A conversation with my husband Chris recently got me thinking about my schedule. I feel like I have a lot of time on my hands, but I’m always busy.
I only work 3 days a week, but I work at least 12 hours each work day. After work, I’m usually cooking dinner, or going out with friends.
On my off days, I’m at yoga, or simming, or blogging, or catching up on TV, or catching up with friends, or cooking, or going to one of my husband’s gigs.
That’s a long list of things, so maybe that’s why I always feel busy. Taking hobbies very seriously is my jam. The way I spend my free time is important to me.
I wish I volunteered more. I volunteered like twice a week when I first moved to New York. But the places I volunteered at didn’t pan out over time.
The soup kitchen I was at had some hinky financial things going on, and I didn’t want any part of that. The home for unwed mothers took a left turn I couldn’t be a part of either.
One day I was there, watching a baby and tutoring the mother, and my time ran over into the weekly prayer circle. They invited me to stay and I agreed. This prayer started with talking about dreams and setbacks, following God’s plan and whatnot.
Then it took a left turn into praying for gays and the hellbounded-ness. My eyes shot open, and I knew in that moment I was done.
I finished my work helping that particular mother for the duration of her stay at the home. I never went back after that though.
I’ve ended relationships over someone’s stance on homosexuality, and a place I volunteer is no different. I can’t support the views they’re pushing, so I moved on.
I think what I’m stream-of-consciousness-getting-to is that while my non-working time is spent in ways that are very fulfilling to me, the time isn’t being spent in way that is fulfilling to others.
I’m sure Chris, and our friends who happen to be at the brownstone when I’m cooking, are all appreciative of the increased amount of home cooked meals. Each new successful recipe certainly fulfills my husband.
But I’ve got to start finding another place I can volunteer. Helping people is my jam, and it’s something that’s missing.
I’ve been patting myself on the back a lot recently for taking better care of myself inside and out. I think I can extend that even further and start taking care of the world around me again.
I’m going to look for a tutoring opportunity. Or something with kids. or something with the homeless. I’ve got a lot of interest in that, so we’ll see where it goes.
Ever since our niece came to visit NYC at the end of March, I’ve been going to yoga classes regularly. Pretty much every single day off from work, I’ve gone. I work full time, but it’s all squeezed into three days a week.
I think going to yoga 4 days a week is pretty good. It’s way up from the once a month I was exercising before. The motivation really comes from how close the studio is. This morning, my first class started at 11am, and the alarm was set for 9am.
At 10:45, I jumped out of bed. In 15 minutes, teeth got brushed, Emergen-C got drunk, yoga clothes got thrown on, and teeth got brushed. It’s really a blessing to have a studio so close to home.
I did something today I’ve never done before. I took two yoga classes. Back-to-back at that. I was tired as hell afterwards, but I felt so strong and so good and so proud of myself!
The first class was vinyasa, and for the first time since I started yoga, I was able to do tree pose equally on both sides and grow my branches. For those who don’t know what that means, I basically went from this:
Sometimes it’s like that. You do the same thing day in and day out without seeing much progress. Then suddenly, the progress leaps unexpectedly forward, surprising you.
The second class was aerial yoga, and being a bit tired from the first class added a layer of difficulty. But surprisingly, it became that much easier to push. I left the cirque tricks alone today, but did a lot more when it came to the ab and Pilates-style moves.
When I felt my legs lift off the ground for the first time, purely on the strength of my arm muscles pulling against the silk fabric, I was so elated. I want to feel like that all the time!
Because I basically know my schedule for the month, all yoga classes for this month are booked. There are thee more 2-a-days coming up. Usually vinyasa followed by aerial. I can’t wait to see what new ways my body will respond.
I am finally taking care of my body. I’m treating it better than I have in years. I’ve been saying it’s not about a goal weight or size. I haven’t lost any weight, and I still wear the same size clothes. Being not-in-my-20s means losing weight is a slower process.
If I’m being honest with myself, I don’t want to lose a bunch of weight. The smallest I’ve ever been, the day I met my husband, I thought of myself as too small. I was the size of my bone structure, so my opinion was wrong. But I grew up with a grandma who always said something to the effect of, “don’t lose too much weight, what if you get sick, you’ll need to have weight to lose.” Or something like that.
I know people aren’t really getting undiagnosable diseases like consumption anymore, at least not at the same rate they were in the 30s and 40s. But still… It’s part of my programming I can’t seem to break.
So instead, I focus on how good I feel in my body. How strong I feel. How flexible I’ve become. How much energy I have each day. The better food choices I’m making. And I try not to feel too happy that I haven’t lost weight. I’m only 31, the weight loss is inevitable if I keep this up.
Focusing on being as good to my body. Feeling pride that I can take two classes in one day and not just survive but thrive. Dreaming of the day when all of this is second nature rather than a new lifestyle I’m hoping and praying I can hold onto.
More of the same from me. My bad for not writing a new post in months, yada yada, will do better in the future… Wish I could figure out a better schedule to make time to post, etc. etc.
So I’m putting in more work. Trying to be more consistent
In my last post that wasn’t about Grey’s Anatomy, waaaay back in January I think, I discussed what my goals were for this year. I didn’t look to see if those goals were for 2016 or age 31, but at this point, it’s not important.
- Chris graduate from grad school
- More travel around the East Coast and to the West Coast
- Make some healthy living changes that are sustainable
- Strengthen the relationships that are truly important to me
- Chris graduate from grad school
Chris is not going to graduate from grad school this Spring. In life, obstacles come in your way, and you handle them as best you can. Chris had a large obstacle this year. His father died. In less than a month after we found out he had health issues, he was gone.
I’m not going to go into too many details, but it was a devastating loss for the family. We are all still struggling to reach a new normal without him. Chris spent a lot of time in Chicago with his mother when it first happened, and we ultimately decided that withdrawing from classes this semester was wise. He will continue classes in the fall and will finish in December.
There is one more thing about this that I want to say. He became an organ, tissue, and eye donor. Because I work in organ & tissue donation, this was amazing news to hear. It’s not always an easy decision for a family to make, but I’m so happy it’s the decision my family made. Being a donor family adds a new layer to why I do what I do, and it would make it very difficult for me to change and do something else with my career.
- More travel around the East Coast and to the West Coast
In terms of travel, I still have more I want to do. I went to San Diego at the end of January with my best friend David, which was a really great trip. My luck being what it is, it was the coldest it’s been there in years when we went. When I got back, my co-workers were concerned because there was a storm there that made national weather news. I was confused because it only rained one day. Apparently what seemed like a normal rainstorm was the worst they’d had in years.
But I did get to the San Diego Zoo!
And travelling with David is always fun, I’m hoping we’ll get to do it again soon.
I also have taken quick trips around the East Coast, but unfortunately, nowhere new. Because of gigs that Chris has coming up, we’ll be back and forth to D.C. this summer, maybe we can expand that out… Maybe.
- Make some healthy living changes that are sustainable
I definitely have gone a long way down the path of accomplishing this! One of my co-workers was fussing at us about always complaining about our sedentary lifestyle without doing anything about it. When I tell this story in person, I say she was fat-shaming us, but jokes like that don’t translate well on the internet.
Anyway, several of us were feeling bad for ourselves when she yelled at us to improve our situations and stop complaining. I told her that I would love to go to yoga more regularly. Yoga is my preferred exercise, but the studio closest to my house is 10 min drive plus parking, or a 30 minute walk. So a 1 hour class is practically a 3 hour time investment once you calculate showers and clothes changes.
She called bullshit and told me I hadn’t really looked for a studio and I should do better.
I just re-read that sentence. You should know that’s the nice version of what she said. But I respond very well to brutal honesty. So I searched far and wide to find yoga studios. My goal was to find a studio with multiple locations. One location would be on the way home from work with late night classes I could attend after my shift. The other would be less than a 15 minute walk from my house.
“And then you’ll see, I’ve really been trying!” I told her.
“Yeah, we’ll see,” she replied.
A couple hours later (I was also working, after all), I found out… she was right. There was a yoga studio around the corner from my house, literally. I felt so stupid. Then I got over myself and immediately signed up for a class the next morning.
That was over a month ago, and I’m still going strong. I also found an online on-demand yoga thing for $9.95/month. cancelled that though because I never use it. But I went from exercising hardly ever to exercising 3-4 times a week.
Chris and I went to Chicago for a wedding a couple of weeks ago. I took my mat, and did yoga there too. I haven’t felt this good or slept this well in a while. And in my defense, the studio is only about 9-10 months old. It really wasn’t there the last time I checked!
In addition to working out, I’ve started purchasing groceries more regularly, and cooking at home more. Aside from saving money, it’s healthier. I’m looking forward to seeing the added benefit of healthier food on top of increased exercise.
