My ‘Run to Healthy’ Challenge

Happy New Year! I said in my last post that I would create a new plan for myself to continue on my journey towards a healthier me. So I’ve decided to create and start a new challenge for myself. One thing I know about myself is that I need to keep things interesting because I get bored very easily. So I’ve decided to modify my “health challenge” to a ” run to healthy challenge”. I’m going to follow a running plan to get back into running. While doing so, I will work on a sustainable eating plan.

I did some online research and settled on this running plan from Active.com:

Weeks 1 & 2 – 3 days per week (30 minutes total)

  • 5 minute warm-up walk
  • 20 minutes alternating jogging/walking
  • Jogging for a minimum of 30 seconds
  • 5 minute cool down

Weeks 3 & 4 – 4 days per week (36 minutes total)

  • 5 minute warm-up walk
  • 26 minutes alternating jogging/walking
  • Jogging for a minimum of 45 seconds
  • 5 minute cool down

Weeks 5 & 6 – 4 to 5 days per week (40 minutes total)

  • 5 minute warm-up walk
  • 30 minutes alternating jogging/walking
  • Jogging for a minimum of 60 seconds
  • 5 minute cool down

Weeks 7 & 8 – 4 to 5 days per week (46 minutes total)

  • 5 minute warm-up walk
  • 36 minutes alternating jogging/walking
  • Jogging for a minimum of 90 seconds
  • 5 minute cool down

Weeks 9 & 10 – 5 days per week (50 minutes total)

  • 5 minutes warm-up walk
  • 40 minutes alternating jogging/walking
  • Jogging for a minimum of 2 minutes
  • 5 minute cool down

I think this plan will be the easiest for me to follow and help me build back up my endurance. It’s nothing crazy or drastic, and progresses at a steady rate.

I’m starting a new job next week and my plan of attack is to go to the gym immediately after work.

In terms of a nutrition plan, I will focus on eating mostly vegetables and protein and healthy fats, with carbs in moderation. Just trying to be a normal person here…

I’ve also signed up for kickboxing classes because I used to love kickboxing and I do miss it. There was a crazy cheap deal on Groupon for 10 classes and I just couldn’t pass it up. One of my resolutions for this year is to not be such a scaredy cat and to just go out and do things!

I’m determined to not live like a hermit anymore in my comfort bubble.

Wish me luck!

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Emerging From My Comfort Zone

Hi all! Apologies for my absence. I regret to say that I had fallen back into old habits. I retreated back into hiding in my comfort zone and became bored, uninspired, and unmotivated. I basically stopped caring and became static. I was just going day to day waiting for the weekend just so I could sleep in. This is what happens when I get too comfortable…

Well anyways I’m done with that and I’m back. Time to be productive again and take charge instead of wallowing. I think my next project will be to make a vision board for 2018. Time to get back to my goals!

Here’s a list of a few, just for fun…

  • To continue to lose weight and gain muscle
  • To build confidence
  • To improve on my social skills
  • To improve on my public speaking
  • To make working out daily a habit again

Not exactly small goals but, hey, let’s go big! I’m not getting any younger… and my birthday is coming up!

I hope my journey will inspire and motivate others again, while keeping myself on track. If I can do it, ANYBODY can.

There will be lots of changes coming in the new year, hopefully for the better. I’m excited again, and it feels really good. I’ll go into more specifics later.

I’m determined to make things happen and return to keeping myself accountable with this blog. I want to be a real success story.

One day folks… I promise you (and myself)!

Due to public transportation issues these past few weeks, I’ve been commuting to work with my husband. My husband drops me off at work, and he goes to work, and then has to pick me up after work – all during DC traffic. Very annoying. And we’ve had lots of Chipotle dinners because of getting home late and being too hungry to take the time to cook.

I can’t wait to be cooking again. So my plans for this weekend are to go grocery shopping and go to the gym. And to finish this blog post! And to fold my huge pile of clean laundry…

I’ve noticed one of the reasons why I’ve had difficulty blogging is because I try not to get too personal. But when I don’t get personal, it’s harder to make my writing interesting. So I’m trying.

