Sunday, May 12, 2013
So, for those of you who can recall, oh so long ago (at least that's how it seems to me) that I had set a few goals for the month of April. I started off strong that first week, struggled through the second week, and began what I can only describe as "limping along" for the first part of the third, then getting a job out of nowhere and that was the end of any goals I ever did have!
I know where I lost momentum. I just don't know why. Where did my motivation go? Where did that drive go? I seriously don't know. Am I happy being only halfway to my goal? (No.) Am I content with being a size 14/16 instead of a size 18/20? (No.) Do I like having a Large t-shirt instead of an XL/XXL? (No.) Do I like feeling sluggish and tired because of junky, processed, nutritional wasteland-type foods? (No.) So, what's the dealio, yo? Why do I seem to want to stay this way instead of improving? I don't have an answer for that.
Last week was the end of my classes for the semester. Just in the two weeks that my job and classes overlapped, I have to say: I don't know how people do it. I don't know how people work at a job 8/+ hours a day and then go to classes, too. And fulfill responsibilities at home. I had so little time for homework. I spent an entire day, from the moment I woke up, to the moment I went to bed (waaaaaaaaaay past my bedtime, too) working on my final project for PhotoShop. It turned out nice and everyone had nice things to say about it. I got a 95/100 on it. I'm not disappointed with that grade. I knew I wouldn't get 100pts on it because I didn't do a "compilation" background. I tried, but the vision in my head was not translating to the canvas. So, I took a background, did some modifications on it to better suit my needs, and went with that. I think it turned out better than anything I could have pieced together. Even if it is plagiarism. Or copyright infringement. Whatever. That's all this class has ever been. I would post a completed copy of my project for ya'll to see, but the canvas size was soooooo huge (it was meant to be poster-sized) that I couldn't save it as a .jpeg without crashing my computer. My final product's size (in .psd format) is 1.21gb. Huge. I did, however, get an A in the class overall. So, that's just fine with me.
My stats final... didn't go too well. Thanks to my job and working outrageously huge amounts of hours, I was left with very little time to study. By the time I'd get home from work and sit down to do some homework/studying, I'd be so exhausted I'd fall asleep with my calculator in my lap and my computer on. And he saved the hardest chapter for last: probabilities. I remember them from my last attempt at taking stats. They were hard. And a concept I couldn't easily grasp. And still couldn't by the time our test came around. Sadly, out of the 25 questions on the test, about 18 of them were probability questions from that chapter. The rest were from other chapters throughout the semester. Unfortunately, I don't know my grade from that test or that class yet. At my estimation, the best I could have done is a mid-C. At least I passed it, but the reality is, I needed to also do well in it. It was a class the admissions folks for my Master's Program are going to look at and factor in. :-(
So, let me tell you about this job. It's a DSS position (dietary services supervisor) at a skilled nursing facility. The kitchen there has been long neglected. There are issues up the yin-yang that need to be fixed. And that's where I come in. I oversee the kitchen and dietary doings. So, I've been working on the kitchen and getting it up to code as far as equipment, sanitation training for employees, emergency supplies, etc. Its a lot of work and very long days. I also screen new admits and update their charts regarding their nutrition status. That part involves a lot of paperwork. And a lot of time. It's one of those things that requires a lot of little details in addition to the big picture. I'm glad I can say I'm employed again. I'm glad I can say I am using some part of my schooling, finally... all those 5am days, 4+ hours on public transportation, countless cups of coffee, training... finally paid off. I still feel like I'm learning as I go, and that will possibly always be the case, but I'm glad to be where I am. Now I just need my own car to make life a bit easier.
I'm not sure what my immediate future is going to hold with all these changes and revelations. I still hope to join ballet in the fall. I'd like to get a gym membership to take boxing classes at a local gym. I hope I can still take classes and continue working toward my "higherest" education. Maybe once I've let myself settle into the position over summer, I can be better equipped to integrate class work with my work schedule.
Anyhow, I'm sorry to have dropped off the radar, but now you know why. I am keeping up with you all, slowly and silently. I read your blogs and updates. I just haven't always had the time to drop ya'll a line to let you know I'm still here.
And since it's Mother's Day...
Happy Mother's Day!
Hmmm... I need a new pic! This was like... 3 years ago.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
#1, maybe in light of some recent events in our United States and the world, a positive pick-me-up blog is what you or someone you may know needs:
#2, "April Take Back" week 2 was rough for me. I feel like every step was a struggle. I had to constantly push and force and this and that. My calories were all way over where they should have been (and as such, many other macronutrients as well). My vitamin intake was low, also. I may have to consider supplements. I couldn't get a handle on how much I was taking in, even if I thought I was eating really healthy. I also know I ate passed midnight at least 2 nights. My fitness minutes are in dispute. Spark counts a week as Sun-Sat, starting anew on Sunday. But, April began on Monday, so I'm counting my weeks as Mon-Sun. So, I either came in 27 minutes short or was at 181 fitness minutes. Depends on how you wanna look at it. Personally, I like the numbers of where I was successful!