- Strengthen the relationships that are truly important to me
After doing damage to a very important relationship at the beginning of the year, I think we’ve just about recovered. My other relationships are going pretty well, but I could be doing more.
I don’t call my parents or mother-in-law nearly enough. I communicate with most people via text or instant messaging. And I’m at the point where I really hate talking on the phone. Maybe it’s because I do it all day for work. I’m hoping that’s the reason, and not because I’m becoming anti-social.
I can’t help it if I prefer my own company and I like being left alone most of the time. But I could certainly work hard to find a better balance to makes sure the people who matter to me are getting what they need out of the relationship. Being a better friend, daughter, etc. is important, and I will work harder to make it a bigger priority.
One of the best things about living in New York City is that everything can be delivered or outsourced.
Laundry? We drop off our clothes and our laundry lady hooks them up.
Cleaning Supplies? Soap.com or Amazon.com are happy to help.
Need a babysitter? Care.com has you
Groceries? For my neighborhood, it’s either a co-op or FreshDirect.
Chris and I dislike grocery shopping so much that even a co-op is asking too much of us. So we use FreshDirect. And since this is New York, eventually the delivery and customer service was going to let me all the way down.
Back around Thanksgiving, I made the mistake of not submitting my order by the time deadline. Chris and I ended up in a grocery store at 10pm the night before Thanksgiving, buying all the stuff that wasn’t delivered. I wasn’t happy about that, but that was my fault.
This past weekend however, is totally on FreshDirect. When I woke up on Saturday, I saw an e-mail from them saying they were trying to reach me by phone.
I called them and they said the driver came by at 9am, but no one was home. My angry black woman almost came out right then y’all. I informed the lady on the phone that my husband and I had been home all morning, and we have the worlds loudest doorbell, so there’s no way they rang our doorbell and missed us.
She said they tried to call, and they “always call”, and why didn’t I answer the phone? I explained to her, that “always” doesn’t apply in my case because in almost 2 years of deliveries, I’ve never received a phone call from any driver ever because we only request the delivery when we’re home, and it’s “never” been an issue until today.
She said she’d reschedule the delivery and they would swing back by our house before ending their route, around 2p.
Of course, 2p came and went, with no delivery. I called back around 4p to find out what happened. This time I got a man who told me this:
-it does say it was scheduled for re-delivery
-they didn’t re-deliver my groceries
-they have gone back to the warehouse and dismantled my assembled groceries
-their shift is over and they’ve gone home
-he doesn’t know why my groceries weren’t delivered
-is there anything else he can do for me
So I tell him:
-you haven’t actually done anything for me
-Just confirming, that my Easter dinner is cancelled, and there’s nothing you can do about that?
-Who do I speak with to file an official complaint?
He took $25 of my next order. He rescheduled my delivery for Wednesday.
While waiting for the food to arrive, Easter was over, and that meant carbs!
I couldn’t decide what to make, but I knew it was going to include bread or potatoes or rice. I ended up modifying a recipe for apple muffins and made and apple-blueberry-pear loaf in a bundt pan. It was delicious.
For good measure, I also made red onion-garlic-baby bella mini frittatas. Breakfast-on-the-go was what I was going for, and it worked pretty well.
I also considered making butter cookies, but decided against that. I have quite the list of carb-y goodness that I’ve just been waiting to eat, but I don’t want to overdo it. So I’m pacing myself and only eating one thing at a time.
Sunday: that apple loaf thingee
Tuesday-Friday: I ate a bag of potato chips. I split the bag into portions so that I stayed under my daily carb limit. I’m seriously impressed that I managed to stay within the limit
And today, I had french toast. And it was so damn good. Definitely over the carb limit, so maybe no carbs tomorrow.
I fell into the trap y’all. I did a little bit of exercising, so I thought it was okay to go overboard.
In my defense, I really did a lot of exercising. I went to yoga yesterday, and it felt really good.
I love my yoga studio in Brooklyn. I go to Sacred Yoga, and the teachers are so great there. This class was a foundations class, and it was so beneficial because I got to press reset on some on my yoga poses. Reinforcing all the things I’m supposed to be focusing on in each pose was great.
Since I bought my new bike on Easter, I was happy to ride it to yoga. I love this new bike. The only thing wrong with it is it doesn’t have that step through thing that makes it easy to wear a skirt with, but just look at it.
Riding it makes me feel so exhilarated. It goes pretty fast without much effort on my part and the gear shifts making riding the mild elevation changes in my neighborhood much easier than on my other bike.
I also decided I would ride the bike to the train station going to and from work to get in a little bit more exercise. The first day, I just went to the nearest station, but today I decided to go much further. I got almost all the way to downtown Brooklyn before I got tired.
I hopped off the bike, locked it up with my super high duty lock, and headed down the subway steps. I reached into my purse to grab my Metrocard.
I didn’t have my Metrocard. I didn’t have my backup Metrocard. I didn’t have my debit or credit cards. I didn’t even have my ID or the singles I keep just in case. I only had about $1.38 in change floating in the bottom of my purse.
Everything I needed was in my yoga bag. So I walked my tired butt back up to the bike, called work to tell them I’d be late, and biked back home.
By the time I got to my house, My legs were feeling very jelly-like. Mind you, this was hardly any distance at all, only a few miles. But for me, who has done next to no biking or serious exercising in months, I was done.
I took the bike back inside, grabbed my money and ID, and went to the bus stop.
The good news is that I got in my full exercise on the bike for the day. I’m thinking I should keep it up and do my Tracy Anderson DVD when I get home. I unfortunately can’t do yoga everyday because of working in Manhattan and the studio not being open early or late enough. We’ll see how I feel when I get home.
I’m trying to ramp up the exercise, and go with what feels good. But I’m also feeling like I should set some sort of schedule that I can make myself stick to. It’s a fine line to walk.
I’ve started and stopped this “attempt to get healthy” thing so many times. I just really want it to stick this time.
I’ve got good motivation though.
I just got plane tickets for Chris and I to go to the Dominican Republic this August for that family vacation. If that’s not motivation to get my body right, I don’t know what is.
I also got my ticket to go visit my parents next month. I’m going during the week, right before Mother’s Day. Should be a fun couple of days. It’s going to feel so weird going to their new house and that being their home. But I’m excited for it.
I’m excited for a lot right now: the sandwich I’m going to get from Potbelly one day this week, riding my bike more (NOT today), shopping for a swimsuit this summer). All these damn endorphins have got me going. Cross your fingers that the feeling lasts!
Easter is on Sunday, and I’m so excited! Part of me wishes I could say it was religious reasons, but it’s not. It’s for food and shopping reasons.
Lent ends real soon. And I gave up carbs and shopping for Lent, as you know. So all of you can go from being mini cupcakes back to being regular human people. You can keep your whipped cream frosting if you’d like.
One of my friends, the lawyer has a plan for the end of her Lent. Our girl is having a birthday dinner in Chicago on Saturday night. And of course there will be a cake. So my friend the lawyer is planning on getting a piece (or three) of this birthday cake and keeping it until midnight. After dinner, and likely dancing, there will be birthday cake.
When she said her plan for ending Lent, I knew I had to come up with one of my own. I thought about making one of the amazing recipes I’ve seen on Pinterest recently, just go full carb.
But that didn’t seem appropriate. I certainly haven’t lost any real weight since I’ve cut out carbs, but I feel a bit like I’ve cut an addiction. So I think I’ll just make some roasted red potatoes to go with my Easter dinner, and leave the carbs at that.
Speaking of Pinterest, I’ve been told by a few people how amazing it is, I’ve even been called a walking Pinterest, which I wasn’t sure was a compliment. But I love Pinterest!
All the hair ideas, clothing ideas, food ideas, drink ideas, design ideas. And I’m sure that’s just tip of the iceberg. I probably has one million and one cute cat pictures, I just haven’t stumbled across those boards yet.
I’m only using it (right now) to have a board for my Stitch Fix stylist and to get great accessory ideas. I got an idea I got for how to wear a head scarf, and I tried it out on Tuesday.
But back to the end of Lent. If I’m not going to go all carb, all day, I have to do something, and that something is going to be shopping.
It’s not going to be just shopping for the sake of shopping though. I’m going to be useful shopping. I’m going to take some of the money I’ve saved not shopping during Lent and buy a bicycle.
Every single bike I’ve ever owned has been stolen. I guess that’s the price of living in the hood (or hood-adjacent) all my life.
So while priority #1 for this bike will be the usual: it must be super cute, priority #2 is that it must must be lightweight.
The reason my last bike was stolen is because I had a cheap lock on it and kept it locked up outside. It was just so heavy to carry in and out of the brownstone where I live.
So this new bike that I will hopefully purchase on Sunday will:
1) be cute
2) be very lightweight
3) be turquoise
4) have some sort of basket for carrying things, and some other way to carry stuff on it
5) be old-style looking
6) be a relatively reasonable price
7) help me get my ass back to yoga
I’d like it to look something like this:
I just really want to get back to yoga. I always feel my best when I go regularly, I still have my monthly membership, and with a bike I can easily get back and forth to the studio.