To keep myself on a schedule, my next blog post will be a new detailed plan for my health challenge. Stay tuned!

Introducing a new member of our family – Snickers! She was a stray we decided to take in.

Week 8: Sometimes Being Healthy Just Sucks

This week, I was having one of those days where I just hated life. It was hard to get out of bed and I just wanted to hide away from the world. My limbs felt heavy and I just wanted to stuff my face with fries, pizza, and ice cream.

These days, I realize, are the true test of my character and whether I care enough about myself to make the right decision. This is when it is the most important to stay positive and stay rational. I knew being healthy was never going to be easy. It may get easier at times, but getting through it when you are feeling down in the dumps is true triumph.

It's easier to stick to your goals with a positive attitude and when you're feeling happy but when you're having a bad day, Life just says, HA! Good luck! But if you get through it anyways entirely intact, then you have won and you are that much stronger. Or at least that's what I'd like to think.

I had to buy lunch the other day at work and the special they were serving in the cafeteria was turkey leg with waffle fries. These were fair/carnival size turkey legs with a big heaping serving of waffle fries. I saw this, and I immediately thought "Being healthy sucks!".

I let myself curse healthy food and died a little inside as I asked for the chicken, asparagus and green beans instead. Can I get a standing ovation, please?

I believe strongly that a healthy lifestyle is the seed that allows your life to flourish, but the act of being and staying healthy is a whole other thing. I'm NOT a health fanatic that loves everything healthy. I will make myself work out but some days I will still hate every minute of it… until it's over and then I'm happy that I pushed myself to do it.

I'm not saying all this to discourage those that want to take a healthier path, but I want you to know that I feel your pain! This is hard! But it's not always going to be hard. Anything worth having is never easy, is it? And sometimes, it just plain sucks. Everybody is enjoying a burger, while you're eating your salad. Your salad can be delicious, but it doesn't taste like a burger. I get it.

I made it through this week with no major casualties. I stuck to my healthy eating and worked out 4 out of the 5 days. And as a result, I am 2 lbs lighter and 1 inch smaller.

So yes this felt like a crappy week, but let's look at the bigger picture. The total weight I have lost is 12.6 lbs, and I am also down 2 inches from my hips, and 5 inches from my waist.

Here are my 5 things for this week:

1. Documenting my progress has really helped me see the bigger picture. It's satisfying to see a downward trend and that all my hard work really is paying off. Especially when I'm feeling like crap.File Jul 29, 1 05 37 PM

2. I always thought my emotional intelligence was always very low, and I know emotion plays a huge role in my difficulties in accomplishing things. If I can get my emotions under control, achieving my goals becomes something that is much more attainable. I'll try to think of it as a muscle that just needs practice and training.
3. I bought a cute little black dress from Banana Republic for a mad deal a while ago and got it in a smaller size since I've been losing weight. I tried it on this week and it fit! It was a major confidence booster!
4. It is actually just easier to bring lunch now so I bring leftovers I can eat and that usually tastes pretty good. I also won't be tempted by the junk food in the cafeteria at work. Also, now that I do have a bit more energy, I can make healthier compliant dinners with leftovers to spare.
5. It is ridiculous how expensive salads are compared to sandwiches if you're eating out. Anywhere where I can get a decent salad, it's like $10 or more! Where as sandwiches average around $6, 7$. Like I said, being healthy just sucks sometimes, and expensive.

It's been a bumpy ride so far, but I am managing. Thanks for reading my vent session, but I hope you can get something out of it like I did.

On another note, happy 3 year anniversary to my amazing husband! I love you!

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Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

Week 5 Health Challenge Update and Happy Post-Friday!

We made it through this 4-day week! Is it just me or whenever it’s a holiday weekend and we get a shorter week, it almost seems just as long or even longer than a regular five day week?