However, my fitness has not been all that consistent. I skipped workouts two days in a row, worked out a day, then skipped a day again, worked out, skipped another day... I need to workout daily, and plan for 1 or 2 rest days (at most) in the week. My first two workouts of the week were just over 30 minutes long, and then the next one was 48 minutes, and the next 58 minutes. I'd like to keep them consistently higher (although 30 is my month's minimum, so maybe I need to just chillax). Despite the spotty record, I do find that my endurance has improved a bit. I am still literally dripping with sweat by the end, but I find I'm able to go longer, do more reps, etc. It's the little things...
I weighed myself and found I gained 2 full pounds. I'm not trusting that number, though, because it's TOM for me, so I'm sure I'm bloated and retaining water. Also, that could explain my sh!tty nutrition for the week. So, I know what needs improving for this week. Its going to be tough (I have yet another stats test on Thursday... didn't I just take one of those?!?!) and I need to be consistent and schedule myself accordingly.
#3, Boston. I just have no words. I'm heartbroken. I can only hope the jerk(s) who did this are brought to justice. I keep the people affected in my prayers and thoughts. Today, in honor of them, I'm wearing my Iron Girl t-shirt, since it's my only race shirt, and I wear it in solidarity with the running/fitness community [and the world community]. All my love to the big city that feels like a little city!
Friday, April 12, 2013
My wonderful SparkFriend, SMILINGTREE was issued a challenge to write down the things she LIKED about herself. You can read what prompted it here:
So, I accepted her challenge. And here's why:
It's so easy for us all to get caught up in the "rat race" of this journey. We get stuck on numbers: numbers on the scale, numbers on the measuring tape, number of calories, fat grams, protein and carbs, the number on the tag on your pants. These things are just so concrete, sometimes we forget the NSV (non-scale victories). But, even more important than that, we forget to love ourselves for who we are first!
Think about it. Will being a size 8 make you a better person than being a size 18? Not likely. It might make you healthier, sure (but, not always!). But, learning to love ourselves while we are a size 18 is important because being a size 8 might not be that panacea to all our problems. And since many people are on this journey for that visible, physical reduction in mass, start loving the parts of you that look good at any size.
You are an important, beautiful, wonderful, strong, hard-working soul, NO MATTER WHAT SIZE YOU ARE. You need to remember that. You absolutely do matter. To yourself, to your family, to your friends, to this world. You. Matter.
So, I go forth and extend the challenge to you... write a quick blog about what it is you find you like/love about yourself (let's start with the physical) and share it! (And feel free to link back to the original blog of SMILINGTREE or mine!) And also go click that "I Liked This Blog" button on her blog (or this one).
*My teeth. I didn't always love them, but I did get braces to straighten out a few things (mostly the crowded teeth that constantly and painfully rubbed against the inside of my mouth) and now I enjoy smiling and showing off these chompers. Sure, they could be whiter, but I think having them at all is a win and I love to see they're there!
*Along the same vein, I love my lips. They're full, with the bottom being slightly fuller than the top. I think my lips are pretty and sexy. And I never need to buy those lip-plumping products! WOO!
*My fingers/hands. I have small-ish hands (I didn't realize until recently), but I have long slender fingers (in proportion to my small hands!) and they are awesome. They fit into tiny places, they move gracefully across the keyboard, they help where help is needed. I like the look of my hands. They're still youthful and graceful.
*My shape. For a long time I hated being pear shaped since it was so hard to find dresses that fit both the top and bottom of me. But, now I really like having curves. As I lose weight I sure hope they don't go away. I like having hips, a waist, boobs... I just don't need to have as much of them! ;-) So, yes, I like being curvy and that means I like my shape.
*And finally, I like my feet. They've given me some trouble over the years, but really, I like how they look. They're also a bit small, like my hands, but I take good care of them. The arches are a little high, so they hurt frequently, but they look great in ballet slippers! HAHA! My second toe is slightly longer than my big toe, but that doesn't bother me. My nails are clean and trimmed nicely. They look great with some polish. I love the tattoos I have on my feet. I like wearing toe rings. I think I have great "summer feet" year 'round!
Monday, April 08, 2013
My first week I'd say has been fairly successful. Then again, it's been spring break, so I've had less-than-usual distractions. The next week is going to be the REAL test. And then after that I have yet another stats test, so that's going to REALLY be a real test! Balancing studying with my healthy lifestyle has always been a bit of a struggle.
