Monday, February 25, 2013

IML Update

Weekly Improve My Life update!

1) Reduce Stress: I have been apartment and puppy hunting like crazy. More apartment hunting than puppy hunting, but puppy hunting is much less stressful than apartment hunting. I probably spent over 20 hours last week searching website after website and contacting tons of landlords/complexes for details. You would be surprised how hard it is to find a (nice) 2bed (that accepts dogs) for under $1100 in this area. Curses, Connecticut. Seriously, I looked at one complex in North Carolina and it had every.single.thing I want (which includes in-house w/d, pool, fitness center, somewhat modern kitchen, ample storage space, outdoor space) and more for over $200 under my budget. Bullocks! Safe to say, I've been a bit stressed due to all of this. I've also made a list of everything I'll need to buy when I move...and that gigantic list isn't helping me fend off the $$$$ fears, either!

Puppy teaser: (How much do I want one of these squishy little sweetness monsters?! SO MUCH!!!)

2) Maintain Exercise goal of 3x/wk: I had a really crappy gym week. I did go three times and did a total of 18 miles, but I didn't feel good about it. I had a terrible time running and I just didn't feel incredibly motivated. Toward the end of the week I was feeling very bogged down with plans and with apartment hunting and just rolled into slacker-ville. But at least I met the minimum requirement.

3) Make more conscious food choices: I was pretty good about not snacking at work, mostly because I was  busy all week. I've been really good at food shopping recently, coming in at exactly $50/wk and making one large meal that will last me for all of my lunches for the week. I've also been really good about planning in advance and using up all of my groceries before the week's end. Last Monday I made a spinach salad with tomatoes, mozzarella, tuscan herb olive oil, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. It was nice to have a somewhat healthy lunch everyday. Dinner, on the other hand.... That and being away this weekend led to some bad food choices. There's always next (this) week.

4) Enjoy my hobbies: In between my ravenous apartment hunting I did manage to practice the piano 1x and catch up on some of my favorite shows. I've also been spending a lot of time poking around online for various household items I know I'll need once I move, and shopping happens to be one of my most favorite hobbies.

5) Keep my close friends close: I nailed this one this week. I had long phone conversations with a bunch of people and caught up with some close friends in Boston! I also went to a concert and had some lovely dinners with some lovely friends. ++++ on this one!

6) Do what I can for my health: I am shocked to report that I have been flossing approx 4x/wk. I hate dental care (aside from tooth-brushing) and find it annoying, especially when all I want to do is get in bed. But on the nights that I have been home, I have been forcing myself to take those extra steps to floss and waterpik and use gross mouthwash to improve my mouth health. I also managed to have pretty consistent sleeping patterns for the week, which is always helpful.
I'm hoping this week will be more productive than last week. I definitely have room to improve in almost all categories.

I am looking forward to all of the craziness of moving and settling and getting a little furry friend and finding a better routine for myself to Improve My Life overall, and recognize that the next few months are going to be challenging while I work toward that more stable future. But I am excited to move out and up and take on whatever happens next.

Ciao for now,

Monday, February 11, 2013


So I was looking through some old photos and stumbled upon these "gems" -- by which I mean horrifying and hideous self-shots. I took these original photos when I started doing the Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred back in mid-January 2012 -- almost exactly a year ago. The 30 DS routine was short lived in my life, but fitness, as it turns out, was not.

I took some new photos this morning more out of curiosity than anything else. I didn't expect so see such a difference in my shape. I am SO proud of how far I have come in the last year. I didn't really lose any actual weight, but I think my body overall looks leaner and more fit. I feel better, I look better, and I'm on the right path.

I can't wait to take new photos a year from now and scoff at the way I look today.

January 19, 2012:

February 11, 2013

Friday, February 8, 2013

Weekly Update

Weekly Improve My Life update :)

Last year I made a list of 6 things that I wanted to work on on a weekly basis to improve my life. I thought it would be good to continue the trend of continuing these resolutions and reflecting on them.

 1) Reduce Stress: Work has been going really well and I've felt very on top of everything, leaving each day with all of my tasks completed, which is crazy. And while I know it's going to short lived, I am certainly embracing being able to leave each day feeling satisfied with my progress. On a personal note, my relationship came to a sad end as of Tuesday, which is both stressful and somewhat stress relieving -- so I guess that's a wash, overall.

