JENJESS48   53,380
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JENJESS48's Recent Blog Entries

My Bucket List

Sunday, February 13, 2011

One of my 2011 goals is to cross something off my bucket list. So I thought I'd share it. emoticon I wrote it out last October while stuck in a boring meeting but didn't type it up until now. Here we go:

Visit every country in Latin America

* Dominican Republic (January 2011)
* Guatemala
* El Salvador
* Venezuela
* Brazil
* Paraguay
* Uruguay
* Argentina
* Chile

Macchu Picchu/Lake Titicaca
Visit all 7 continents:

* Africa (safari)
* Europe (mainland)
* Australia
* Asia
* Antarctica

Mediterranean cruise
visit Dan in London
Alaska Cruise
Grand Canyon

Life in General:
Go camping
Have kids
Be a stay-at-home mom
Be married to Pat for 60 years
Finish remodeling
Build/remodel a retirement/vacation home on a lot of land
Get Kindle list to one page
Teach a college class
Work at my current job for 10 years
Grow a successful garden

Health and Fitness:
Finish the C25K program
Run a 5K
Get to 145 pounds and maintain that weight
Live a healthy, active lifestyle

Get qualified as a master knitter
Use up my yarn stash
Learn to sew well
Learn to machine quilt

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIMENADE2011 2/14/2011 8:42AM

    Love it!! What a great list! Take lots of pics along the way!

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SAMMYSWEETPEA 2/14/2011 1:13AM

    Awesome list! I especially love all the travel you're planning to do.

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KT-NICHOLS-13 2/13/2011 10:23PM

    Great list!

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DITZYCHICK 2/13/2011 8:00PM

    Wow girl...looks like you're going to be busy, busy, busy! LOVE IT, and wish you safe travels!

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KITHKINCAID 2/13/2011 1:21PM

    Haha - my travel list looks like yours. Looks like we're both going to be spending some serious dough on vacation time in the next few years!

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Commitment Versus Motivation

Monday, February 07, 2011

Yesterday I read a blog here on SP about commitment versus motivation that really got me thinking. The nugget that I took with me, and have been pondering for two days, is that commitment is more durable than motivation; commitment is motivation's bedrock.

To me that means that motivation ebbs and flows but commitment is here to stay. Some days I just don't wanna. We've all been there. The couch is way cozier than the gym. Why should I eat a grilled chicken sandwich with a side salad when everybody else is digging into a burger and fries? You know the moments when emoticon beats poor little emoticon into submission.

That's motivation on the fritz. Commitment says the couch will be even cozier after a run. You love chicken and salad, so don't even try to pretend you don't. And you know why you're going to get up and exercise and then stick to your meal plan? Because you promised to take better care of yourself. Your goals are worth the effort. And YOU'RE worth the effort.

My new mantra is "Are you committed or not?" Yesterday it got my butt off the couch and out for a walk. I changed into my workout clothes and dashed outside to help DH for a minute. I had planned to do an exercise video, but upon discovering that it was sunny and almost 50 degrees outside I decided to walk. I wanted to go home after 7 minutes. But I asked myself if I was committed or not, and decided to do at least 30 minutes. I went home after 45 minutes instead.

I planned to have one beer and one cupcake at last night's Super Bowl party. Other than that, strictly healthy. Luckily for me, the party's host is a super healthy eater and I knew that would be pretty easy. But jeez, a second beer and another cupcake were sooo tempting. But I remembered that I weigh in on Mondays and asked myself whether I was committed to making that number go down or not. I decided that I was and stuck to the plan. The result of this stubbornness was a 3 pound loss today. emoticon

Obviously I can't credit the entire loss to sticking to my guns yesterday. Getting over strep throat and serious effort all week did the lion's share. But refusing to binge or be lazy yesterday let me keep the gains of my effort. And that's absolutely worth it.

And it's what commitment is all about: sticking to it even when you don't want to or it would be easier to cop out. And, paradoxically, the progress I make this way leads to motivation. Kinda cool, huh? emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BONJI40 2/8/2011 4:56PM

    This blog is AWESOME!!!! You are so wise. I really like what you wrote here, and will keep that in mind! It totally makes sense to me. Thanks so much for sharing!!

Commitment Commitment Commitment! Yes!


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LOTUSFLOWER 2/8/2011 11:35AM


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LIMENADE2011 2/7/2011 10:43PM

    Congrats on the 3 lbs!!! that rocks! And I love that question - are you committed or not...I`ll be thinking of your commitment, strength and success because of it the next time my motivation is on the fritz! emoticon

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KATHIERAE 2/7/2011 10:11PM

    emoticon and emoticon emoticon Thanks for making this very important distinction so clear!! I blame my "lack of motivation" often, but what it is, is my lack of committment!! I am so DONE!

