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. ūüôā

’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!

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.

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 ūüôā ¬†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?

Plan for Tomorrow

I am going to bed within the hour.

Tomorrow I will get up at 5:30 and be to the gym by 6.

I will do a quick half hour cardio session then be back home before 7 (I know its weird…but tomorrow is not a hair washing day so I go home to shower and fix up my hair…sweat is just water folks, my hair isn’t thaaat dirty!)

7-7:20 I will eat breakfast and have coffee.

7:40- Leave for work.

I decided that if I post what I plan to do, I will be more likely to do it. ¬†Mornings are always sooo hard for me but I can’t work out in the afternoon because of my piano lesson (yay!).

Today was good- did the Kickboxing Jam class again and managed to convince a friend from work to join me! ¬†I noticed that after 4 sessions I am able to keep up much better with the instructor. ¬†By the end I was drenched in sweat and felt like I had a great workout. ¬†I feel like I’m finally getting to a point where I feel encouraged about working out and feel really great after each session (even if i’m sweating).

On a random note…I’ve noticed a change in my legs. ¬†Now, I don’t look closely at my legs too often so I don’t know how long ago the change started happening but I think all the squats and lunges of however many months are really paying off! ¬†I see some definition and a part I used to hate by my knees is almost completely gone. ¬†I legitimately can’t believe it but it makes me feel really good to notice that sort of thing and to be able to feel that its mostly muscle now.

Other positives- feeling great about the piano and art lessons I’ve been taking. ¬†Andrew’s mom talked me through painting a bird (Put a bird on it!) and it turned out soooo much better than I thought it would. ¬†I also feel like I’m really taking to piano which I never thought would happen…but I’m really really enjoying it. ¬†I’ve even been feeling really good about work and I have started going out for lunch with co-workers instead of going home all the time.

Basically- I’m on a super positive kick these last few weeks and I really hope it keeps up for many many more ūüôā

When TOM comes to visit

The week leading up to TOM’s visit is killer. I have a ravenous appetite, bloated, and sleepy. I hadn’t eaten much sweets the week before, but this weekend was bad. I needed¬†lots of chocolate otherwise I would’ve gone crazy. I mean, if crying on a treadmill at the gym in public doesn’t wave a flag for some comfort food, I don’t know what does. So, basically I worked out like a mad woman this week, but I couldn’t stop eating because I was famished every 2 hours (even after I drank lots of water). But, of course, when TOM arrives, I lose my appetite. Which is exactly what’s been going on these past couple of days. Being a girl is so annoying sometimes.

I had PT today. I wish I make about twice what I make now; I’d have a PT session weekly. Now I understand why people dish out all that money to have someone make work out like crazy for an hour. Sadly, I only have two more sessions left and I’ll be done. Perhaps in the summer I’ll purchase just a few to tune up. Or hopefully the district will pay me more next year? Here’s hoping. This week’s was slightly less intense compared to last week’s. Or maybe it’s because I’ve gotten stronger? I don’t know, my trainer is pretty disappointed by the fact push ups are absolutely the death of me and they need to be modified so much. Anyhoo, during today’s session, he took out the boxing gloves. I got to hit him and a bag which was awesome! It made me miss Cardio Kickboxing at Lifetime like crazy! I absolutely loved doing the boxing stuff. My trainer said he was completely impressed by my form and was honestly expecting me to wimp out. Thankssssssss. . . I requested that we do more boxing because I loved it so much. ūüôā

My trainer had warned me last week that we would weigh in this week. I wasn’t anticipating any major changes especially after this past weekend of eating. To be honest, I was hoping he’d forgotten because I knew I’d be disappointed. Well, as anticipated, my weight hasn’t changed at all, BUT my body fat percentage went down about 5% in two weeks! According to this chart, I’m in the Athletic/Lean category for women which made me really happy. Going to the gym almost daily is paying off. Now, if only I can get my appetite and my stop-eating-because-you’re-full trigger in my brain under control, I’ll actually drop some pounds. Whatever, I’m going to fixate on the body fat percentage because that’s telling me that things are looking good on the inside.

Other than the sweet/chocolate cravings, my diet has been very good. Although, I’ll need a real burger soon. Mmmm. Yummy.

I’m Back First!

We are losing steam with our blog!  Oh no!

However…I don’t feel that I’m losing steam with my goals. ¬†In fact, today I was very proud of myself… I had almost talked myself out of going to kickboxing today but I talked myself back into it! ¬†That has been happening a lot more lately which I think is a great sign!

