Saturday, March 02, 2013
I'm pretty sure it was at the beginning of last month that I said I wouldn't blog on the weekend. And yet, here I am... Brilliant!
So far, the end of February, beginning of Smarch hasn't been great. I got the weirdest cold. Its one of the few times I have actually FELT a cold as it took me by the neck and dragged me down. 11pm on Saturday night I was working on some homework, waiting for the shower to become available and by 1am I couldn't even swallow. I ended up having to wake up my mom for some throat lozenges and cold medicine. The throat pain eased up, but the sinus pain/pressure/congestion has yet to stop. Ran through a whole box of kleenex. Ran out of DayQuil days ago (saved one pack for class on Thursday) and I've only been taking NyQuil once a night. Only have 2 packs of those left. Friday I ended up with a migraine (unrelated to the cold; probably hormone related), so that just added to the fun. I was weak, dizzy, burning hot (but no fever) and actually had to have my mom cook for me. I do feel like this junk is on it's way out, though, finally.
It better be, too, because this week is the California Mid-Winter Fair, which is held in the next town over. I got tickets for my bro and sis-in-law for their anniversary gift. I also bought a pair of tickets for me and whoever else wants to go (I'm thinking my mom). I haven't been to the fair since I moved away 5 years ago, so I'm kind of excited to go. I know it'll be a time of indulgence. There's no way I'm going to the fair and not eating a corndog or funnel cake or candy apple or spiral fries. And you know what, that is perfectly fine. That is my decision to make and own. I'm not going to feel guilty for it. I'm not going to worry about it going to my thighs. I'm going to enjoy the splurge and move on. I'm glad I'm finally able to say that, to be in a healthy place with a healthy mindset and relationship with my food... At least in this case.
Over the last few weeks I've become aware of a problem that I've always seemed to have and just never really thought about. Night eating. But, not just night eating. Sometimes night binging. I have a wicked sweet tooth. I've made no secret of that. Lately it seems that while I have a handle on my food the rest of the time, it's the late night, long after dinner eating that I'm having issues with. I used to be fine with just a little "fun size" candy bar, usually a Baby Ruth or Butterfinger Crisp. The small bar was all I needed. Since moving back home, it's been more of a binge thing (prior it was just late night eating) and I'm not sure what to do about it. I'll have several pieces of candy or a cupcake or two or several cookies or a combination of all the above. Rarely is it ever just a single piece of something. Its made think that I also may have a sugar addiction. Since it's something I've just come to realize, I need some more time to think on it and do some research. But, if anyone has any sage advice or words of wisdom or tips that help them, please feel free to share!
The good news as of late is that I lost 5 of the 12lbs I put on over the holidays. 7lbs more and I'll be back to my 45lb loss mark. And then I can continue on the loss path. Which leads me to some goal setting for the month of March:
At least 150 fitness minutes per week. Since I'm just restarting (and will be re-restarting after being sick) I'm setting this number kinda low. 150 minutes is 30 minutes a day, 5 days out of the week. Before I got sick, I was doing quite well with that. I think I can swing it again.
Be mindful of my night eating/binging. I eat dinner late (after 10pm) 3 nights out of the week due to my school schedule, and I'm a night owl anyway, so I'm trying to cut off any and all eating by midnight. That's a start. I can figure out from there my next step to tackling this problem.
Drink more water. Since I moved here, I've been drinking ridiculous amounts of water! Ridiculously SMALL amounts! Like, maybe 30oz a day. If that. And not much of anything else, so I know I'm dehydrated! (Geez, no wonder I got sick.)
Freggies. Every meal. No excuses. Even if the rest of the family isn't eating veggies or fruit with their meals. Potatoes don't count, unless they've been prepared in a really healthy way. But, even then... They only count as half.
That's it for my health related goals. I have others, of course, that will include keeping up on homework, studying harder and longer for my next stats test, and blogging regularly at my other blog. I'm working on a new entry for that... SNEAK PEEK:
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
I thought ya'll would like to see what I have been learning in PhotoShop. I borrowed the quote from Be My Anti-Valentine, but I 'shopped it all by myself!
I didn't finish it in time to post on Valentine's, otherwise, that's when you'd be seeing this.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Today I figured out how to get in a good workout without having a gym, having to go outside, or resorting to drastic measures (like getting rid of my bed to make room for a treadmill that would double as my bed ). Sunday I finally lit a fire under myself and my brother, and finished organizing and cleaning my room. I stuck in my all-purpose book shelves that will hold my linens and a few misc items that have no "home" (like my first aid kit and tool kit). That cleared my desk and desk chair to actually be used for their intended purpose, but more importantly, cleared a lot of floor space. Now, I actually have a piece of floor real estate to do some working out. Granted it's not a big space... maybe about 6ft by 4ft (or about 7ft x 5ft at its widest points, which isn't all that helpful). Think you can't work out in that amount of space? THINK AGAIN!!!