So, I want to do 150 fitness minutes per week. This week I did 170. YAY! I took today off as I'm *really* sore from yesterday's workout. I did a YouTube video from the Blogilates vlog, Pop Pilates for Beginners- Total Body Workout. Boy is it hard for a beginner's workout. But, I felt great. I mean, the soreness only really rears it's head when I sneeze or cough (which I still do a lot). I also did 5 out of 7 days of my Tuff Butt Challenge (lunges/squats/lunge holds). Tomorrow is a rest day, but I'm taking it today thanks to my sore glutes, so I'll still get my 6 out of 7 days, just not in the same week.
Not eating after midnight... I think I've held to this pretty well. I think there was one day this week that I was STARVING!!! in the middle of the night and had to eat something just so I could go back to sleep... growling stomachs are quite distracting. But, otherwise, I've done fairly well. I'm still on the hunt for a clock, though. I think that would help me greatly.
Drinking more water? Uh... needs improvement still. I've been drinking beverages, just not always water. Today I was drinking plain tea (with a little bit of stevia to cut the bitter). I was drinking my own homemade lime Arnold Palmers the other day. That was sweetened, though, and contributed quite a few calories to my day. Still working on this.
Freggies with every meal. This week I think I've been successful. My mom made a big fruit salad, so that's accompanied lunches for a few days this week. And I always schedule some kind of veg with dinner. So, pretty good on this one!
I took care of a few neglected things this week while I had the money and the time. Got a haircut. It was very, very badly needed. Pixie cuts like mine need maintenance every 4-6 weeks so they don't look like... well, mangy Sasquatch CRAP when they start to grow out. I waited 3 months. Now, I can say I look the way I'm supposed to. The day after my haircut, I took care of my driver's license. It expired on January 6th (ya know, my birthday) and I just never got it renewed. I'm sure my notice was sent to who knows where old address in San Diego. And since I don't drive down here, I wasn't in a real hurry to get a new one. But, now I need to buy vodka for my vanilla extract and I need a valid photo ID to do that. So, new photo taken for the license. New license being processed and sent. Swell.
Unfortunately, not in time for me to do anything fun in San Diego this spring break. Can I just say how disappointed I am? I wish I had a job so I can buy a car. Then, I can go to San Diego without having to ask someone to go or to borrow their car or whatever. I can just go as long as I can afford the gas. Obviously I'm missing San Diego a whole helluva lot right now. I miss my home.
I've had homework over spring break because my jerk face teachers don't know what the word "break" means. Maybe they should go back to a g.d. English class! No, I'm not bitter... Pffffft, yes I am! Downright p*ssed!!! Anyway, my group members for my stats project flaked/forgot about our project and wanted to wait until the last possible minute to complete it (no freakin' thanks, folks) so I took matters into my own hands and picked up the slack on Friday. Collected data and sent it to them to analyze. I'll be working on it more tomorrow. Actually, I'd like to finish it tomorrow.
Today I worked on PhotoShop homework. I'm actually pretty proud of it. I don't believe in PhotoShopping someone so that they present an unrealistic ideal of women (or men) and that was actually what this latest project was about. Well, I did the opposite. I did smooth out a few lumps here and there on my photo model, but mostly, I added a little bit of muscle definition and filled out some curves to make her appear bigger. A bit healthier and fuller. Do I like that I did even that? No, not really. I prefer un-retouched photos of REAL people just as they are. But, then what would I have to do for this assignment? But, I made my agenda clear and my feelings known anyway. :-D
It's supposed to look like a magazine cover, so I hope I succeeded.
Image Credit: http://www.superfitmomma.com/2012/08/21/in
Well, that's it for me. One good first week done. Three more to go! Wish me luck, check in with me (leaving a comment on my page is perfectly fine- I will answer you back!), keep me accountable, call me on my b.s. please!!! and don't let me make excuses. Also, just let me know how YOU'RE doing, too!
Monday, April 01, 2013
Well, can I just say where is this year going?!? My Smarch was a toughie. I was sick for soooooooooooo long! At least the first half of the month was spent fighting that stupid cold virus. And of course as soon as it was finally out of my system, I had that fatty math test to study for. Things kinda of wound down, and my month seemed to disappear before I could make any real progress.
I'm telling you all, right here and right now, that is not how April is going to go! I'm going to accomplish something in April! Which basically means, my March goals will be my April goals, so I can actually work on them.
I didn't get hardly any fitness minutes in. I think I officially recorded only 28 fitness minutes. That's just......... well, sad. I should at least get in 600 for the month. Minimum. That *was* my goal, after all. But, I only did one workout. Which was actually just this last Thursday. No. No no no no no. I can do better.
No eating after midnight... I did okay. I think I was more conscientious about this particular goal early in my setting it, then sorta petered as the month wore on. I've got to figure out a way to get myself to keep it in mind. I realized I don't have a clock in my room. I usually use my cell phone or computer for timekeeping, but I really need something I can look at. Preferably in big orange digital numbers. So, I'm going to hunt down a clock.