2) Maintain exercise goal of 3x a week: I've been doing a really good job of making good on this one! I have gone to the gym 3 times already this week and hope to go on Saturday and Sunday, as well. I even scraped together the motivation to go to the gym right after work today and bust out a good workout before heading home to get snowed in (unfortunately that was followed by some Chinese food). But still, I am happy with my workout regimen. And I am finally starting to see some changes in my shape, despite no change in weight. I am feeling more fit than I have in a very long time.

3) Make more conscious food choices: One of my biggest downfalls is definitely snacking at work or snacking in general. I try to keep busy so that I don't have too much time to get bored and snack, but it happens sometimes. I've been pretty okay this week. Certainly had my indulgences here and there, but not too bad as far as weeks go.

 4) Enjoy my hobbies: I have been neglecting extracurricular reading. I just haven't found any books that I am really looking forward to reading or want to read, which is sad. I definitely need to work on getting back into that! Same with crafting. I keep posting really neat things on Pinterest that I want to make, but haven't actually made of them. I DID play piano 2 times this week, so that's something. And I guess the gym is one my hobbies now? I also went to a concert on Wednesday.

 5) Keep my close friends close: I hope I'm doing a good job of that! It's hard to keep in touch with people who are scattered across the states, but I do make an effort to touch base every so often. And I truly appreciate all of the support they have given me the past week with my breakup blues.

6) Do what I can for my health: My mom would be so proud - I finally went to the dentist after 2 years of neglect! It was not fun, but I did it. I am really keen on dental care now and started a whole new regimen this week, so hopefully I can stick with that. And now I just need to make appointments for a PCP, lady doctor, and optometrist and I'll have caught up on all of my medical appointments. In general, I tend to be pretty healthy, but my job reminds me daily that health is SO important and even if I maintain my health, I should be more proactive in making sure I am taking care of my body as best I can.

So that's my week. Now, time to get snowed in and watch terrible terrible movies (starting with "Bad Teacher"). Happy weekend!

Friday, February 1, 2013

What a difference a year makes

It's been almost a year since I last posted in this blog. I've transitioned over to this Daily Mile account -- mostly because I like how it logs my mileage and gives me different stats for the week/month/year and lets me view my friend's mileage, as well.

I didn't realize how many people actually read this blog until I stopped writing in it and people kept telling me that they missed it. I had assumed that it would get really boring to read about my daily workouts, but thanks to those of you who have supported me for so long :) Perhaps I shall make a weekly update in this blog from now on, just to recap my week's highs and lows. We shall see.

So what's happened in the last year?

When I first moved to CT I was the heaviest I have ever been, weighing in at 162. I felt about as good as I looked.

Being mostly friendless, I launched into a strict workout routine and went to the gym almost every day after work, for lack of better things to do. Eventually, boy/friends ended up complicating this schedule and I started to slack off more and more.

In the spring/summer, I fell back in love with bike riding and upgraded to a sweet new ride and was doing around 40 miles/wk. I also got really into hiking and started doing a few hikes a week.

Inevitably, winter reared her ugly head. The bike rides and hikes became less frequent and my Planet Fitness card was literally collecting dust.

A trip to Florida in December rekindled my love for the bike and I rode over 100 miles in my time there. I felt good, better than I had in a while.

Upon my return, I reunited with Planet Fitness and was horrified to feel - for the first time in my life - belly jiggle. WHAT, self?! Have you really let yourself get this bad? The string of endless dining out and lack of exercise haunted me and I resolved then and there to make good on some resolutions I am constantly making and never quite following through on.

For the past month I have been working out between 4 and 6 times a week. I am training for a 5k and for the first time in my life, I can actually run a mile without stopping (shin splints be damned!). I have been alternating cardio and weights and even spending some time outside in the frigidity for a taste of fresh air and mountain slopes.

And I feel good. Really good. I haven't tailored my eating habits, really, but sticking to this gym schedule has helped me really really cut back on going out to eat. Right before this life change, I was going out around 4x a week or more. I've now scaled back to once during the week and once during the weekend. Additionally, I have been able to save more money than I ever have before. Having this after-work routine prevents me from going shopping/going out to eat/travelling to visit friends. And while I still love all of those things, I've realized that they are best done in moderation. My wallet and my body are both thanking me.

Since moving here, I've lost a grand total of 9lbs, with much fluctuation. As of right now, I'm at a solid 155lbs, which is 15lbs away from my goal, but still a weight that I am happy with. Although I wish I would lose more weight, I have not edited my diet at all, so I can't really expect miracles. But I have started noticing that the shape of my body is changing, and I am so thrilled to see my hard work is paying off.