Today I did my favorite thing: got on YouTube. I have a bunch of the SparkPeople videos by Coach Nicole jammed into a playlist, so I always know where to find them. I did a 10 minute cardio vid, an upper body vid, and a lower body vid. All are part of the bootcamp series- New You, Swimsuit, 28 Day... They don't require much equipment and best of all, they don't require much space. You basically do all the moves in one place! Luckily I have a thick, cushy yoga mat (for the lower body vid) and several free weights (1.5lb, 3lb, 5lb, and 10lb) for the upper body. Cardio didn't require anything. Got hot, sweaty, and winded, and I know I got a pretty decent workout for just 30 mins of my time in the tiny space I have.
BOTTOM LINE: If I can do it, you can do it!
Just get 'er done!
Best of all, I can do this any time during the year in my nice air conditioned home. Which will be really good come summer time when the temps soar into the 110s+. Death weather.
So, cleaning up my room was my Sunday. On Friday I lit another fire under myself, my bro, and my sis-in-law to clean up the kitchen. I believe I've mentioned previously that my family is not known for their housekeeping skills. So, the kitchen was quite the project. Luckily with 3 people working on it, it went pretty quickly. We got pretty much everything cleaned, counters cleared, and a few things organized. Things are put away, but our cupboards and extra storage spaces could be better organized. Alas, that is a big project for another weekend. In the meantime, there is clean, uncluttered counter space in which to prepare healthy foods. That's good enough for me (for now). And I was able to photograph a new meal for my blog. I just need to edit photos and write. Which brings me to...
The saga of PhotoShop 6. The PS class I'm taking is using the latest Adobe products... which is 6. On my computer, I have version 2. WAY WAY WAY outdated, let me tell you. Unfortunately, the only computers at school that have CS6/PS6 are the ones in the classroom in which my class is taught. Which is the classroom that every computer class is taught. So, I can't just go in and use a computer any time to get my homework done (and this week, I have a lot of it!). Unfortunately, most Adobe/PS products aren't compatible with each other. So, even if I had PS4, I wouldn't be able to go back and forth with PS6 with it. Confusing isn't it? Well, PS5 is compatible enough, so now I have several folks working on getting me a copy of PS5 to use on my home computer. Basically cross your fingers and/or pray that I get SOMETHING so I can do my homework before it's due.
P.S. EDIT: I should mention that a student discounted rate for getting PS5 or 6 on Adobe's website is $350. So not affordable!
My stats class... oh, stats. How I loathe you. Math in general, really. That test I was worried about failing? I failed it. Well, I "university standards" failed it, which is to say I got a D. 69%, even. If I had just answered 1 question right I would have had a C. Seriously, and I knew what I had done wrong when I got my test back. Stupid mistake, too! Of course. That's how it always happens. My teacher is really cool, though. He spoke to me after class about it (he even approached ME!) and said he thinks I'm still capable of doing well in the class. I told him I would try harder and study more. I also told him that when it comes to math, I don't test well. I freak out and get nervous. So, he said we'd work on that. It's the first of 4 tests this semester. I do have a chance of doing well, but I really do need to apply myself. I think I really can do better.
A few weekends ago I went to the Carrot Festival in tiny little Holtville, Ca. Carrot capitol of the state or country or world... I dunno. I grew up there, sorta. Moved away in the 5th grade. The majority of my family still lives there. The day started with an adorable parade down the main thoroughfare and ended with a little festival in the park. Lots of food booths, merchants, and a small carnival. I spent the day with my mom, cousins, grandma, and aunt. We had so much fun! I had delish fish tacos from one of the church's booths (these are usually fundraisers for local orgs) and homemade ice cream. There is an entry in the parade that is usually decorated with produce from the Holtville FFA (I think). This year it had a merry-go-round made of different colored cauliflower. Anyway, its covered in all kinds of veggies, and at the end of the parade, you pay $5 and they give you a standard sized plastic grocery bag (I know, I know, so not eco-friendly) and you can fill up the bag with however much you can fit in (and it HAS to fit in, no overhanging food!). Luckily, I'm a master at this, so I came home with a metric f***ton of produce! 2 napa cabbages, 1 bok choy, 1 purple cauliflower, 2 broccoli, a bunch of carrots, and something else I think I'm missing... :-S Anyway, here's a photo:
Courtesy of my cousin Olivia.