Drink more water. Yeah, this one needs WAY more work. I'd go a day doing better, then I'd forget for a day or two, then do better for a day, then forget for another few. I need to be more consistent with this one.
Freggies for main meals. This is easier for me. I've long ago switched my way of planning my meals, starting with vegetables and THEN deciding what meat/protein can compliment them. I have less control over this when it's not my night to cook dinner, but I usually plan the meals for the week, so vegetables mostly get done. Occasionally I have to remind the other cooks that there's a salad that's meant to go with dinner, so someone has to throw it together really quick.
I am also trying to think more positively. I've been ending most of my nights in either meditation or prayer. It's not necessarily helping with my quality of sleep, but it does make me feel better. More positive. So, I'm continuing to work on that.
This week marks my spring break. I really wish I was doing something fun and wonderful. I want to go strawberry picking in Carlsbad (San Diego), hiking at Torrey Pines, shopping at the San Diego Public Market (it's a permanent farmer's market), and eating at D.Z. Akins (Jewish deli/restaurant). I'm trying to convince my grandmother that we should go. Only problem, I realized, is I'd have to drive. But, my license expired on my birthday, all the way back in January! And since I don't drive here, I've had to reason to hurry and get it renewed. I'll be doing that, hopefully, this week also. If I can get my hair cut. Unfortunately for me, I am in this sh*tty little town where no one seems to realize what the word "break" means. BOTH my teachers assigned homework over the break. Seriously?! In the 2 years I was at the community college in San Diego, I was NEVER assigned work over a break! My stats instructor not only assigned a project, he assigned a GROUP project!!! REALLY! Come on, man. Not. Cool. I'm actually pretty p*ssed about it.
Sometime in the near future, I'll be getting ready to register for summer school, should I choose to take it. Right now that's my plan... I'm not 100%, but I only need 1 class to get the A.A. in Nutrition at my other school (so I'd just transfer over the credit). Unfortunately, that class is basic Chem (with lab). For summer school, it's 5 weeks, 4 days a week (M-Thu), for 5 hours a day! That sounds wicked brutal! I mean, I know I did my practicum for 13 weeks, 2 days a week, starting my day at 5am and traveling by public transit for 4-5 hours on those days, and not getting home until well after 6pm... But, still. 5 hours in 1 class?! Geezy creezy.
I also discovered, much to my dismay, that my current college does not offer a few of the classes I will be needing to take in preparation for the grad program I want to apply for. O-chem and possibly bio-chem. Super. Now I need a plan B. I'll either have to go back to San Diego earlier (thus less time to save up more money) or find a way to do them via distance ed. More fees to pay, more transcripts to transfer, bigger hassle. At least I have some time to figure it out.
I am still on the hunt for a job. Not much here. This area is #2 on the list of highest unemployment rates for the state. Awesome. I have so many skills and no where to utilize them. And I think I under-represent myself on my resume. I've kept it mainly to work experience, but I did a lot of great things in college that I should be listing and I don't. I just can't write a resume. I seriously suck at it. No wonder I've never been hired. In the meantime, I'm going to be taking an online seminar on blogging and seeing if there's anything I can do to make my current blog work for me and potentially bring in any income. It's no big deal if there isn't... that's not really my intent, but I do find the subject interesting, so it should be fun to just learn. I'm also trying to get my family on board to revamp our kitchen a bit so we can do some cottage food production and sell the goods at our local farmer's markets. We don't have many, but it seems to be an idea that's finally catching on in this area. I'm glad about it.
I've also been doing some gardening to have a bit of fun. I've got some watermelon seedlings potted and growing. A spaghetti squash plant that is now HUGE, but no blossoms yet. I planted radishes and am already harvesting them. Those little buggers are way more spicy than store bought! My jalapeno and bell pepper plants are still on the mend from horned worm attacks, but I do have a bell pepper going and some blossoms on each. Glad to see they're making a strong comeback. My eggplant is probably not going to survive. :-( I also planted some flowers to attract some bees over. There isn't much in my backyard to bring them around, so I have to make the effort.
Okay, this is long-winded enough. If you've made it this far, I commend you and am impressed! Let's do some summing up and we'll call it on this one:
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. Also, do the Tuff Butt April challenge with SD Sparks (on Facebook).
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!
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.
I would really, very much love my SparkFriends to help keep me accountable for these goals this month. Ask me (daily if anyone can, or at least every couple of days) about my progress on them. Remind me I have these goals! Encourage me! I promise to do the same for you if you ever need me to. Just gotta ask!
And I can't end a blog without a photo.
Believe it or not, this is her "happy" face... she had a belly full of salmon and was purring contentedly while laying on my belly.
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