Confession time… So I had a couple of cheat meals this week… I went out to dinner with friends Saturday night and had salad, but allowed myself to have buffalo wings and indulge in a brownie sundae. Then we celebrated my father-in-law’s birthday Monday evening with a cook-out, in which I may have had a cheeseburger… I also made a cake for him, and of course had a piece (or two…). No judgment please.

Don’t worry, I went back to low carbing the next day.

I felt extremely fatigued this week so I didn’t go to the gym as much as I usually do.

So I was not surprised to see that I didn’t lose anything this week.

But you know what, that’s okay! I am not perfect, and I’m not going to beat up myself over it. I’ll pick up the pieces and keep going. The good news is that I didn’t really gain either (unless you count 0.2 lbs a gain… but if you do, keep it to yourself) so at least I was able to maintain my weight. I’ll use this tiny little setback as motivation for next week!

To help offset some of the extra calories, my hubby and I went hiking on July 4th at Great Falls. It was really hot, but we had a good time and the view of the Potomac River was beautiful. Also, considering that I can get pretty moody when I get uncomfortable, I was extremely… okay. For once, my hubby was the one who wanted to end the hike, when normally I would be the first one ready to call it a day. Instead, I felt like I could have kept going! But I sure slept well that night. I didn’t realize it then, but when I got home, being out in the heat and sun really took a lot out of me.

So in staying with the spirit of remaining optimistic and always learning, here are my five things for this week:

  1. Self-discipline and willpower is a must. When I am able to follow a low-carb diet to the extreme, I have very little cravings, and it’s easy to stay away from blood-sugar-spiking goodies. However, I know if I want to make this a long-term thing and keep it sustainable, I have to work out my willpower muscles. If I don’t exercise them, I can easily have a piece of cake and just fall off the wagon completely. I need to know how to go back to healthy from unhealthy easily and with little hiccup. I also need to make things easier for myself, so I make less decisions, and therefore have more energy for exercising my willpower when I really need it. I used to think it was all or nothing. Now I know better.
  2. I need to motivate myself daily. Staying focused and reviewing my goals daily is a good way to stay on top of things. Have you ever told yourself that you’re going on a diet, but then kind of forget about it and ended up eating junk food anyways? If it’s not constantly on my mind, I get careless. Journal, blog, make lists… I’m going to do whatever I have to do!
  3. Being content and fulfilled in one part of your life does wonders for the other parts. I don’t want to jinx myself, but for the past few weeks, I’ve generally been in a better mood, and dare I say… happy? It just goes to show that happiness really does come from within. I’m focusing on doing something better for myself and it has really helped my state of mind and well-being. Even when I have a bad day, I seem to be handling it better.
  4. I envision having tiny superheros in my body whenever I eat healthy. They are powerful little beings improving me from the inside. I envision my fat cells getting destroyed by these itty bitty Kimmy-version Avengers and X-Men. Smash! It’s silly, but makes me feel good! Hey, whatever works, right?
  5. I’m figuring out my happy medium. I basically had 2 cheat meals this past week which still allowed me to maintain my weight. And this was with minimal exercise. I’ll continue to monitor this as I lose more weight to determine how much I can still indulge without going overboard.

This week got a little busy, so I got delayed in publishing my post. I will continue to aim for publishing my check-in update posts on Fridays unless other circumstances dictate otherwise.

Do you have any great tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle? I’d love to hear about it! 


 

Health Challenge Weekend Update…

Forgive me… This is my first confession…

I learned something over the weekend.

So before I confess, I want to refer back to my rules that I came up with for my health challenge from a previous post of mine, “My last dessert… Weight Loss Challenge to ensue.”

Health Challenge Rules (or shall we say guidelines?) 

Start date: Monday, July 5, 2017

 

  • Focus on a low glycemic index meal plan. Low sugar, low carbohydrates, and no alcohol. (Will disclose, though, that I am going on vacation to Bangkok and Hong Kong in 3 months, and I do plan to allow myself to drink then, but then cutting it out again when I get home.)

  • Strength training 3x/week

  • Cardio at least 2x/week

  • If I cannot fit in a work out, I have to at least go for a 30 minute walk.

  • If I fall short, I will confess and document it here!