Perhaps I’ll ride the bike even more now that Spring has truly come to NYC. With a real lock this time, I’ll have less worries of it being stolen. Then perhaps the bike can provide useful transportation as well as exercise.
Exercise is something I need in my life. Not just because I’m 30 and my body is already responding differently (ie, worse) to the lack of exercise. And not just because my family is going on vacation to the Dominican Republic this August and I’m trying get that beach body right. But because I want to feel like myself again.
I want the increased energy, I want the better sleep at night, and I want the confidence.
I want to be able to grab anything out of my closet and not have to hope it’ll zip up today. I want to wake up refreshed, not be so lethargic.
And the fact that the key to all of this seems to be shopping, well that’s just the whipped cream icing on the cake. Well, still no cake. I’m going to try and stay low carb even after Lent is over.
Twenty-six days since my last post. As horrible as that sounds, it is an improvement over the months between the last two posts. Sometimes life is like that, you know?
I checked the weather forecast today, and for the first in months (months!), the forecast says it will not drop below freezing again. Ever again. Well, at least not for the next 10 days. God willing, it will stay above freezing all day every day for the next 7 1/2 months. Fingers crossed New Yorkers.
Checking the weather made me feel hopeful. It’s funny how my outlook on life can be tied to the weather. Not my mood necessarily, but how optimistic and productive I’ll be in a given day.
Even though it was super cold on my walk to work from the subway, I felt happy. I knew it was the last 24 degree morning I’d have to walk through for a long time, so I was feeling full of energy.
Consequently, I had a very productive day at work. I’m talking a cross-everything-off-your-to-do-list, come-up-with-new-tasks-cause-you’re-in-the-mood level of productiveness.
And not feeling completely drained from the combination of “work and not completing said work” has led me to writing this post.
I want to talk about shopping. I gave up shopping for Lent. Shopping and carbs.
Shit, it’s been hard. I may or may not have fallen off the wagon a couple of times. For carbs, falling off the wagon includes eating 4 french fries or sweet potatoe fries or a bowl of cereal here or there. Otherwise, I keep my carb intake to less than 15g per serving.
It’s really impressive that I haven’t made myself a big batch of mashed potatoes. I miss potatoes. And breadsticks. And cake.
For shopping, falling off the wagon looks like this:
And also like this:
And… also like this:
But other those lovely finds, I only purchased what was pre-ordered (meaning, I never had to click “checkout”), and food, which was allowed, as long as it didn’t have carbs.
Most of my favorite places to eat have very little carb-free options. Everything is fried or in sandwich form or served over pasts. I miss sandwiches. The willpower it took to avoid Potbelly’s during lunch one day is what led to the pink bag pictured above. It was either that or walking to Penn Station to buy a Cinnabon.
I miss Cinnabon. I haven’t had one in literally years. But still…
I’ve been coping with what I gave up for Lent by living vicariously through others. When I went to Indianapolis to visit my friend who just had a baby, we went grocery shopping, bought the baby a dress, and had her take pictures with the Easter bunny. That was good money spending, it scratched the itch a bit, you know?
When it comes to carbs, I’ve gotten quite creative. I’ve been eating meals that are basically exactly what I’d eat if I turned vegetarian, mixed with a whole bunch of meat.
For example, I made a dish with quinoa, black beans, red onion, olive oil, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, basil, and sauteed kale. It was a hearty, delicious, low-carb dish. It was still low carb because I only had a 1/3 cup cooked quinoa in one serving of it.
But because I’m me, I added bacon to it and ate it alongside siracha, worchester & white balsamic glazed chicken wings. I’d be such a good vegetarian, but I don’t wanna, and you can’t make me.
And another way I cope with carbs is to imagine those around me as carbs. Like in a cartoon where the hungry character imagines their friend as a turkey leg.
I’ve been imagining my co-workers as all sorts of things. They get a kick out of me figuring out what each person is. I have a buttermilk biscuit, a single breadstick from Olive Garden, fried zucchini, a blondie, fettuccine alfredo, and squid ink gnocchi just to name a few. Drool.
And those of you who are reading this, in my mind you are all mini cupcakes.
Perhaps you are 24 assorted flavors, like you get in the grocery store, but a good grocery store. Like Publix. With whipped cream frosting and no artificial colors.
I miss Publix. They’re down in Florida and they made the best sweet tea. And fresh hoagie rolls. And breaded chicken tenders. And store-brand cookies. Simply the best.
Okay. Moving on. Staying strong.
There are benefits to all of this deprivation. Saving money is nice. And not gaining weight is also nice.
I’d like to switch from “not gaining” to “actually losing”. I have a plan for that. I’m back down to only the one job because working 14 out of every 15 days was B-A-N-A-N-A-S. After a few days off with absolutely nothing, I’m planning on taking my ass back to yoga.
Even though my bike was stolen, I’m thinking I’ll just walk there because driving then finding parking is ridiculous.
Which brings me back to the weather. It’s feeling so spring-ish that I feel like walking 20+ minutes to my yoga studio.
Or maybe I’ll take the money I’ve saved the last 5 weeks and buy myself another bike next Sunday.
This is the best part of spring. Feeling like the possibilities are endless is one of my favorite ways to feel.
Potential is my drug.
I’m off to do bit of window shopping. Cupcakes and bicycles.
If you scroll down to the very bottom of my blog page, you’ll see a few things.
There is the standard search box you’ll see on all blogs, but I’ve cleverly hidden it in plain sight so you can’t easily find it, bah ha ha. Actually, I just didn’t know where else to put it because I didn’t like the look of it on my right tab column.
There is also a job disclaimer that my people request we put up so that my words are not associated with the company. I totally get that, but I’m such a huge fan of donation, I’m happy to claim my words as my very own. Go sign up for organ donation people!
But the other thing you’ll see at the bottom is the MyFitnessPal Ticker and My Tracy Anderson countdown. Both are at the bottom so as not to depress me on a daily basis.
The Tracy Anderson 90 day countdown ended August 16, 2013. That counts as a super-duper fail. I didn’t get past Day 10. It’s just so hard. Whine whine, fill in whine here.
These were my intended birthday gifts. They still are my intended gifts, even though my birthday was three months ago. The husband and I are working it out.
Perhaps if I can avoid Queens in general and potholes specifically, I would’ve had my birthday gift by now. Stupid Geico insurance deductible.
Moving on. Because I don’t have access to a scale, I have no idea what I weigh. But I’m almost certain I’m at my highest weight ever. Seeing as how I never really effectively kicked off the weight loss in the first place, that’s less upsetting to say than you’d think.
Working 4p-midnight is detrimental to my life plans. I’m not a morning person, so I struggle to get up before noon. I’d have to get up and start working out by 10 am to have enough time to really workout and get to work on time. And now that I’m helping babysit at the home I volunteer at, there’s even less time. Weekends are out because of the soup kitchen and church.
I know. Excuses, excuses.
Having said all of this (what kind of jerk has 300 words of introduction?), I have a plan to kick-start my new healthy New York life.
This plan includes spending money, but not a lot of money.
Amazon Local has all these great options for things to try. Normally, I would look at it for deals at restaurants and cool live events. But then I thought, why not use it for purposes other than taking in hundreds of calories in food and alcohol?
There are some really great deals available now too.
When I was in search of adventure the other weekend, I considered finding a rock climbing place, but didn’t pursue it because most indoor places do belay, and you need a partner.
Guess what? Amazon Local has a deal on the one indoor rock climbing place in Brooklyn. I checked out the website for Brooklyn Boulders, and it looks pretty cool.
While I was looking around for deals, I also came across a yoga/pilates studio, a kickboxing class, and a ballet/zumba studio. All of these sounded interesting, but I decided to go with the kickboxing because that’s one I’ve never done before, but always found interesting as a concept.
So I have pre-paid (at amazing discounts by the way) for a whole day pass at Brooklyn Boulders and 10 kickboxing classes at Village Kickboxing Fitness. Y’all know I love me some Greenwich Village, so any reason is a good reason to spend more time there.
I’m hoping that pre-paying will really encourage me to make it happen. I have until the end of July to use the promotional offers, but I intend to get started on them within the next few weeks. It’ll give me something to do while the husband is gone for the month of February.
I used to rock climb at this place that was in a south suburb of Chicago, but that ended when I grew my nails out for the wedding. You simply can’t rock climb effectively with long nails, and I grew them pretty long y’all.
But now they are shorter, though still nice. If I really like the rock climbing, and if I can find someone to commit to actually going with me, I’ll keep the nails short.
With any luck, rock climbing and kickboxing will add some variety to a workout that I already enjoy (but, ahem, never make time for), and I can finally get back on track with exercising.
