/cozzi-in-the-country/

http://duchessandtherabbit.typepad.com/blog/2011/07/claire-ben-wedding.html

http://willowlaneblog.com/2011/07/18/john-and-kira-7-2-2011/

That’s about it! 2 hours until I’m out of work and then time to relax this weekend.

’tis the season of bloat

I find February to be the most uninspiring month of the entire year. Other than the fact my birthday happens in this month, February has always been the dullest month for me. Usually everything is covered in snow around this time, freezing cold, and extremely difficult to travel; it’s the perfect formula for SAD. But, it’s confusing this year because it’s felt like spring every other week. Normally I’d welcome this semi-warm weather, but the inconsistency has been really messing with my body–specifically my sinuses. I feel like I have a headache every other day and I feel incredibly lethargic (which is typically what happens when my sinuses start bothering me). First-year-teacher syndrome is starting to wear off and I’m counting down the days until Spring Break just so I don’t have to work. I haven’t been eating like crazy at night (with the exception of this past weekend), but I’m still not sleeping well which is causing me to bloat. I’m not going to weigh myself anymore because it’s messing with my mind. My regular clothes are getting looser, but my scale keeps telling me I’m gaining weight. I’m seeing muscles again and my core has gotten much stronger, but the scale keeps telling me I’m getting fatter. NO MORE WEIGH INS. I think I might just store it away altogether so I’m not tempted.

On the plus side, I’ve definitely developed a habit of working out. I feel weird on my days off because I didn’t exercise. I’ve gotten significantly stronger and more tone. My personal training sessions are all over. And until I start making twice what I currently do now, PT has been completely cut off for me. But, that’s ok because I’m using equipment and machines that I either was afraid to use before or just simply didn’t know how. Plus, I know how to check myself for good form and all that other silly stuff. Just for that, the money was worth it.

I find out early next month if the school has enough money to keep my position. If not, I’m back on the job search. I’m not going to dwell on it because I know for a fact that administration is very happy with me. It’s just unfortunate that my job is always the first one to go if the school is short on cash–especially since I’m not a full time teacher. I’ve been hoping they’ll bump my position back up to full time, but at this point, I’m just hoping they won’t cut my position altogether. Ugh.

On a happier note, my friend from college is visiting this weekend which I’m really excited about. I haven’t seen her in almost a full year!

I’m at the point where going to the gym everyday has become a habit. I think they say it takes about 6 weeks to form a habit. Turns out them scientists are correct. I’ve gotten back to the point where I really enjoy exercising and I’m seeing the results. Now, my weight is a different story. No change. Still. I’m having a problem with bloating. I think it my be directly correlated to my sleeping. I guess I’ve been stressed out because I haven’t been sleeping well the last couple of weeks. Melatonin gets me there, but my body keeps waking up after 4 hours. I don’t feel well rested, but I’m wide awake.

What could be causing the stress?

The Not So Glorious Return of Me

I’m not gonna lie, I may have dropped off the planet for a few weeks.

Positive things:

My sister visited this past weekend, which is always fun.

I bought a pair of shoes for only $7.40.

We’re looking into new wedding venues, which could be seen as negative, but the options we’re finding are actually super cool venues that I’m equally as excited for.

Birthday weekend!! Sandy on Saturday and Ryan on Sunday!

That’s about it. Ryan and I are starting Couch to 5K next week, which now that the weather isn’t tooooo bad should be easier to keep up. We’ll see how this goes.

 

Cravings

I went to my parents’ house last Sunday for a few hours to do laundry, pick up a few things, and to catch up with my mom. Naturally, my mom packed for me all kinds of Korean food–specifically two different types of marinated meats (aka Korean BBQ): beef (bulgogi) and spicy pork. I’d mentioned previously that I haven’t been eating much meat lately and I might have been trying to satisfy that craving elsewhere (i.e. sweets, cheese and crackers, etc.). This entire week for dinner, I made some kind of Korean food. I kept my rice cooker full of rice (some days white, others brown) and had mini Korean BBQ dinners by myself with lettuce wraps and everything. It turns out that that was exactly what my body needed. My portion control at night was significantly better this week and I didn’t have much of a sweet craving until yesterday (I may have indulged in a [shared] giant slice of red velvet cake and pomegranate cosmos at Kona Grill. . .). I had been avoiding Korean food a little bit since moving out because of its sodium content; I’ve been trying to cut back to prevent bloating which is recurring problem that I have. In case you didn’t know, Korean food consists of lots of healthy ingredients, but is relatively high in sodium because everything is meant to accompany rice. As it turns out, I can’t deny my roots and I need to include Korean food in my diet because it keeps me in check and satisfies a craving that I can’t completely satisfy through other foods. It’s a complete source of comfort that distresses me as well. Without even trying, I lost a full pound this week–all because I added Korean cuisine back into my diet. I guess I should take this as a sign and revert back to certain eating habits.