  • Progress or hiccups, I will post weekly. I aim to do 1 post a week.

  • I will allow myself room to make necessary changes to achieve sustainable weight loss. In other words, this isn’t set in stone, and I won’t beat myself up over mistakes.

  • Having said that, I CAN do this and I WILL do it. My goal is to achieve a healthy lifestyle with this challenge, but also to prove to myself I can do anything I want if I just commit to it.

I had started on last Monday. I did very well for the first 5 days. I ate well, avoided alcohol (though I normally don’t drink on weekdays), and was active. On my weekly check-in, I found that I was down 4 lbs. I was feeling great. It was a strong start.

And then there was yesterday. My husband and I went to a couple of festivals with a bunch of friends up in Baltimore. We went to a Greek festival, and I had grilled octopus, Greek green beans, and Greek salad. I had even packed a contigo with unsweetened iced tea and had a bag of nuts just in case I was hungry and there were no acceptable food options.

I said no to the fried smelt, gyros, and many phyllo wrapped dishes and desserts. I also said no to the french fries. I mean, wow, that’s willpower right there.

Then we decided to switch things up and head over to the Hon Fest in Hampden. Funnel cakes, crab cake sandwiches, beer, and frozen cocktails galore! I stood my ground, though. Everything looked delicious and tempting, but it was more like ‘I’ve had that before and I know it’s delicious’, not like ‘I need it right now like crack’.

At this point, however, I was getting tired from being out under the sun, and was ready to relax. We were meeting another friend for dinner, and what did we decide on? A wine bar of course. I could say no to everything else, but watching everybody drink and indulge just made me see what I was missing out on. Ah, the pressures of social society.

Now that we were ready to hang out in an air conditioned bar (and a wine bar, nonetheless!), I had to make a decision.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not an alcoholic, but I do enjoy wine, especially in the right setting. And enjoying some with friends is just the best type of life cocktail. I mulled it over and talked it out with my best friends. I mean, how often do I get to see them altogether like this? And how could I say no to a nice, ice cold glass of crisp rosé wine on a hot, sunny day? I know my weaknesses and I own it.

I made a compromise with myself. Considering that summer is just around the corner, I’ve decided to allow myself 1 cheat day a week (if needed) to have wine. I am only allowing myself wine, but I will still be on a low carb dietary regimen when it comes to food. I also know that I won’t always need this cheat day; it’s really just a safety buffer…

So looking back on my health challenge rules, I realized that I had covered myself with this clause:

  • I will allow myself room to make necessary changes to achieve sustainable weight loss. In other words, this isn’t set in stone, and I won’t beat myself up over mistakes.

So I’ve admitted my violation and have confessed. And I am making the necessary changes. Ha. Despite this ‘violation’, I ate pretty healthy throughout the day.

And after the drinks Saturday night, I realize that I overdid it a little, and though I still love wine, my body just can’t handle it like it used to. So even though I am allowing myself a buffer zone, I realize that I won’t need this cheat day every week.

Tomorrow starts a new week. I will keep you posted!

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Since I’ve turned 30…

Turning 30 was a huge personal milestone for me. To me, it signifies true adulthood. No more crazy shenanigans and no more excuses. Time to be mature and responsible without bitching about it.

When I was in my 20s, I was in that between stage of child and adult. I guess I was a grown up child. I could still be a little reckless, take risks, be immature and still get away with it. There was also a lot about myself I still didn’t know… Now that I’m 30… it just seems like such a grown up number!

Since turning 30, I’ve noticed many things that seem to suggest I am indeed, dare I say, turning into an adult. So for fun, here is a list of 30 things I’ve noticed and learned about myself since I’ve hit the big 3 0 in no particular order.