I’m doing okay diet-wise. I’m not on a “diet” per se, I use the word diet simply to refer to the food I choose to eat. I’m doing this pseudo vegetarian thing now. I barely eat meat anymore. I certainly haven’t lost the taste for it, I just choose better options, like black beans or chickpeas for protein.
And if I’m successful with my 30th birthday bucket list (which I promise to write a real post about soon), I’ll be able to add tofu to my list of protein options.
I don’t do too much in the way of frying, and I haven’t eaten any fast food aside from the occasional french fry in months. I just feel better when I’m not eating all that processed food, you know?
So I am going to risk the craziness and officially reset the 90 day countdown. Just so you know, this is not a 3 month thing, it’s 90 days of working out. I have to assume that I’m not going to work out more than three days a week.
Let’s be honest here I don’t have the time or the motivation.
But I’m going to set a timer for 90 workouts at three days a week. Maybe some weeks I’ll do more and that will balance out the weeks I’m sure to do less. I will also count those kickboxing classes and the rock climbing, which could turn into a membership as well.
So yup, I’m spending money in an attempt to look and feel better. If I were rich, maybe I’d be getting liposuction and hiring a personal trainer. I guess it’s a good thing I’m not rich because that just sounds like too much, right?
Wish me luck, y’all. Here I go again.
Day 90 is… August 27, 2014.
Damn, that seems far away. But it’s not really because that’s with me exercising only 3 days a week, so that’s 30 weeks. I think that’s a more reasonable goal because it lifts some of the pressure to try an exercise 6 times a week, which I was never able to sustain except when unemployed.
And if I”m doing it over that period of time, it will hopefully become a real lifestyle change. The Tracy Anderson Metamorphosis program continues after the initial 90 days, and she has a pregnancy workout plus a post-natal workout. So none of my life plans should interfere with the success of this.
I’ve written myself into excitement for the possibilities. If I do the home workout 3 times a week, swapping out one day every two weeks for a varied activity, it could work.
I can attempt running again once it’s warm outside. I have this amazing book Born to Run, available on Amazon to thank for even feeling like I could do this cause I kinda hate running. Read this book, and you’ll feel like you could become a supermarathoner. Or at least make it around the block more than once.
I can also try ballroom dancing again. You should try to polka for more than 10 minutes straight and tell me that’s not a workout.
Maybe I can even go back to hot yoga, which I truly loved deep down in my heart.
Any day now, or rather in like 7 months, I’m going to look and feel amazing. You just wait and see. I can’t wait to start complaining that none of my pants fit anymore. Well, that’s actually a current complaint because they’re kind of tight, but I’m hoping for it to turn into a complaint that they’re too loose.
Day one begins today. Anyone want to join me on MyFitnessPal so we can encourage each other?
So, I’ve been exercising more regularly, and I’m finally starting to feel the effects that come along with continued exercise.
I sleep better, and need less hours of sleep overall.
I feel more hungry for healthy food and less hungry for unhealthy food.
My clothes are even starting to fit better. I long for the day when this yo yo thing I”m doing with my size in clothing is done and I’m maintaining a healthy weight and sexy body.
Lastly, I’m enjoying the feeling of motivation. Even when I have a good excuse not to work out, I’m taking that extra step to workout. I’m hoping I can keep this up because it feels great.
So on to the point of this post. I love flamin’ hots. I haven’t eaten them in a while because they are basically the ultimate unhealthy junk food when it comes to me. Don’t know what flamin’ hots are?
I didn’t actually eat the frito lay flamin’ hots though. I got that good local Vitner’s cheesy hot.
I’m not downing ho hos or anything like that. But I’ll eat the hell out of some empty spicy carbs. Enter Crunchy Hot Kurls.
I bought some on a whim on Father’s Day when I stopped in Walgreens to grab a can of assorted nuts for my dad. He really likes the assorted nuts, so I grabbed them. I just couldn’t pass up the snacks for myself.
Since it had been so long since I’d eaten flamin’ hots, I didn’t finish the bag in one sitting.
The next day, I finished the bag, and it was so delicious.
One hour later, I was starting to workout. My workout involves a lot of laying flat and also having my head pointed toward the floor (i.e., lower than my heart).
That situation is not good for digesting all that spice and Red 40. I felt some horrific heartburn/reflux type pain. I was able to finish my workout, but I needed all the water when I was done.
Now that my goal is to work out daily, I pretty much cannot ever eat those chips again.
At least not two days in a row.
Or right before I work out.
Or at all.
Will I completely swear off spicy empty carbs? No, I can’t do that. I love flamin’ hot funyuns too much for that.
But I know I don’t ever want to feel that pain of all that spice making it’s way back up out of my stomach again. Kinda kills the endorphin buzz that exercise brings, you know?
This month has been such a flurry of activity, I don’t even know where to start. Things at work are always in flux. We’re transitioning to a new schedule, and increased training. Not to mention, one of our regulators just showed up for a visit/observation. They don’t schedule those, they just show up.
Outside of work, things are also crazy. I can tell you that I’m having as much trouble packing as I did unpacking. I haven’t put a single thing into a box. For that matter, I haven’t even purchased packing supplies. And our lease is up in 12 days. What the hell is wrong with me?
Trying to stay healthy and work out is an ongoing struggle. It’s hard to make the time and find the motivation, but I’m still trying.
My parents just got back from Paris and Amsterdam. I want to be like them when I grow up. How nice it would be to take trips like that. I can barely afford this weekend road trip to New York City with my girls this weekend.
Yup, I’m going to NYC less than a week before I have to move out of an apartment I haven’t even started packing up yet.
Oh, and I’m sick. I’m sick in a the-weather-is-so-crazy-that-we’ve-been-fluctuating-between-air-conditioning-and-heat-in-the-house-and-I-have-no-idea-how-to-dress-so-I-always-end-up-wearing-the-wrong-clothes-for-the-current-weather-and-now-I’m-sick kind of way.
You don’t need air conditioning when it’s 56 degrees out. You do need air conditioning when it’s 86 degrees out. When both happen in less than 12 hours, you can’t plan for that. Sleeping under needless air conditioning literally makes me sick.
Sore throat, headache, sinus pressure, and lethargy. Isn’t the start of summer grand?
There is some good news in all this. In just over a week from now, I’ll be out of Hyde Park for good! It’s a great place to visit and hang out, but I intend to never live there again.
After I’m done being sick, I look forward to a summer without paying rent (yay parents for letting us move in with you while we work out the next step), neighborhood/food festivals, watching the husband play all these great gigs (Chicago Jazz Fest anyone?), and letting things finally even out at work.
Can I just say, things have been so crazy at work that I’ve been trying to write this post for a month? I never have time to finish it and just click publish. If only I had more time to post at home.
I know I’m overdue to post my pictures of my progress. To be honest, I just don’t see much progress. Maybe it’s because my eating habits haven’t improved as much as they should. I’ve cut out carbs that come from flour and white potatoes, but that’s about it.
I’ve been doing a pretty good job of eating mostly home cooked food. It’s when I don’t have time to cook that things go awry. Vending machine food is the enemy!
Sometimes, I run to Wal-Mart and grab some groceries to make myself some easy lunch or breakfast. This usually means salad fixings. And that leads to the point of this post.
After doing Tracy Anderson cardio one day, I was starving. I felt weak and knew I needed to eat something, like NOW. I rushed to put together a good salad, with bacon of course. Because I purchased all the good salad fixings, I needed a good salad.
That involved heating up the bacon slices and making my own fresh bacon bits, getting shredded cheese, shredded carrots, and dried cranberries. And it also involved cutting up an apple for which I neglected to bring an appropriate knife. So I grabbed one in the employee lounge.
Next thing I know, I slipped and cut myself.
With a plastic knife.
I didn’t even know they were sharp enough to do that. I guess it was because I was eating a Fiji apple. those things are quite firm and required a lot of applied pressure to cut. As I watched my finger begin to bleed, I contemplated stopping the salad preparation.
But I was just so damn hungry.
So I grabbed a napkin to press against the cut and kept slicing the apple. I have to tell you, it was so worth it because that salad was delicious. And I had the whole time I was eating to contemplate how in the hell I managed to cut myself with a plastic knife.
Eventually, my hunger subsided enough so that I could properly clean and bandage my finger. The problem is that I do a ton of typing at work, and not just my never-ending attempts to put out a new blog post.
Imagine trying to type with a hurt and bandaged finger, feeling all the worse because your dumb ass cut yourself with a plastic knife.
Because I like to learn from my mistakes, this led to better meal planning so I’m not so ravenous when I finish working out. I’m still super hungry, but not so much that I will literally let myself bleed just so I can eat some food.
