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MAY-jor Disbelief

Please insert my problems with grasping the fact that it is already May here.

Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way… You know that new months bring new goals!

A quick look back at April:

1. Be ready to start half-marathon training (aka be able to run three miles with minimal walking breaks). Sadly, I can’t report a lot of excellence here. I did get my 5k time down to where I wanted it — but that was with a lot of walking mixed in. I’m happy because I know my time will decrease as I run more but I’m pretty disappointed I didn’t make this more of a priority. I’m putting together my training plan this weekend and know that I need to get serious fast or I will be woefully unprepared come race day. 

2. Complete 6 strength training work outs. (3/6) [Modified KB workout from Women’s Health, Abs and Arms on 4/15, Arms and Shoulders on 4/20] Obviously, another work out fail. I need to get on track with all this — no wonder my weight loss progress has been stagnant. I’ll definitely be revisiting this for May.

3. Make 3 more new recipes, including something to share. (5/3) [Spanish Egg and Potato Tortilla, Lentil Stew, Kelly’s Chicken Curry in a Hurry, Homemade Stovetop Paninis, Emily’s Surprise Muffins] I excelled at eating and cooking this month! I wish I was as good at sticking to work outs as I was about cooking! Stovetop Paninis were probably the biggest winner here — so many variations to make delicious, easy dinners. Very pleased that we finally got to use ANOTHER wedding gift (stove top panini press).

4. Read 5 books, for real this time! (6/5) Another success! Nice to make up some ground from last month.

5. One of these books should be a classic. (1/1) I gave up on finishing Mansfield Park in April and focused on Anne of Green Gables. Success!

6. Stick to our weekly budgets. (2/5) Perhaps not so great here. We did better than March, but I’d like us to be a lot better about sticking to our weekly budget.

 

What’s on tap for May? (So glad you asked!)
1. Create half marathon training plan – Meeting with my “team” this weekend to put a training plan together!
2. Complete six strength trainin work outs (0/6) – No excuses. Half Marathon training means I need to build some muscle in order to carry my body more efficiently!
3. Read six books (1/6) – I have SO MANY library books out right now that I need to plow through!
4. Of those six, read two classics (1/2) [Mansfield Park] and one non-fiction (0/1) – This should go fairly easily since I finished one classic at the start of the month and our book club pick is non-fiction. Hooray for working toward my goal of diversifying my reading!
5. Beat my previous 5k time during this month’s 5k – My first 5k was run in absolutely horrid conditions. I’m hoping to do much better this time!
6. Eat at 3 new restaurants – slightly counterintuitive to following our budgets, but I’m tired of being stuck in a rut getting Chipotle or to go from Whole Foods. Then, at the end of the week it feels like we didn’t really enjoy our meals out even though we had a few of them. I’d rather eat out less and try out new places!
7. Be more consistent with blogging! Post at least 16 times this month. (1/16) Self explanatory! I love comments and reading other blogs, etc so I need to post more and be consistent!

In other news, I think my back is really on the mend! I was able to touch my toes last night without wanting to scream so that’s a huge victory. Hopefully I’ll be able to go for a little run this weekend and start weight training again as well.

What are you aiming to do this month? Do you have any races or big events coming up?

Oh, and if you live in the DC area — anyone want to help me try some new restaurants?! 🙂

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Out like a Lamb

March, I’m a little sad to see you go. You were pretty awesome! You brought me my first wedding anniversary, a delightful mountain vacation, several excellent meals/visits with friends, and lots of excitement for the months to come.

March also had goals. Some met with success and some, not so much. Let’s take a look see!
1. Read another five books – Almost! I got 4/5; Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Stones Into Schools by Greg Mortenson, Room by Emma Donohue, and The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman. My favorite out of these was Stones Into Schools!
2. One of those books, non fiction or classic – Check – Stones Into Schools!
3. Try out at least three new recipes – Check! We tried a variety of new delights including a delicious slow cooker lasagna with mushrooms and spinach, a new “fake” egg salad recipe (which we made again last night), and a Shepperd’s Pie recipe from the slowcooker book that we adapted to the stovetop.
4. Write three letters – Also check; I actually exceeded this one and sent out my fourth letter yesterday.
5. Be able to run three miles straight – Oooo, not so much. I made it up to 1.5 miles. I had plans to be over two, but being sick this week set me back.
6. Buy a kettlebell (check!) and do a kettlebell workout at least three times –So I got the kettlebell, but only managed two of my three goal workouts. Again, being sick put a damper on this as I had planned to do another work out earlier this week.