We're still working our way through all those veggies! The cauliflower was awesome and I used a napa cabbage in my latest blog meal, which I promise to get around to posting. I was able to get my container garden going yesterday. The bro, sis-in-law, and I tackled part of the backyard that has been looooong neglected. We cleared the patio, cut down some branches on our big mesquite tree, and just did some general maintenance. I was able to set up a few of my pots and fill them with soil and fertilizer. Then, I ran out of time and daylight. We set up the BBQ so we could cook some dinner. I wasn't able to sow any seeds yesterday, but was able to this morning. It was really super windy, though, which made it difficult. But, I wasn't planting much- a few beets, carrots, radishes, and spaghetti squash. We'll see how any of it does... with sweltering heat, I'm not sure. I may have to shade my thangs. Growing in the desert is hard due to heat and the dreaded white fly. Those lil' b@st@rds eat EVERYTHING. Literally.
Well, that's it in a nutshell. Today the wind has not only blown me and my seeds, but my allergies into a tizzy as well. I can't breathe through my nose. I've been through ridiculous amounts of kleenex since about 2am last night. I woke up unable to breathe and had to take a Benedryl. So. Lame. And despite my inability to use my sinuses properly, I STILL WORKED OUT FOR 30 MINUTES! WOO!
Saturday, February 02, 2013
Well, one month of 2013 has come and gone. That month was interesting, to say the least. I am curious to see what February will bring.
First of all, thank you to all who voted to make my 5 year look-back blog a featured post! I am not sure I ever said out loud anywhere, but secretly I've always wanted a blog to be featured... I wanted to have something be inspiring to others. It was a great way to celebrate my 5 year milestone. I didn't expect it at all, honestly. And I couldn't believe I'd ever be inspirational to someone (or many someones!) else considering my journey has been more of the "slow and [sorta] steady" variety. 45lbs in 5 years doesn't seem like much to celebrate, but then I have to remind myself (because you wonderful SparkFriends remind me!) that everyone's journey is different. And it's true. I wish my journey would have seen more success in a shorter time, but that was not the way it was meant to be. And that's perfectly okay. When it seems like the journey is taking too long, remember what the destination will ultimately be. And I discovered a long time ago that my journey was less about weight loss and more about good health. I want to be healthy and happy... weight loss is just a bonus side-effect.
I noticed since moving away from San Diego that my blogs have more or less a "negative" tone to them. Yes, I am struggling to find my place here and I'm struggling to feel okay about this move. I hate it in my hometown and I really didn't want to ever have to move back in with my parents (especially right as I turned 30!). It's also natural and okay to be feeling those feelings. But, I can't let them take control. I'm working on being more positive. That saying "fake it 'til you make it" apparently has some merit... I've read if you don't feel happy to just smile anyway. Eventually that smile will be genuine and lift you out of your mood. That's kinda the approach I'll be taking. If I need to get something off my chest, I will, but otherwise, I'm really going to try to focus on the positives that are happening in my life.
Starting with school. Miraculously I was able to get into the statistics class I was crashing. Not that I want to be in that class since I'm terrible at and really hate math, but I need it to apply to a grad school, so I'll do it for the greater good. And at least its something to occupy my time. :-) I'm also in a Photoshop class, and so far I'm enjoying it. I've learned quite a bit already! Not anything of professional caliber, but that might come as the semester wears on. So far I can change eye color, lip color, add a window where there wasn't one, and change the background of an image. I'm hoping it'll help make my photos for my other blog better... speaking of which...
Feast your eyes and bellies on this! (I should mention I didn't Photoshop this photo, so don't judge too harshly...)
That one I did do a little bit of the ol' 'shoppin'... Just a touch, though. Like I said, I've learned a lot, but not enough to have pro-caliber photos.