It’s different working out at work compared to at home. At home, I can just turn on the shower, throw off my clothes, go grab some food. I can do all that in any order. At work it’s a very clear order. I can’t exactly walk around the building in my workout gear so I can grab a pre-shower snack.
So now I try to eat and apple or banana 30 min before I work out. And I have something for lunch that I can start to munch on while whatever else I’m preparing the rest of my food. And so far, I haven’t cut myself again yet.
With a plastic knife.
I’ve been trying to get healthy again. There were a few things that happened that made me think it was time to get my jiggly ass back in shape.
First, during the Ultimate Blog Party 2013, I joined in and found some new friends, one of whom commented on my UBP13 post. This comment came from Danielle, who invited me to friend her on MyFitnessPal.
If you are on MyFitnessPal, please friend Danielle and me. Her username is msvip213 and mine is cecerose0211. I don’t know about her, but I’d love more friends to track and get healthy with. From the moment her updates started showing in my feed, I felt more motivated. Just to know I wasn’t alone in the struggle meant so much to me.
The second thing that happened came right around the same time as UBP13. I received a text message telling me about my 10 year high school reunion. I knew it was about that time, but I hadn’t made the decision on whether or not to go yet.
I went to the information page and saw the upcoming dates are August 16-18th. That means I’d likely still be in town and able to attend.
You know what else happens August 16th? That’s Day 90 for the Tracy Anderson metamorphosis when I reset the counter. That day was chosen based on me working out five times a week starting last Monday. It just seemed like fate that I would get my jiggly ass in shape just in time for my 10 year high school reunion.
I have some thoughts about that reunion, but that’s at topic for another post.
On the topic of backing away from donuts, I have failed. I ate three donuts this week. Don’t even get me started on how many cupcakes I’ve eaten. I remember the summer I met the husband. I went low-to-no carb for a few months, and I loved the way I looked and felt.
Perhaps I should go low-to-no carb again? That would be no potatoes, no bread, no cake, no cookies, no anything that makes me happy in terms of food. I tend to overdo it when it comes to carbs anyway, so it might not be the worst idea.
Ugh, it also means no gravy! I can’t go without gravy, can I?
All I know is that with the new goal of truly reaching Day 90 by the time my reunion rolls around, I feel more motivated. I just have to get my life to agree with me.
My work schedule is not conducive to working out. This past week, I only got in three workouts. If I do six-a-week workouts for the next two weeks, I can easily get back on track. Tracy Anderson Metamorphosis is meant for six-a-week workouts, so I should be fine.
If I could just leave work at a normal hour, I could do it. I much prefer working out at 2pm rather than 9pm. Maybe I can figure out a way to workout during work. After all, there is a small gym at the office with a DVD player and television. It’s definitely an idea to consider because it gets harder and harder to keep my motivation once the sun sets.
I think I have a pretty good psuedo-plan to get myself back on track. Possible no carb, possible working out at work, possible working out six days a week for a few weeks.
I will be posting again about how Day One went. I took pictures because I wanted to post about it. I am feeling so self-conscious about those pictures though, so the post will be password protected.
Perhaps when I no longer look like the pictures, I’ll feel like turning the password off. But for now, send me an e-mail if you want the password. I’ve got no problem giving that password out to my regular readers!
I can turn some of those possibilities into a reality, right?
Anyone familiar with the Staple Singers? I love music from before and right around the time I was born (this song clearly being almost ten years before). Those people could put together an entire song without ever saying two complete sentences. Good job Curtis Mayfield.
This barely PG song was running through my mind as I was feeling like getting back on top of all the goals I’ve set for myself.
Today is the first day in a while I’ve felt better about work. Things are still up in the air about so many aspects of my department, but at least I’m getting used to it. Having a new boss, having different job duties, and having different employees was really a lot to take in all at once.
I’ve been reading a lot of great blog posts around about how to handle stress. It gave some great tips, but it also just reminded me to acknowledge the stress and not hermit crab myself until it passed. Almost as soon as I looked the stress right in the eye, it dissipated.
I’m still not crazy about things at work, but I have a whole new perspective.
Ah, who am I kidding. I feel better because I see a way out. When you fix one part of your life, the rest seems to feel less important. Our lease on the apartment I’ve come to hate is up June 30th.
Obviously, I’ll be turning Project UnPack into Project Downsize-and-RePack. Wish me luck. I really have no choice but to get shit done in the next couple months. If I tell myself that a few more times, perhaps I’ll really mean it.
Since I’m getting my projects back on task, I’ll take a look at being healthy again. My blog was judging me as Day 90 came and went for the Tracy Anderson Metamorphosis. I really dropped the ball on that one.
If I start again (for the third time), I’ll start back at the beginning. I’m thinking I should. It was going well when I was making time for it no matter what and when I was utilizing MyFitnessPal.
A new friend I met through UBP13 named Danielle over at Motivating Mommy has invited me to friend her on the app/website. She’s my first friend on that site, so I’m looking forward to using that to get back into it. Can you tell I’m barely effective at utilizing social media?
So with Project RePack, starting over at Day 1 for Tracy Anderson, and finding a balance at work, I’ve got an awful lot on my plate. You know what always smooths things out for me? Shopping!
I don’t really have the expendable income to do a lot of shopping for myself, but I can do shopping for others. There are birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays coming up soon. Today, I just purchased the birthday gift for our twin nieces. We’re getting them these adorable old school style lunch boxes. Want to see a sample of what they look like? Of course you do!
If you click the screenshot, it will take you to the Frecklebox website, and you can have a closer look.I purchased two already and the gifts are shipping soon my way customized for each girl. Even though it’s not for me, a bit of shopping really just rounds out my week and takes the edge off.
For clarity’s sake, this wasn’t sponsored at all. If it were, the picture would be better, the post more streamlined, and praise more effusive.
Aside from the shopping-when-I-have-no-money, who’s getting back on track with me? Being healthy, reducing stress, making your
house apartment a home? Let’s do this!
It’s confession time. I looked in the mirror, even though I said I wouldn’t. I didn’t mean to, well not exactly. Let me tell you what happened.
I had just finished working out. I was running to the bedroom to grab a hair elastic so that I could put my hair up before getting into the bathtub. I just happened to glance in the mirror in our front hall accidentally. The next thing I know, I’m standing in the mirror, admiring the beginning of those lines on my stomach. You know what I’m talking about. Those lines that hint at the outline of a future six pack.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m so far from having clearly identifiable ab muscles. But I will admit that I like to see those lines. They make me feel strong and sexy. All I know is, 2 to 3 minutes had passed and I was still admiring my body in the mirror. And do you know what happened after that?
A whole bunch of nothing happened after that.
Once I decided that I was going to work out only 5 days a week, I figured I didn’t have to pick specific days. I figured I would just work out as my schedule allows.
For this week that meant working out every day except for maybe Wednesday and Thursday, which were the only 2 days I have to go into work. Oh, but no, that’s not what happened. The mirror is my enemy. I knew looking at it would make me feel like I was making real progress.
I don’t know why, but any sort of progress sucks away my motivation. And as usual, I’m hoping that telling on myself will make me get back into working out. There are still enough days left for me to get my 5 workout days in this week. Cross your fingers for me because I really want to stick with it this time.
I know I say my main goal is to fit into the dress I wore the day I met my husband. And in some ways, it is my main goal. Or at least, it’s a way to visually recognize that I’ve got the body I want. But also, I just really want to be happy all the time with what I see when I look in the mirror.
Some of you know what its like to have mixed feelings about what you see in the mirror. I love my body and I think that I’m attractive and pretty and all of that. I know I could be better though. Having excess body fat on certain parts of your body is just unhealthy, and it makes certain items of clothing look unflattering. I’d like to be more healthy and not to leave certain items of clothing in my closet because they don’t fit well. It would remove a point of stress in my life, just that simple.
I care about my long-term health, more than I usually talk about in this blog. Working out as consistently as I can makes that possible. You may wonder why I care so much. Well, when I was a little kid, there were so many old people in my family, and I loved it. They were the siblings of my great grandmother. She passed when I was in college, making it past the age of 80 . So basically, I come from a family where people live until they are 70 and 80 years old. I want to be able to know my great grandchildren before I die. And to do that, I’ve got to grow old. And to do that, I’ve got to stay healthy.
I’m almost 30 years old, and I don’t have any children yet. The husband and I intend to have children in the next few years but we aren’t in any rush. That means I have to live really long time if I want to get to know some grandchildren and great grandchildren. Ideally, I’d like to be in good health when I’m spending time with him. I just can’t see myself in a wheelchair, on an oxygen tank, or needing a walker. I want to play with my grandchildren and great grandchildren. So I have to do everything I can now so that I can have a life I want later. I think that if I focus on the deep reasons instead of just the superficial ones, it will stay important to me day after day to get my lazy ass up and exercise.