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MADDIE_82 2/7/2011 9:03PM

    Great post! Congrats on the 3 pound loss...but, more importantly, congrats on reminding yourself that you are worth the effort it takes to live a healthy lifestyle and pushing forward! emoticon

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DITZYCHICK 2/7/2011 7:38PM

    I'm so proud of you for your weekend did really good, especially with temptations right in front of you! I really love your blog and it was so what I needed to read today. You're so right about motivation having it's ups and downs. It's obvious that your mindset is in a really good place right now and that you are committed...and you have another 3 pounds gone to show for it!!!
THANK YOU for being such a great friend always...just had to nominate you as motivator because you're always there for me and you always have such a positive attitude as this blog reflects.

Comment edited on: 2/7/2011 7:41:15 PM

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JESSIEJUICE 2/7/2011 7:00PM

    Congrats on your loss!! I definitely need to adapt your mantra :).

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February Goals

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Yesterday's blog focused on my January goals and how I did towards them. So now, on February 1st, it's time to think about what I want to accomplish this month.

emoticon Drop to 177 pounds, a 5 pound loss.

emoticon Do 1,000 fitness minutes.

emoticon Continue bootcamp strength training program.

emoticon Blog once a week.

emoticon Huddle with the Determination and Accountability Team every day.

emoticon Participate in the monthly Determination and Accountability fitness and weigh-in challenge.

emoticon Make significant progress on an UFO.

emoticon Knit my grandpa's hat.

emoticon Find a pattern and yarn for a wedding afghan.

emoticon Read one book.

emoticon Wear a special garment for DH once.

emoticon Do a monthly goal check-in blog.

emoticon Type up my bucket list.

emoticon Burn CDs of wedding photos.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KITHKINCAID 2/1/2011 3:32PM

    DO IT!!!

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JAMGIRL8 2/1/2011 12:52PM

    Those are fantastic goals! I like that you have something other than weight loss goals in there, keeps life interesting!

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LIMENADE2011 2/1/2011 12:41PM

    Love it!!! What a great start to February! So many awesome things to come!

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LOTUSFLOWER 2/1/2011 11:40AM

    I love all of your goals!!!! You can definitely DO THIS!

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January Goal Check-In

Monday, January 31, 2011

Late last month I made a list of goals for the year and January. Time for a progress report!

emoticon Find or build a strength training workout I can do at home.
Bootcamp! I liked it so much that I'm continuing it and plan to make it my regular strength-training routine, at least for the time being.

emoticon Do two cardio and one ST workout while in the Dominican Republic.
I actually did better than this; I walked 3 of the 4 days and kept up with my bootcamp videos.

emoticon Don't gain weight while in the Dominican Republic.
The pina colada and strep throat one-two punch proved too much for me, and I gained 2.5 pounds. emoticon

emoticon Drop to 179 pounds.
Yes, I got there. Then I gained those aforementioned pounds. But I'll get there again soon enough!

emoticon Do 1,000 fitness minutes a month.
1,193, to be exact. emoticon

emoticon Do 3 strength training sessions a week.
More like 6, courtesy of bootcamp. emoticon

emoticon Blog once a week on SP.

emoticon Huddle with the Determination & Accountability Team every day.
I even won most inspirational huddle of the day on 1/27. emoticon

emoticon Participate in Determination & Accountability monthly weigh-in and fitness minutes challenge.

emoticon Make significant progress on one large project or finish a small project in the UFO cabinet.
Finished a knitted toy robot for my best friend's baby-to-be.

emoticon Cast on one Christmas present.
Finished a cap for DH's grandpa.

emoticon Read one book.
"Dave Barry Slept Here" by, well, Dave Barry.

emoticon Wear one "special garment" for my husband a month.

emoticon Do a monthly goal check-in blog.
Here it is!!!

I'm certain that I lost inches this month, but won't measure until tomorrow.

I also made progress against the following goals for this year:

emoticon Lose 40 pounds by December 31, 2011.
3 down, 37 to go.

emoticon Shrink to the point that my hats and gloves aren't the only size S/M in my wardrobe.
Retired several XLs and the first large. emoticon

emoticon Get 6 Perfect Attendance awards on SP.
I'll be getting one this month!

emoticon Complete one challenge on SP.
28 Day Bootcamp

emoticon Beat all my Ravin' Rabbids games.
I finished two games and am almost done with a third. Two more left!

My weight loss wasn't stellar this month. But, at 3.5 pounds, it was still pretty good. And considering why I gained weight - the business trip from hell and strep throat - I accept it. Especially when I look at everything else I did this month. In all honesty, I kicked some pretty major booty. So I'm giving myself an A for the month.

The takeaways from this month are that strength training is awesome and I need to up the intensity of my cardio. The former is a revelation; I already knew the latter. But the weight gain in the DR really brought that home. In typical Jen fashion, I didn't wait until the next month to start; I really pushed myself on the stair climber today.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ADYLEIGH 2/1/2011 10:18AM

    Great Job! Just out of curiosity, what exactly is a UFO cabinet? and/or project in that cabinet? emoticon

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KITHKINCAID 1/31/2011 11:03PM

    emoticon That sounds like a pretty great month to me!