Secondly, I have a tentative workout plan. I have to say this because it involves working out outdoors, which as I've mentioned before, won't fly come March or April when the temps go above 90*F. Daily. Even more so when they go above 110*F. DAILY. I'm going to check to see if my school's weight room/gym thingy has open gym hours. I'm not going to hold my breath, but it won't hurt to ask. My grandmother has offered me the use of her treadmill, but I have no way to get it to my house and no where to put it if I did get it here. Maybe I don't need to sleep on a bed... A pillow and some blankets could make the TREADMILL comfy to sleep on, right? HA! I kid. In the meantime, on Tuesdays and Thursdays when my brother goes to class, I can go walk on the track next to the school. Its one of those ones that has the lanes nicely painted and it's all squishy 'cuz it's made out of chopped up rubber tires or something. Anyway, I walked 2 miles on it on Thursday and had no problems with shin splints! However, it turns out 2 miles was a little much considering I haven't worked out in a REALLY, REALLY long time. I stretched after walking and even did a short warm up beforehand, but maybe a 16 minute mile walk was WAY too much for me. I should have started small and begun working my way back up to that level, but I figured time was of the essence. Also, it's not like I'm not active. Today, though... DOMS for the lose! As the day wore on, I became less and less able to function normally. Then I was unable to walk for more than a few steps at a time. So, I had to give myself the day off. Not like I had a plan anyway... no one was heading out to the school so I could walk the track. I need to figure out something else... and quick.
Well, I hope ya'll will consider following my other blog. I'm trying to reach more people so I can get more feedback on it. I'm going to be posting something small weekly, something big monthly (I hope), and photos for a little challenge I'm doing daily. All in an effort to keep positive.
Hmmm... I can't have a blog without a photo in it...
Some terribly unhealthy, but sinfully delicious, peanut butter cookies with a couple of melting chocolate chips on them.
Saturday, January 26, 2013
I can't believe I hit my 5 year SparkVersary! Like, wow.
There are so many things that Spark has helped me with in the last 5 years, I can't wait to see what the next 5 Spark years bring!
SparkPeople helped me [slowly] lose 45lbs. Thanks to the holidays, I'm sure I've gained some of that back, and I certainly put on weight from my starting weight before I began losing, but overall, I'm happy with what I've achieved with Spark.
SparkPeople helped me realize one of my passions is helping people through better nutrition. I've been studying nutrition at community college and am looking into graduate programs to become a Registered Dietitian.
With that realization came confidence to actually pursue it. I mean, in my mind, once I got my Bachelor's Degree in Theatre, that was it for me... That's what my life was going to be about. Even before I had finished that part of my schooling, I was having some doubts about how viable that was going to be. But, knowing I could be healthier and utilize tools and resources left me believing I can change the course my career was to take.
I made wonderful friends who are health-minded like I am. Sure, we may have different goals, body types, fitness levels, starting weights, goals weights, diet needs, etc. But, having the support and friendship of people who are as conscious about their health as I am is a key to my success! And I'm especially glad I got to meet a lot of these wonderful people in person... and I hope to meet more in the future!
Spark has kept me accountable for every bite, whether I've tracked it, admitted out loud I consumed it... or none of the above. Thanks to Spark, I know that the slice of cheesecake I'm eating is MY choice and I will also have the choice about what to do about it. Am I going to be self-loathing and ashamed? Am I going to get on the treadmill for an extra 15 or 30 minutes to work it off? Am I going to adjust the rest of my intake for the day? Each bite means something and I am aware of it going in. But, I'm not obsessing over it either.
I have a healthier outlook regarding diet and exercise. I don't feel shame/secretive/etc for indulging once in a while. That's not healthy to believe you've blown it and allow yourself to screw up more. Nor is it healthy to think that cupcake won't do a little bit of damage, either. Knowing there's a yin and yang to this whole journey is important for me.
I know what works for my body and what doesn't when it comes to exercise. My body burns fat really efficiently from doing a lot of cardio- usually in sessions lasting around 60 minutes. I don't strength train often enough to know if it burns fat, but I do notice my strength and definition improving when I do it fairly consistently. That's fabulous for me!
Thanks to Spark I'm exposed to all sorts of different exercises and ideas for exercises. I'm not sure I would have ever tried kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, hiking... All these activities that I absolutely love to do! Without this site, I think I'd still be on the treadmill, trudging away day in and day out. It also gave me the confidence to do these things, knowing there are other people at my level that have tried them too and lived to tell about it!
So, that's my 5 year look back... there are so many things I feel like I'm missing. Like this is so short for 5 years. But, the bottom line is Spark has truly, really, honestly changed my life for the better. I can't imagine what life would be like without this site, and most of all without all the wonderful people that are part of this community with me. I have the most amazing SparkFriends a girl could ask for! Seriously! They always lift me up when I am down. I can only hope they feel like I do the same for them! So, I am looking forward to what life with this site will bring me. With any luck, another 30lb loss, stellar health, and an M.S. in Nutrition/Food Science!
It might not be too much difference, but it certainly is from my highest (around 2010-ish):
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