I talk a lot about exercising but not so much about diet. I just wanted to explain why. I’m not exactly a health food nut. But I do believe in eating as many unprocessed foods as possible, and trying not to overindulge. It helps that I don’t have any food allergies, and I have a pretty strong stomach.
Normally, I don’t have problems with moderating my diet–except for when it comes potatoes. If it wasn’t for the fact that I would eventually weigh 300 pounds, I would eat potatoes every day. But usually, I don’t have a problem regulating my diet. So if you’re going through this same struggle trying to get in shape and stay healthy, I’d like to apologize for having no words of encouragement on the diet front. But I’m with you on your struggle to exercise.
It’s hard to get up everyday and expend that energy. Even when I think about the extra energy I’ll have after a few days of working out, it’s always… later. And for some reason ‘later’ isn’t a strong enough motivator. Or at least it wasn’t, until I started thinking about play time with my future great grandchildren. Needless to say, I’m feeling more motivated.
I just had to dig deeper. So if you’re lacking motivation, dig deeper. Figure you why you care about being healthy. Does it affect your future? Affect your clothes? Does it affect your happiness?
If you run out of motivation by thinking of whatever size jeans you aspire to fit, dig deeper.
If you can dig deeper, maybe next time you’re working out, but don’t feel like pushing yourself, you can dig deeper then too.
A week in and I’m still exercising. I feel very lucky that Tracy Anderson’s workout plan includes a day off. My work schedule has been bananas this week and I simply don’t have the energy to workout.
I’m not talking in a, “I’ve been working 12 hours and just don’t feel like it” kind of way. I mean, “I’ve been working 12 hours after only having 2 hours of sleep because I wasn’t supposed to work today, but I’m on fo resource, even though no other resource people ever bring their ass to work when people are short-staffed, but what the hell ever” kind of way. There was no way I was working out yesterday, so thank God it was my workout off day.
I think my best bet for maintaining my motivation is avoiding the mirror. The way this workout plan works is that you see results almost immediately. The second I see firmer thighs, a slightly flatter tummy, and less jiggly arms, I get too excited. That feeling that I can slack off because I’m almost there creeps in.
That feeling is complete insanity because I am in no way “almost there.” The goal is to fit into the dress I was wearing the day I met the husband. And I don’t just want to get it on, I want to look as good or better than I did that day. Just because my thighs aren’t as jiggly doesn’t mean I’m anywhere near that sexy little black dress.
Putting that in writing somehow helps me believe it more. Because I’m so far from fitting a size 0 it’s not even funny. Well, it’s little funny because for some reason I kept all my size zero dresses assuming I’d one day have the motivation to work out enough to get back into them. That’s pretty funny in an ironic kind of way.
But I still have hope. My optimism has not yet waned and I think my waist can again be less than 30″ without me sucking in. It will happen! Just not right away. It will take me a while, and if I’m being realistic, it’s going to take longer than the 90 days Tracy Anderson alludes to.
There’s honestly no way I can work out consistently 6 days a week. I think it would be better for me to aim for five days a week. That way, when crazy shit happens with my work schedule, as it always seems to these days, I’ll still be on track. And it will be easier to keep track of which set of workouts I’m on if I’m doing five days a week. She has it in 10 days intervals, so it will take me 14 days for each set of ten instead of 11-13 days.
I should reach day 90 in 18 weeks. That would be May 4th-ish, depending on which day of the week I would actually complete the 90th workout. That seems so far from now, but it makes me feel better somehow.
I’m not crazy, I swear. It’s just that the idea of boot camps and 30-day workouts mess with my head. It seems like a quick burst of hard work that’s impossible to maintain in the long run. But a nice mid-length goal of 4.5 months sounds good to me. It’s something I can maintain when I’m done, and the 5 day a week workout is doable as well.
I hope my optimism turns into proactive behavior. I guess we’ll see.
Oh, the other reason for avoiding the mirror is how I laser in on the burn on my lip every time I glance toward a reflective surface. I just hate the way it looks. I’ve been applying lots of neosporin, cocoa butter, and medicated lip balm. It’s healing quicker than expected thanks to the quick turn over of the skin cells of the lip. I hope it doesn’t leave a permanent mark.
For now, avoiding the mirror is the plan. I can’t see my burned lip or my lack of jiggles. I’ll just keep it up with the leg lifts and the neosporin. Before you know it, I’ll be wearing a size 0 (which is the size of my frame, not some unhealthy weight I shouldn’t aspire to) and having no signs that I ever foolishly threw freshly sliced potatoes into hot oil.
The husband and I went to brunch yesterday. It was after hours of work getting our main bedroom together. It was note to take some time out of the day top just hang out and try a new place. The brunch was just so-so, but it happened to be across the street from a Trader Joe’s. Just Google it if you’ve never heard of this store. Because of how literally close it was to our brunch spot, we decided to pop in. I really wanted to get some citrus fruit so I could make fresh-squeezed orange juice, lemonade, and limeade. But that place was hard to get into if you are walking up to the building as opposed to driving. This South Loop store was right on the corner, so I assumed the entrance could be found on the corner. I was extra wrong. We got to the corner to see no door. Three was an awning, so we tried that, but it just had an apartment buzzer, and no entrance to the store. So we walked back to and around the corner. We finally found a door–with a sign on it explainingthe store’s entrance was on the north side. At that moment, we were on the south side. Not wanting to re-trace my steps, we went around the other way through a kind of sketchy parking lot. When we finally rounded around to the north side of the building, there was an entire parking lot dedicated to just Trader Joe’s. And there was a big ass grocery store entrance. How we managed to miss that is still a mystery. Our brunch place was directly across the street from this store and we were parked to the north. You may ask why we went through so much trouble. Well, once the husband and I are in a car, it’s just hard as hell to get us to a grocery store. I’m a Peapod kind of lady. He’s an only-go-to-the-store-when-my-dinner-is-at-risk kind of man. And the store was just right there, so convenient. And I was really craving fresh-squeezed. If you’ve never squeezed your own orange juice, you’ve got to try it. The taste is just so fresh and good. I can’t even drink the store bought juice anymore. So, we finally get into the store and get my fruit. And two bottles of wine. The wine only made me feel partly better, so we went to our favorite place for chocolate based desserts. We stopped on the way at this place called t-shirt deli. I got an I ♡ bacon sweatshirt made. That plus a glass of prosecco made me feel a lot better about my idiotic moment earlier. Seriously, how did I not see that entire parking lot? I think I’m going to have a glass of wine to go with my fresh orange juice.
You ever have one of those moments where you feel like you should write a new blog post, but you don’t really feel like writing a blog post? I have recently found a cure for the blog writer’s block. It’s other people’s blogs.
If you are like me, you read a lot of blogs. My current ‘follow’ list has 63 blogs on it. This is a lot considering I purge my blog list every six weeks or so of blogs I find I no longer have an interest in reading. I’ve become quite attached to the blogs I read and people who write them. Most of them are personal blogs, with a few political, photography, and cooking blogs thrown in. Reading about the latest goings on in the lives of my fave blog writers has become a real part of my life.
There are times when I need more though. When that happens, I make my way over to the blog of one of you people who comment a lot on my blog. If you have responses for me, I know you respond to the other
far more interesting things other people have to say. So I’ll go to a blog you read or recommend or comment on a lot. And every now and again, I strike gold.
Last night, my gold mine was a blog called Baby Kerf. I don’t read a ton of mommy/pregnancy blogs, but I love this one. And after reading a couple recent posts, I felt inspired. I felt like I should bring my butt back to my blog and write a post. I figured now was the time to just get on with what I’ve been avoiding talking about.
But before that, I want to talk about the husband. He was totally right about the long ass road trip to Virginia. It was an amazing weekend and we all had so much fun. I love his family so much, and spending time with them is just as high on my list of fun things to do as spending time with my family. I really feel blessed to have married into such a fun, warm, and caring clan. When I write my Fifty by 50 post about Virginia, I’ll explain exactly why I know I belong in this family. Two words: wine tasting.
Okay, I’m getting on with it. I’ve stopped working out. It wasn’t on purpose. First I was busy, then I was sleepy, then I felt stressed, then I was sick, then I was out-of-town. And before I knew it, two weeks had passed. I did so good from July 31st to September 14th, but it just went awry. It became easier to sleep and drink water and sleep and sulk and sleep and blow my nose than to hop around and do ridiculously angled leg exercises for an hour each day.
Even though I feel like a complete failure, I’m not out of it. I have learned a big ass lesson about balancing life’s priorities. Having this big wedding in Virginia to go along with the husband’s CD release party was just too much. I knew things would get this way before this part of September arrived, and I didn’t plan accordingly. The weather changed and I got sick. Things got busy, and I didn’t focus on getting enough sleep. Time got short, and I stopped making home-cooked meals.