Obviously I cannot go a month without some goals. So, here is what’s up for April:
1. Be ready to start half-marathon training (aka be able to run three miles with minimal walking breaks). This is mandated by Thea who will be creating my half marathon training schedule – I start May 1!
2. Complete 6 strength training work outs. (0/6) I miss my muscle tone! These can be kettlebell workouts, gym workouts, bootcamps, whatever as long as I feel the burn!
3. Make 3 more new recipes, including something to share. (0/3) I already have a few things up my sleeve!
4. Read 5 books, for real this time! (0/5) My upcoming travel for a family wedding should help since I’ll be killing time in an airport for a while.
5. One of these books should be a classic. (0/1) I’m not doing so hot with this part of my resolution. Anne of Green Gables is still a work in progress and probably won’t count until May.
6. Stick to our weekly budgets. (0/5) We’ve been diverging from our meal plans a little too much and spending more money than we should. Eating in more/sticking to our plans should help me achieve at least three new recipes!

So, what’s April got in store for me?

  • I’ll be making my first trip to the dentist in over two years. It is also worth noting that I’m horrified of the dentist. I’m already a little anxious thinking about it.
  • I’m headed to Atlanta and then on to St. Augustine for my cousin’s wedding!
  • About a bazillion friends have birthdays that need celebrating. This is always excellent!
  • I am teleworking a ton which is wonderful!
  • Hubs has some work travel coming up and I’m fairly jealous. It’s okay though because he can’t come to St. Augustine due to school work.

What are you excited about in April? Are you making any goals this month?

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Back to Life…

Back to reality! (Okay, maybe not that excited, but still.)

I love work travel, but I also kinda like being in a routine. It’s so much easier to eat well, plan workouts, not splurge, etc. Also, I miss the Husband and the Hound when I’m gone.

So, here’s what I’ve been up to:
015
035
046
050
051
Hmm, now I want to go back to the West Coast, drink lots of coffee and eat a ton of fresh produce! Yum!

I’ve got some catching up to do. Kelly gave me a blogger award that I need to respond to! Brie has been hardcore inspiring me to get my eating and workouts in check. (More on some short term goals soon!) And, I’ve finished a couple good books (halfway through Born to Run).

So, with that said, I’m taking my sore throat to bed. (Seriously, why do I always feel sickly after traveling?) Night y’all!

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Being Mindful

This week, I’m setting a goal for myself: to be entirely mindful of what I eat. I need to set myself up to make good decisions. Pre-planning helps with this as does packing breakfast and lunch for work. But I’m not always in a situation where I can pre-plan: for example, Kelly’s birthday wine night.

I’ve noticed that when I’m bored or buzzed, I tend to consume quite a few calories — usually far more than I think I have as well. “What? I’ve only had 12 meatballs, six cheese stuffed dates, 15 cheese and ham wrapped pickles, and a hanful of tostitos. Oh, wait, I guess that is a lot…” I need to curb my grazing. I’m making an effort to stay away from alcohol for the next two weeks (a pumpkin beer here or there aside) to try and put some good habits into place. I don’t need to drink those calories and I never make good choices after a beer or two. All things cheese covered and/or fried immediately become options in my mind. Whoops! I need to re-train my brain.

I also need to break my dessert addiction. I read in Omnivore’s Dilemma that the human body has two key food impulses: attraction to sweet (our bodies associate sweet with high carb/high energy foods) and dislike of bitter (normally this is a sign to our bodies that we shouldn’t be eating something). This is why dessert comes at the end of a meal — you’re more likely to “make room” for something sweet because your body associates this extra food with extra energy. Not really the case with what I eat for dessert. I need to really break my cycle of always wanting dessert. So, for the next two weeks I’m also not going to buy anything sweet to stay in the house. No tubs of ice cream or Ciao Bella gelato! No cookies for “snacks” or candy for “just in case.” I should be fueling my body with real energy and not empty, sugary calories.

I’m working on putting myself in good situations. For example, today at lunch I was supposed to meet a good friend to track down one of DC’s delicious foodtrucks but I knew I couldn’t trust myself to order something reasonable when faced with things like empanadas, lobster rolls, and poutine. So instead we arranged to meet up at Chop’t, get salads, and sit in the sunshine. Perfect! I pre-picked my salad online and went off to meet her feeling very happy with my alternative plan. I got in a mile and a half walk there and back and left with a full tummy but not that icky gross feeling that comes with being overly full of carbs and sugar. Instead, my tummy is hosting a veggie party and it’s very happy.