Sun-Dried Tomato and Parsley Pesto

I made food all by myself tonight :) (See above title)

So I went out and purchased all the fun ingredients…

The Ingredients

Here’s the thing….someone didn’t actually read the instructions beforehand and didn’t realize she needed a food processor.  Someone also didn’t want to drive the whole 5 minutes to her parents house because she was already in pjs.  So…..

Blender- not a Food Processor

And Ta-Da!  Turned out kind of pretty right?

Sun-dried Tomato and Parsley Pesto

It took me around an hour (mostly because of the blender thing) but I think it could’ve gone much quicker for an average cook…at most 30 mins.

I think it was good, just a a little too sweet for me.  I couldn’t finish my whole bowl because of that but I’ll probably have some tomorrow at lunch.

Recipe from New Vegetarian Cuisine by Linda Rosenweig.

Long time no post

Hm, I guess I should post something since I haven’t in like a bajillion years. Oops.

I have successfully gone to the gym 5-6 days a week during the month of January. Now, has there been much a difference? As far as weight and size goes, not so much. BUT I’ve developed more muscle (which is visible in my eyes) and I’ve gotten much stronger. I’ve tried to count calories and omit white junk from my diet, but the truth is I love all different kinds of food too much. One of my goals was “everything in moderation”. A restricting diet simply doesn’t work for me because I need variety in my food. By limiting myself too much, I seem to indulge elsewhere (in terms of food) which has a much more negative consequence. Here’s the thing: I’m going to stop weighing myself after next Wednesday (my last personal training session so I’ll have no choice) for the remainder of February. Focusing on a number is stressing me out too much. The thing is I’m currently at my desired pant/dress size; it’s just that my clothes have gotten slightly tighter over the past couple of months. But I haven’t gotten big enough to move up a size either. I’m going to gauge my progress (after next Wednesday) solely on how my clothes fit. I’m not looking to drop a million pounds nor trying to implement a completely new lifestyle. Therefore, I’m going to think back to the mind set I had my senior year of college which was to stay as healthy as possible so I wouldn’t be sick for my senior recital. Basically, I was worried that I would catch the plague right before my senior voice recital so I made a conscious effort to get 8 hours of sleep every night, took my vitamins, went to the gym 5-6 times a week, and ate very well. I really worked out like crazy then simply to ensure I had the stamina to perform a full recital by myself. I also knew that I would be living it up most days/nights since it was my last year in college and I didn’t want to leave having finally gained the Freshman 15. That mindset of “must stay healthy so I can survive my senior recital” helped me lose weight and drop down a size–all organically. I made no conscious decision to lose weight. So from here on out, I’m going to have the mindset of “must stay healthy so I can survive the remainder of my first year of teaching” because I know that’s what will work for me. Checking the scale and trying to count calories seems to be backfiring at the moment. Like I previously mentioned, I’m at the same size I was my senior year of college (which is what I refer back to as my happy size/weight), but things are a little tighter in certain areas. I’m not going to count calories, have weekly weigh-ins with myself, or follow a strict, restrictive diet because it simply doesn’t seem to fit my lifestyle and personality. I honestly believe wholeheartedly focusing on staying healthy so I can survive the school year is a much more obtainable goal for me. Let’s see how it works!

End of Jan!

So…here we are 1 month in!

I went to the gym 15 times this month!  This is the most I’ve ever been in a month so I feel pretty proud of that…especially since I actually worked out every one of those days.  Boo Yah!

Today I had a delicious Harvest Salad that included chicken, couscous, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, currants, sunflower seeds, and creamy basil dressing.  Really good!  I like that I’ve become more willing to try new things.  Which brings me to another thing…

I’m getting ready to train for a 5K as we all discussed earlier this month!  March seems a little close for me but I feel that I can be ready for May.  So I asked the best runner I know- my sister Danielle :)  She is going to help me put together a training calendar.  She recommended looking up “Couch to 5K” as a good way to get started training.  I’m going to have to take a look…

I had a great talk with her last night and its pretty cool because she is into a lot of the stuff I’ve been getting into.  She has been using myfitnesspal and says she is concerned with how much sugar she gets in a day too.  So she sent me an ebook called “I Quit Sugar and got clean, got well, lost weight, and became a much nicer person” by Sarah Wilson.  The book explains what to do week by week to cut out sugar.  I think I’ll give it a try!

One other thing I have been thinking about is doing the gym’s “90 Day Challenge” it is mostly used for weight loss but it can also be used to set other goals.  Basically you meet with a trainer in the beginning and they detail a plan for you over the 90 days.  I will get workouts to do and will meet with the trainer in a group every once in a while during those 90 days.  Its all about accountability and guidance and I think both of those would really help.  I’m not sure though…what do you guys think, should I try it?