One thing piled on the next and I let it happen. It was like a slow-moving car accident, which is never fun to witness or be a part of. So, I definitely won’t let this happen again. There will be many times in life that we will be busy and stressed and sick and sleepy. That doesn’t mean I can let my short-term goals fall apart because then my long-term goals won’t get reached.
There will be a two-week gap on my calendar. Luckily, the Tracy Anderson Method allows you to pick up where you left off without skipping anything. So I’m still on day 31-40, but I will finish it out and keep moving and keep on track. I don’t know if I’ve gained any weight back or not. Based on how my clothes fit, I haven’t gained any size back so far. I attribute that to my vigilance about my diet. I’ve been avoiding processed foods like the plague and not too many processed sugars or fried food.
Now that I’ve outed myself, and I can breathe a little easier. Yes, I faltered, but I’m picking myself back up again. I’ve learned a lot about how much my health means to me. I’ve learned about the best ways for the husband and I to handle stress. And I’ve learned that no matter what happens in the short-term, I can re-focus if I stay committed to my long-term goals.
Every day is a choice.
Every single day I have to remember to smile and exercise and drink water and sleep.
You know that feeling when you know you are about to be sick, but you’re not quite sick? Your throat is itchy, but not quite sore? You have the sniffles, but not really? You’re a bit more tired than usual, but only slightly?
That’s how I feel right now and it sucks. The changing weather in Chicago is to blame. I need tights and scarf, but no jacket because I’ll be burning hot. And since I don’t need a jacket, I somehow can’t manage to grab a scarf or tights, and so now I’m sick. Or pre-sick. Or whatever. I will be sick in about 24 hrs.
I woke up around 2 AM on Wednesday and could tell the sick was coming. I took a Nyquil and got back in the bed. Wednesday night at work, I could feel it working. If I were smart, I’d go run two miles and sweat the cold out. But I feel so sleepy, I just want to get in bed.
Does that ever happen to you? The one thing I can look forward to is the husband taking care of me. He was awful, awful, at taking care of me when we first got together. But he’s better now. But I wonder how he will manage now that I’ve sworn off bottled orange juice and canned goods.
I’ve mentioned here already that I’m not going canned good anymore. But the orange juice thing is new. I learned last week I could make amazing lemonade so I will only drink home-made lemonade. On Wednesday, I pulled out my juicer and made orange juice with fresh oranges. The color, taste, and consistency were so very different from the juice in the bottle, I immediately swore off the bottled stuff. Next on my to do list is buying tons of oranges because I really like orange juice.
Don’t let me go to a farm or I’ll be swearing off bottled milk too. There’s just something so much better about eating and drinking things that are fresh and home-made.
I’ve been saying the husband probably has a natural knack for soup. Since I’m soon-to-be-sick, I guess we’ll test that theory. There is no canned soup for me this weekend. Oh crap! This weekend we are driving to Virginia for that wedding. I don’t want to be sick at the wedding. I want to be fresh faced, impossibly young looking, and not sneezing all over the place.
What’s that stuff they have on commercials that supposedly cuts your cold shorter? I need that stuff, I just don’t know what it’s called because I’ve assumed it was a hoax and never paid attention. But I’m willing to risk a hoax if it means not being sick on this trip.
Maybe I’m just having my weird once-every-4.5-years allergies and I’m not really sick. Wishful thinking probably.
And when I’m pre-sick I also have trouble staying on topic. Don’t judge me.
Now that I’m past Day 30, I feel even better in terms of energy, mood, and self-image. When I look at my pictures from Day 1, Day 10, Day 20, and now Day 30, it’s really just amazing. In fact, I’ll post the old pictures
Aside from feeling amazing, the biggest notice is how my clothes fit. My largest clothes are becoming quite roomy. I figure by Day 60, I’ll have to get rid of some of my clothes because they will be too large. There are several items of clothing I haven’t been able to fit into for months that are starting to fit. I have a great pair of wide leg pants that button on the side. I can button them again, and I’m hoping to wear them in public in just 10 short days. They are perfect-for-fall pants after all.
The husband and I are going to a wedding in a couple weeks in Virginia for one of his cousins. God willing, I’ll be wearing this great dress I haven’t worn (or really fit well) since the day I met the husband. And I’m considering Halloween outfits that aren’t swamping my body. Halloween seems to be the time to run naked through the streets and claim you’re dressed as a “Sexy Bunny” or “Sexy Puppy” or “Slut #3.” Maybe I will just go as Slut #3. It will be hard to get me not to if I have any kind of lines on my tummy representing the start of a six pack.
Even when I feel like doing nothing and next to nothing, I still have energy. In that moment of doing nothing, I still know I could get up and do something, I’m not so pooped out that I have no choice but to lie down. The husband just started doing P90X (because he’s a crazy person). It’s been such a change in our house with both of us working out and making a more concerted effort to be healthy. When we’re working this hard, it makes everything else seem worth it somehow. Putting in work on the apartment, planning our schedules around work so we still have fun, and just hanging out and doing nothing is better. When you’ve worked up a sweat and can feel the burn, you feel like you’ve accomplished something that day. So just chilling and playing video games that night is nothing but fun and you feel no regret about it.
Taking care of my skin and my body has always been a priority, but when I’m working up a sweat 6 days a week, it’s even more important. I use lots of Mary Kay products on my face that include a toner, exfoliates, and has sunscreen. I use the Proactiv body wash. And Dove and Oil of Olay round out the pack for soaps, deodorant, and lotions. My hair isn’t an issue because I have locs. I can’t imagine how African-American women with hard to manage hair work out all the time. I guess those are the ponytail women. I honestly am glad my hair is locked so it’s not ever an issue.
I finished my Tracy Anderson food program after 30 calendar days. This was well before the 30th Metamorphosis Day. Since that time, I’ve just been trying to eat healthy (except for the evil ass cake week) and not overdoing it. The weight loss has continued, so I imagine I’m doing something right. I no longer eat anything canned or over-processed, and that has helped a lot. I eat a lot of lean meat, fresh fruits, fresh vegetable, and home-made baked goods. And now I’m basically following one of the P90X diet plans with the husband. The meal plan reads exactly like what we’ve been eating recently anyway. Each lunch includes lots of veggies either in soup or salad form with lean meat. Each dinner includes meat, some starch/health carb, one grain, and veggies. I think that even once we’re not taking their meal suggestions, it should be no problem to stick with this meal format, which isn’t too far from what I was eating on Tracy Anderson’s plan.
I’ve come up with some amazing recipes too. I made a citrus cilantro vinaigrette that doubled as a marinade for a chicken mixed greens salad we had for lunch the other day. More people would eat healthy everyday if I was cooking for them, trust me. Since I’ve had the baking bug recently, the house always has fresh cookies, or cake, or brownies to be found. They are definitely not low-fat, so we have to make sure we don’t overdo it. So far, except for the chocolate cake, it hasn’t been a problem. That chocolate cake is the first recipe I didn’t cut in half or into 1/3, so I can only blame the large volume of cake. The fact that it was still around after 5 days was trouble enough. When I cut a cookie recipe down and only make 8-10, it’s gone before we even get set to overdo it.
The last thing I want to say is that my calves feel and look amazing. I’ve always had thinner legs from the knee down, but now they look pretty shapely and strong. My skinny jeans are actually tight all the way down my leg now instead of just around the thighs and hips. Tracy Anderson wasn’t kidding when she said she’d give me an all-around more feminine shape.
Do you like chocolate? I happen to love chocolate. When I got a sweet tooth last Sunday night after making dinner for the husband and his parents, I decided to make a chocolate cake. I figured it would be a good time to use another recipe from my Bon Appétit cookbook for my cooking blog, and I always make cookies, so I wanted to make something different.
The last time I attempted a cake, it was for the husband’s birthday in 2011. I don’t think he even knows I tried to make this cake because it ended so horrible. The inside was raw, the outside got overcooked, it was just atrocious. I dropped that crap in the garbage and headed to the grocery store to buy a cake baked by someone who knew what they were doing.
Back to the evil ass chocolate cake. I was flipping through recipes and saw that everything I wanted to bake needed eggs. We were out of eggs, but the husband was nice enough to run out at like 10 pm to go buy eggs for me to bake. I settle on the chocolate cake recipe and right when the husband got back with the eggs, I realized this recipe didn’t even need eggs. I figured since I’m confessing things, now would be a good time to apologize for the errand request that was completely unwarranted. Sorry husband.
Now that I’m done with the spouse confessional part of this blog post, let me say that the eggs were actually quite useful in the recipe. I made up the batter and threw in one egg to make it more moist. You know how some in-a-box brownie recipes give you the option to use 2 or 3 eggs depending on your moistness preference? I know baking is so precise, but I figured it might work the same way. I have already ruined several cakes over the years, so I was no longer afraid of the shame.