I’ve got a no-excuses allowed date with the gym tonight and I’m hoping the Hubs will join me. (I think it’s always more fun to work out when you can look over and make goofy faces at someone.) A co-worker and I have a walking lunch date planned tomorrow and I’m feeling pretty good about this week all told!

I’m also excited about joining Mia and Blair for their new bookclub. Y’all know I’m a sucker for a good book. We’re planning to read Little Bee. I need to head to a bookstore and pick that up.

What are you excited about this week?

Are you a sucker for dessert like me? Hubs would pick coffee over dessert any day, but it seems that I can’t say no to a little something sweet!

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One part productive, one part lazy

Another Monday, another new week! Still good news to report here. I did an incline interval work out on Thursday and made it 3.2 miles in 42 minutes. I took Friday and Saturday off (inadvertently) and got back to it yesterday for a “run”. I warmed up, ran a mile at 6mph, walked .25 miles, ran another mile at 6mph and finally topped it all off with some cool down walking. My total mileage was 3.2 miles (again!) in 39 minutes.

I also managed to control my weekend eating — normally a HUGE struggle for me! We went to happy hour Friday night, but I made sure I didn’t drink too much and thus decide that nachos/ice cream/a huge bucket of fries sounded good for dinner. I’m pretty pleased with myself for not undoing a week’s worth of work during the weekend again. I popped onto the scale this morning and it appears that I’m down two pounds this week. My weight is hovering right at 150. I cannot wait to get back down into the 140s and then finally see the 130s for the first time in my adult life!

Friday I was super productive! I took my car to the dealership for her annual safety and emissions inspections as well as her 25k mile tune up. I spent the three hours in the waiting room plowing through Lauren Conrad’s second book (Sweet Little Lies). From there, I hustled to the Verizon store at the mall where I got myself a new phone (hooray for a non-chipped screen and an uncracked battery cover) and formally removed myself from my parent’s phone plan. I’m not gonna like that bill when it comes, but it is a nice feeling to be entirely independent from my parents.

The rest of the weekend was far lazier! I finished Sweet Little Lies and rather enjoyed it. This second book was far better than Conrad’s first (LA Candy). There was a plot arc and everything! I didn’t like that an abusive relationship took center stage, especially when so many young girls look up to Conrad. However, after struggling through Elegance of the Hedgehog some lighter fare was much appreciated. On Sunday, I started the last Stieg Larsson book, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. I loved the first two and anticipate enjoying this final installment just as much.

Hubs and I hooked up live-streaming Netflix via the Xbox this weekend — I am delighted! Since Hubs was working on a paper this weekend, I alternated reading with watching instant queue stuff. I never watched The Hills before, but after reading Conrad’s books, I was curious as to how parallel the “fiction book” is to the actual “reality show.” So, I queued up Season 1 and made it through 7/10 episodes over the weekend. I foresee more mini-marathons of tv Hubs refuses to watch in the future! We also started watching The Tudors when he took breaks from his paper. Tudor England is an interest of mine so I’m inclined to enjoy the show. It’s a little slow and there’s lots of boobs, but otherwise it’s enjoyable.

I made another round of banana bread muffins to enjoy with breakfast this week. I love the muffins and it’s really creating an incentive for me to not eat the bananas I buy at the beginning of the week. I mean, if I don’t eat them then I can make delicious baked treats with them. Who needs that additional serving of fruit each day during the week?! 😉

Today is a short work day for me — just another 2 hours and then I’m out of here. I’ll be off to let the eye doctor poke and prod my peepers. Inevitably he’ll tell me that my eyes have gotten worse. Then I’ll fork over some cash to order another year’s worth of contacts. Oh well. Hopefully my eyes will un-dilate with enough time for me to work out before running to the library and collecting hubs from class. My knees felt super off after my run last night, so I think I’ll be using the elliptical this evening.

Happy Monday Bloggies! Did you have a restful weekend? What’s the best thing you’ve watched recently?

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Birthday Week Madness

Well hello again! My first blog entry as a 25 year old. 🙂 Wednesday was a wonderful day; who isn’t in a good mood on their birthday, really?

My food choices this week started out great, but went down hill after my birthday. Bad, bad me! Let’s take a look at the goals I set for myself last week and see how I did.