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LALMEIDA 1/31/2011 7:32PM


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MADDIE_82 1/31/2011 7:24PM

    Congratulations on all your accomplishments! You set A LOT of goals for yourself, but most importantly, you met the vast majority of those goals!!! I like the idea of setting monthly goals...I might just copy that in the future :)

Seriously, you should be really proud of yourself!!!! emoticon

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JUST_BREATHE08 1/31/2011 7:23PM

    emoticonYou are doing a emoticonJob!! emoticon

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Radically Changing My Schedule

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I have been asked to co-teach one of my company's training courses and I am absolutely thrilled and honored. But it throws a kink into my Sparking and healthy lifestyle. For ten weeks I will have to live without four things I've come to depend on: my flex schedule, the free gym in my office building, easy access to a good cafeteria with tons of healthy choices, and Internet access.

Luckily for me, my reaction to such things is to plan. emoticon And I'll have to if I want to get through the course without backsliding or gaining weight. Writing things down helps me think things out, so here goes nothing.

The keys to making this teaching gig work are planning ahead and streamlining my morning. I have to be at a different location an hour earlier than my usual day and I'll be taking commuter rail instead of driving. This removes almost all the flexibility from my mornings and I will have to be very focused on getting up, getting ready, and getting out. That can only happen if I do most of the prep work in the evenings. The good news is that I will be home 2-3 hours earlier than usual, so I'll have more time at home in the evenings than I'm used to.

As soon as I get home I'll do cardio followed by strength training. I tend to not get in as intense workouts when I'm home, so this will require setting my bike up in the living room. DH won't be thrilled with that, but it's the best way I know how to get this done. I'll mix it up with walking/running or biking outside, videos, and Wii Fit. Paying attention to intensity and making sure I'm working hard enough will be the biggest fitness challenge of these 10 weeks.

After I'm done working out I'll do my SparkPeople for the day. This is the biggest disadvantage to not having Internet access. Everyone knows that e-mail is a very bad way to get in touch with me, so most of my online time at work is spent on SparkPeople. This will have to shift to the evenings. Which means I'll have to keep a food log during the rest of the day. This shouldn't be hard; I keep a little notebook in my purse, so I'll just jot things down in there. I have been pretty disciplined about this while on business trips, so there's no reason I can't do it while teaching.

Laying out my clothes the night before will help me streamline my morning so that I have time to sit and eat my breakfast and drink my coffee at home. Picking out my clothes and jewelry for the day is where I tend to waste the most time in the morning, so removing that bump will do a lot to smooth it out. DC's metro system doesn't allow food or drink on the trains, so it's either breakfast at home or in the classroom. And I don't think the lead instructor would appreciate the latter.

Next I'll wander into the kitchen, where most of the night-before prep will happen. I'll set up my coffee so that all I have to do is push the "on" button in the morning. Then I'll pack lunch and snacks for the next day in my snazzy pink lunch bag. I'll set out a muffin or bagel to thaw, if need be. Then I'll finish up dinner prep for that night.

Finally I'll pack my backpack for the next day: class materials; book, magazine, and knitting project for the 2.5 hour total train ride; purse; Metro card; room for my food.

The rest of the evening is mine to relax in. Shower, have dinner with DH, watch some TV, then off to bed at 9:30.

Wow, this is going to take some getting used to. But I can totally do this. My new evening routine seems a little overwhelming, but I keep reminding myself that I will be home MUCH earlier than usual and that riding the train will be more pleasant than driving, so I'll arrive home in better spirits. And the alternative - poor nutrition, nasty food, sluggish because of lack of exercise, weight gain, having to start my healthy life all over again - is just too ghastly to contemplate. Nope, ain't gonna happen. Stick to this plan it is!

And yeah, I know that a lot of you already do this every day. But I'm a suburban, childless, workaholic lady Monday through Thursday and then have my weekends to hang out with DH and do stuff around the house. My normal schedule is to leave the house around 8 a.m., work for 10+ hours, and get home around 8:30 or 9. But I have a gym right down the hall from my office and 3 hours on the clock each week to use it. And the cafeteria rocks. Yes, yes I'm very spoiled, lol. But it makes my crazy long days work and keeps me healthy. Plus, they put that stuff there for employees to use and I'd be a fool to not take advantage of it. It just makes switching to a "normal" schedule challenging for me. Thus the blog and the thought process. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOTUSFLOWER 1/30/2011 7:50PM

    I am very impressed, you are a planner! You will definitely reach your goals with your planning and your motivation.

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HONEYMUFFIN1923 1/30/2011 7:47PM

    You can do it.

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JENJESS48 1/30/2011 7:18PM

    That's a great idea, but I don't have a smart phone. I know, I know, I'm the last person on the planet. Call me a Luddite, I'll admit to it! emoticon

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SAMMYSWEETPEA 1/30/2011 7:14PM

    You've addressed all the aspects of things that will be changing, so I think you've got a great plan.

+1 to Kithkincaid's idea of using Spark Mobile on the train.

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KITHKINCAID 1/30/2011 7:00PM

    I think this all sounds great. Have you considered using the Spark Mobile site while you're on the train for 2.5 hours? Might be a good way to read your articles and set you up for the day.

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