I even tried out another new class yesterday- Barefoot Definitions. ¬†I didn’t think I’d like it as much as I did because its all about toning your core through ballet-like moves. ¬†There is a lot of toe pointing and balancing but I enjoyed it because it didn’t take that much coordination. ¬†The only downside was that I didn’t feel like I got an amazing workout after…I was just a little sweaty. ¬†Also, it did get slightly repetitive. ¬†I will for sure try it again next week though!

Tomorrow I’ve got either Cardio Jam or I may try Zumba… we’ll see.

As I sit here drinking Andrew’s Portillo’s Milkshake…I’ll share food progress. ¬†We haven’t made any food lately but part of that is because Andrew is so busy and I don’t wanna make food alone because I am not a very good cook…

I’m sill doing ok food-wise. ¬†Today I tried a Grilled Vegetable Sandwich and it was very yummy. ¬†Also I got a few people at work hooked on the Myfitnesspal app since I’m still using it almost everyday! ¬†Pretty cool ūüôā

Actually almost excited to keep working out for the rest of the week!

Real Life Update

Instead of posting pictures of food, I GUESS I’ll do a real update. If you insist.

Sleep is getting a little better. I’ve started taking melatonin, which is fantastic for making me feel rested and not waking up in the middle of the night. One night I guess Bruce started barking and Ryan couldn’t sleep and I didn’t notice it. Oops. I also am waking up feeling refreshed, which is good. I’m trying to limit myself to coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon, but at this point caffeine just makes me able to function, so it doesn’t affect my sleep schedule much. Yay addiction!

Foodwise- after I finished my sister’s birthday cake, I’ve pretty much kept on track. Ryan and I cooked a shit ton of food, so there was always something fresh and healthy to grab as I ran out the door every morning.

I also made limoncello this week, which I am super proud of! It’ll be ready for drinking today! We still have a bottle of the good stuff from Italy, so I’ll have to compare and tweak my recipe. I’m thinking next time making it with limes instead. Or maybe oranges. It’s super easy and I got these cute vintage looking bottles from TJ Maxx for $2!

On a side note: do you notice that the days you unintentionally look super cute and your hair actually cooperates with you are the days you don’t see people? Stupid snow yesterday.

That’s it. Almost weekend time!

MLK

I have to say the best part of working in a school is having these random days off. Except I went into work today to catch up on stuff and redo my lesson plans for the week because I was an idiot and forgot there was no school today when I did my planning last week. We’ll see how this week goes because I’ve essentially lost a day and the semester ends on Friday. Wah.

The last couple of days have been much better! I’m back on track. My sleeping is still not great, but hopefully that’ll improve. Basically, I’m having a really hard time falling asleep, and when I do finally fall asleep, I’m unable to stay asleep for more than 3-4 consecutive hours. Why?! I did some catching up on my sleep this weekend, but I’m hoping this week won’t be a repeat of last week. Must. Get. To. Bed. Earlier. And. Stay. Asleep. Once I get my sleep schedule regulated, my eating and portion control should fix itself since I won’t be grazing and bingeing to make up for lack of energy.

I did some major grocery shopping this weekend; I think I have enough food to last me through the first week of February!

I had two fantastic workouts yesterday and today. I went in the morning both days and worked my face off. I prefer working out around 10 AM because I can actually stay focused and be super productive because I’m well rested and awake. Stupid adult life getting in the way of that.

My dinners have been pretty fancy these past couple of days with very simple breakfasts and lunches. I’ll talk about my dinners since they were more exciting.

Yesterday: mustard/maple syrup (aka generic pancake syrup) glazed pork chops with sautéed veggies and barley. Delicious.

Tonight: homemade sweet potato gnocchi cooked with dark green veggies, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, garlic, turkey bacon in a totally improvised sauce made from chicken stock and a little butter; side salad with Italian dressing

Tonight’s dinner was such a success. Actually, turns out making gnocchi is really fun. It was an impromptu decision last night to try some because I was bored and couldn’t fall asleep. I’ve got a few batches sitting in the freezer. From now on, I may be making all kinds of gnocchi as a stress reliever instead of baking.

I’ve also decided that I’m going to cook batches of stuff for the week on Sundays because that’s when I generally get my big cooking kick. It’s been getting harder and harder to cook decent meals for just myself each week. Which is why my meals sound much cooler on the weekends. I really love living by myself now, but I miss cooking for and eating with roommates. :-/ Oh, nostalgia.