It turned out that the evil ass chocolate cake was super delicious! The recipe called for a three layer round cake, but I don’t have any round cake pans. Instead, I made 12 cupcakes and a sheet cake I cut in half a turned into a two layer cake. There was a thin slice of cake left over after I made the layer cake, so I put some super delicious frosting on it and the husband and I had a tasty late night snack.
I noticed that the cake was a bit crunchy right on the edge. I figured the cooking time must’ve been off when I converted it to cupcakes. I intended to take the cupcakes to my parents’ house for Labor Day the next day, but didn’t want to take over-cooked cupcakes if they would all be a little crispy on the edges. Who wants crispy cupcakes? No one, that’s who.
Those evil ass cupcakes still got packed up in an airtight container and taken to my parents’ house on Monday. I warned everyone that the inside would taste super delicious, but the outside may or may not have some crunch. My daddy cracked jokes and no one touched the cupcakes. After dinner, my brave uncle decided he’d try one. The only other dessert was store-bough apple pie, and he didn’t want any of that.
He grabbed a cupcake and I left the room. When I came right back, he was finishing the cupcake and told me it was really good and I was a better baker than I thought I was. I walked over to the container to grab a cupcake for myself and saw that in that short time period, he had actually inhaled two cupcakes and I saw him finishing the second one. I figured they really must taste good. I took a bite and they were so moist and tasty, not at all crispy.
I realized they tasted like Hostess cupcakes, except without that extra ingredient that tastes like it could survive longer than humans could. Just sweet home-made goodness. I let my mom have a bite and she loved it too. I was so proud of myself. I figured the frosting and the air-tight container had something to do with softening the cupcakes. They were a hit and they didn’t make it til the end of the night. No leftovers is always a good sign.
I went home proud of my cupcake adventures, and glad I had a whole 9 square inch layer cake to eat. And eat it I did. The husband and I have eaten 1-3 servings of chocolate cake every day this week. The cake was so good. And it keeps so well. We go through a lot of milk, but we used even more this week with the super delicious cake.
What was the result of the super delicious cake? We’ve been so sluggish. We aren’t eating balanced meals, we’re just eating cake and things-that-taste-good-right-before-cake. We sleep more. We exercise less. It’s been such a struggle to get through my exercises and I’ve been half-assing the cardio. Friday I decided the cake was an evil ass cake and had to go.
We still had a good 3″ of cake left, but it had to go. I threw it out. The husband hates wasting food, but I had to do it. That cake was taking over our lives. It’s not like when I make cookies. I cut the recipe down and only make like 12 cookies. It wasn’t so easy to cut down the cake recipe, so I made the whole thing. And our diet and exercise plan fell off a cliff. So now I know to just make the entire batter into cupcakes and leave that shit at my parents’ house. Maybe we’ll keep six cupcakes for our house.
Knowing I have an amazing chocolate cake recipe feels good to my soul because I loves me some chocolate. But that evil ass cake isn’t welcome in my house for at least three more months from now. I’m thinking I’ll make some more maybe for Christmas, and not a day sooner.
Do you know any good evil ass recipes? I’d love a great pie recipe!
I passed by Day 20 and I was so proud of myself. I truly understand how someone can start Tracy Anderson’s program, fall off, and only get back on momentarily before completely giving up. You really have to take it day by day and treat each day separately. I had to work hard to keep up the motivation. Now that I’ve moved on to the third set of exercises (for Days 21-30), I realized it was more about the exercises than my motivation. Okay, maybe it was both.
I just really wasn’t a fan of the Days 11-20 exercises. I liked Days 1-10 and so far I like Days 21-30. Maybe it’s because I’m stronger, more flexible, and have more endurance. Maybe it’s because I feel that I’ve gotten past a motivation slump. Whatever the reason, I’m feeling her exercises again. After coming in the house late Tuesday night, I still managed to get in the day’s exercise at 11:30 pm. I was so proud of myself for not missing a day. I would not have been able to do that this time last week.
I’ve been strutting my stuff the last few days. I’ve worn several items of clothing that have just been sitting in my closet. There are the slacks I haven’t worn in 6 months (and comfortably in 9 months). There was the dress I haven’t worn in over a year. It’s been such an amazing feeling to get back into these clothes I love. I felt bad leaving them so lonely in the closet. They just had to sit there watching my stretchy pants get pulled out to be worn yet again, feeling like a red-headed stepchild. But now they are back in rotation baby!
There are still a few more items waiting to re-join the fold. There is this skin-tight micro mini dress that the husband finds so sexy. I refuse to put that back on until my tummy is flat again, but it’s on my to-do list. One clothing item that has remained is my bras. My bra size increased as I gained weight. I don’t know what it is about Tracy Anderson’s workout that’s so magical, but I still wear the same bra size as I did with my fat girl boobs. My butt still looks curvy and plump, my hips still have the Coke bottle thing going on. That woman wasn’t kidding when she said she makes your shape leaner and feminine.
On a side note, did you know she has a pregnancy video coming out in October? I’ve been wondering what in the world I was going to do when I got pregnant, but she’s answered my questions. She has a 6 week old and she took the opportunity over the last year to produce a workout video for exercising while you’re pregnant. It’s supposed to be a great companion for her postpartum workout she did a few years ago. I won’t be getting pregnant anytime soon, but should I stick with the Tracy Anderson Method, it’s nice to know there’s a plan waiting for that point in my life.
The best part about this point in the workout is that other people have begun to notice the change. I have only lost about 8 pounds, but the difference is really being seen in the muscle tone and how much leaner my body is starting to look. My mother noticed my butt looked higher. The husband noticed my waist looked smaller and tummy looked flatter. And my co-workers have all said I looked skinnier. Skinny isn’t something I see as a compliment, but I know they meant it as a compliment, so it was still empowering.
At this point, it’s important to remember to maintain focus on the other parts of my well-being. I try to shower within a half hour of finishing my workout so my skin stays clear of breakouts. I make sure I use sunscreen so the my skin won’t get loose around the areas of weight loss. I drink lots of water, at least 40 oz. a day. And I do my best to get enough sleep, even sacrificing social plans. I have more energy, but only because I try to stay rested and stress free. Even when I can’t go right to sleep, I still focus on breathing and relaxation. Staying calm goes a long way towards keeping only the “happy” hormones in your body. And that helps promote weight loss.
As usual, I will do a separate post for Day 20, but it will be password protected. If you want access to the password protected posts, just e-mail me at email@example.com. I usually have no problem giving the password to people who I know are regular readers/commenters.
The husband and I were driving home after a very long day. As we drove around crowded ass Hyde Park looking for parking, we saw a woman jogging down the street. The husband found this odd because it was almost 11:30 pm. I didn’t think it was that odd because you exercise when you have the time, and perhaps this was her only free time that day.
The husband felt she was taking a risk because it was dangerous to be alone out on the street that late at night. Once he said that, I understood his point. I told him if I were to go running that late I’d have protection. He found this funny for several reasons. First, I hate running, so I most likely will never be running , even if it is 11:30 at night.
Second, I wouldn’t be running unprotected. After I thought about it for a bit, I said, “If I did run at night, which I wouldn’t, I’d be running with a knife in one hand and pepper spray in the other.”
After he finally finished laughing, he told me, “you will definitely get arrested if you go jogging with a knife and pepper spray in yours hands.” We completely disagreed on this. I told him he was dead wrong because I already walked around with pepper spray. The nights when I come home alone very late, before I even get out of my car, I’m holding my pepper spray ready to spray. I keep my head on a swivel in case anyone tries to come up on me quickly in the dark or out of a shadow. I didn’t see how adding a knife to that would take me from perfectly safe to definitely arrested.
In my head, I’m thinking I’d have a little switchblade I would hold in my balled-up fist that could be brought out with only a moment’s notice. In the husband’s head, he’s imagining me running down 53rd with a big ass butcher knife. I’m talking heavy-duty, shiny metal reflecting the street lights, knuckles turning pale from gripping the handle.
Even I had to crack up at that imagery. If I saw a woman running down the street holding a butcher knife, I’d probably call 911. Even if she was dressed in workout clothes, I’d be worried. I feel bad for whatever man she was running towards and hope the police got there before he was slashed to bits.
I had to clear up the confusion. I explained that I meant a switchblade, not a butcher knife. And I showed the husband my pepper spray. He remembered it from when I purchased it once he saw it again. The fact that it was tiny, cute as hell in it’s powder pink bottle, and so unassuming made him agree that maybe, just maybe, I wouldn’t get arrested if I went jogging.
But don’t worry my dear readers, I won’t be getting arrested any time soon. Because even though I would have a knife and pepper spray while running, it’s more important to note that I won’t ever be running. I know the importance of getting my heart rate up and all that. But Tracy Anderson has me hopping and jumping all over my living room every damn morning. And the only thing I have to fend off there are my two cats who love to setup shop on my workout mat.