1. Re-evaluate my portions: could do better. I tried to use smaller plates and think about what I was eating. Again, the beginning of the week was much better than the end. Getting back on the saddle for this week – I even measured out my food for work tomorrow.

2. Track my eats: I’m so good at this when I’m eating well. When I’m not, well I tend to hide from Sparkpeople. Hopefully this week will be full of better eats and better tracking!

3. Work it out: I completed 2/3 work outs. I had plenty off opportunities to get in that other work out but I let them slip. No excuses here – it was a bad showing.

4. Just say no: I did not ingest a SINGLE communal food treat this week at work!

5. Drink in moderation: My birthday aside, I did so-so on this. Friday night featured a 23oz Miller Lite and a small strawberry frozen marg. Saturday night was a shared pitcher of sangria. If you could remove my birthday from this picture, I would feel a lot better about my drinks last week.

If I were giving myself a grade for last week, it would be a C-. I definitely can (and need) to do better!

So, it’s a new week! I did some smart grocery shopping today and have some lunches stewing away in the crock pot. Like I mentioned above, I measured out breakfast and the part of lunch that isn’t still cooking. I even logged a work out today. It was my “first run” since the quarter marathon.

I’m trying to ease back into running. After several weeks off, I don’t want an injury or any sort. So, I spread it out into circuits: 5 minutes walking, 5 minutes running. I ended up covering  3.63 miles in 45 minutes and burning 370 calories.

Okay, so a good start to the week there. I already have planned out (ie: on my calendar) workouts for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (hooray day off)! At the end of this week, I’ll take a good look at my progress and see where I can do better again. (Hopefully the results are much more positive!)

I had dinner last night with Kelly (my partner from the quarter marathon). I adore her for many reasons — one of the reasons is her love of books and bookstores. She and I wandered around Barnes and Noble for almost two hours last night. I came home with four new books (Age of Innocence, Middlemarch, Wives and Daughters, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest) and a desire to better “educate” myself. I read a lot but I still feel like I could vary what I read more. So, I’m making an effort to read more classics and non-fiction. Sister needs to expand her horizons a little more.

Anyone have any books recommendations?? What was your favorite book you read in school?

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“Walk” of shame

I’ve been not so good lately. Half-trying doesn’t cut it when your goal is a healthy lifestyle and a healthier body. You can’t be half-healthy. After the wedding, I fell back into the mindset of “treating” myself. In my mind, I could order whatever I wanted at restaurants because (a) eating out is a special treat and (b) whatever I choose would be worlds better than what I would have picked out a year or two ago. (Loaded Nachos from Champp’s — I’m looking at you.)

Also, I fell hard off the exercise wagon. The lack of gym and portion control has led to me gaining back about seven pounds in the past two months. I’m pretty ashamed of that.  I’m SO CLOSE to 150 and that’s a number I swore I would never see again.

I clearly know how to be healthy and successfully lose weight. I just need to get back to basics. Excuses, treats, general shenanigans — no more. I still have to get through my birthday this week. I’m going out with friends and co-workers to happy hour on Wednesday; that is my last splurge. And, I will be doing everything in my power to “make up” for that. So, what’s my plan?

  • Re-evaluate my portions. (Use smaller plates, remember guidelines on serving sizes.)
  • Track my eats. (Sparkpeople, we’ll be spending some time together…)
  • Work it out. (At least three cardio sessions a week, for now. I’d love to say five, but I’m kinda starting over here and if I’m over-ambitious, I’ll just give up. Soon, I’ll work weight training back in.)
  • Just say no. (My office is filled, constantly, with treats. This is not that last chance I’ll ever have for a slice of cake, bagel, cookie, etc.)
  • Drink in moderation. (Aside from my birthday, week night drinks will be limited to 2 a week. Cutting alcohol really helps me cut my weight.)
  • Eyes on the prize. (I’m going to the beach late August or early September. I don’t want to be embarrassed about my body – I’ve been down that road before.)

I’m setting all this in motion today. Pre-cooking some week night eats (no more “let’s just eat out” excuses). Today I’m making Creamy Onion Chicken (adapted from a “Brand Name Chicken” cookbook Husband owns) and a TON of peanut butter carrot fries. Tomorrow, I’ll be trying out a Creamy Italian Chicken Slow Cooker recipe from Real Mom in the Kitchen. Instead of rice or noodles, Hubs and I are going to try it out over quinoa.

What’s your favorite, healthy go-to meal? And, how do you get back on track?

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