  1. I love it when plans are cancelled. I can stay home and do nothing! Don’t get me wrong… I love spending time with my friends, but as a bonafide introvert, socializing is an exhausting experience, especially if I am also meeting new people.
  2. I shop more now for comfort than fashion. I still like to wear cute things, but they definitely have to be comfortable.
  3. Heels are out. Flats are SO in. Wedges are acceptable heel alternatives.
  4. Plans after 10 pm are unacceptable. I’m not 21 anymore! I need to go to bed at a reasonable hour. If that makes me lame, so be it. I’ll be lame and sleep peacefully.
  5. I actually enjoy shopping for furniture and appliances now. I LOVE Ikea.
  6. I also enjoy ‘shopping’ for houses. I periodically check the Zillow app on my phone, even though we’re not getting a house just yet.
  7. Saving money has become a game to see how much I can save in a certain amount of time.
  8. I enjoy grocery shopping. I love Trader Joe’s. It’s like my toy store. Yay to frozen cauliflower rice!
  9. It is unacceptable to have guests over without at least having attempted to tidy up and make the place somewhat presentable. Where as before, I didn’t give a shit. And the bathroom has to be cleaned! This includes the kitty litter…
  10. I am too old now for stupid shit. Not wasting my time.
  11. My kindle consists of mostly self-help books to help me become a ‘better’ person. Basically, if I haven’t figured my shit out, I better figure it out soon.
  12. I am starting to worry about my ‘eggs’. I’m still not ‘mentally’ ready for kids, but I know I better hop on that train soon.. I mean, who will take care of me when I’m old?!
  13. Good bye beer and cocktails, hello wine. Also, sweet wine is evil. I love sauvignon blancs and pretty much any dry white.
  14. This is so cliché but I can’t drink like I used to. Ha.
  15. I already think about retirement… When I don’t have to work anymore. That’s the dream.
  16. I’ve been on this earth for 30 years. A majority of those years were filled with anxiety, uncertainty, fear, inadequacy and depression. Will it ever end?
  17. All clothes from Forever 21, Express, and Guess now look slutty to me. Everything just seems too tight, too fitted, too short, or showing off too much skin.
  18. Gap and Banana Republic used to look like old people clothes to me. Now I love shopping at these stores!
  19. I am too old for sleepovers with friends. This seems like an obvious one, but having friends that live an hour away, this is a situation that does come up. I want to sleep in my own bed. But if I am sleeping over, I better have a bed!
  20. I am also too old to wear t-shirts with graphics and logos on them. Unless I’m participating in a fundraiser or running a 5K. Or sleeping.
  21. I always check the weather before I leave the house. I adjust my outfit accordingly if needed.
  22. I admit that I hate going to music festivals now. I can no longer stand or tolerate the crowds, heat, and stinky, festering porta potties.
  23. I also don’t enjoy clubbing anymore. Overly-sweet cheap cocktails and disgusting restrooms, along with creepy guys dancing up on me … Um, no thanks. Point me to the nearest wine bar please.
  24. College kids these days now seem to look like middle schoolers. Like, how many grades did they skip?! Are they all geniuses or something?
  25. Why do all the ‘trendy’ clothes have studs and/or holes?! It almost looks cute until I turn it over…
  26. Thongs are only for special occasions. I consider panties just as sexy as thongs, and also more comfortable. And I don’t mean granny panties…
  27. If you don’t know me and you start off the conversation by asking “So what do you do?”, I know myself well enough to assume that we will most likely never be friends. People who tend to start off conversations this way don’t seem to mesh well with me…
  28. On the contrary, if things get really weird and awkward but you just laugh at yourself… Then we will probably become best friends! =P
  29. I am more of a white wine person than red wine. But if it is some type of wine, I will probably drink it.
  30. I used to think there was something wrong with being so overly sensitive. Now I’m starting to believe it’s not such a bad thing. It allows me to have great empathy and compassion.

 

So there’s my list. Obviously, this list wasn’t just about turning 30, but things I’ve noticed about myself personally over the years and some random (and hopefully funny) observations.

I joke about getting ‘old’ and not wanting to do this or that, but I am truly grateful for the life I have and what I have been able to achieve.

Do you relate to anything on my list? I’d love to hear about it!

Thirty was so strange for me. I’ve really had to come to terms with the fact that I am now a walking and talking adult. – C.S. Lewis