Sunday, November 17, 2013
It's been a while. Or, not that long really, two months.
I've been teaching a class at the university, just one class on Monday Wednesday and Friday afternoons, while still working as a glorified administrative assistant on Tuesdays and Thursdays (with house and pet sitting jobs on the side as they come up). I feel robbed of time! I barely get to yoga, MAYBE once a week or up to three times per month. I've been a little better with zumba, going up to twice per week. I feel like all my time is spent sitting and, as a result, my muscles have gotten soft so whereas my weight hasn't changed much (one pound), my body FEELS different. What am I going to do? A few things...
My lack of time is due to a few things. In terms of teaching, I'm still learning and holding myself to high expectations so I will not let myself go in feeling unprepared and I could be preparing up until five minutes before class begins. I need to learn effective time management and how to focus on what I first really need to get done. Ideally, my exercise would be a priority but, unfortunately, being in better shape won't help me teach my class.
I don't feel I have enough time to track my food daily (perhaps when my time management is better and I can log on for 10 minutes without becoming distracted on this site WHICH has changed significantly in the past two months!). I need to do a weekly weigh-in so I can keep track of my numbers and have some accountability. Otherwise, I need to eat mindfully. We're entering holiday season, I need to not let myself get carried away by food indulgences. EAT MINDFULLY.
I've been pretty good at getting to a zumba or yoga class at least once per week. I need to keep that up and also take advantage of any extra moments I have to squeeze in some exercise. I'm done working one night and not entirely tired enough for bed? Instead of reading, unroll my yoga mat and take 20-30 minutes on it. I have 20 minutes to wait for the bus when it's only a half hour walk home? Walk (assuming the weather is not too cold). I'm sitting down working and feeling anxious? Turn on some music and dance around to one song. SQUEEZE IN EXERCISE.
I'm done teaching on December 6, their exam is December 17. I'm continuing to work at the office through December and I applied to work back at Anthropologie just two days per week as a seasonal sales associate. I'm applying for jobs and hoping that I get an interview and can start in January. I'm house-sitting from December 6 through January 12 so I can limit the goodies I have around. I'll be further from my gym and zumba instructor (though closer to another gym I may as well try) but closer to my yoga studio. I would like to trim down 5-7 pounds before the new year, with these small steps and foci, I will be able to do it.
Have a lovely Sunday, Sparkfriends!
Monday, September 16, 2013
September has start with a bang! No, a bang ends. I haven't been able to stop for the past 10 days. I haven't been able to track my food (but stepped on the scale on Saturday to see that it was down 2 pounds), I haven't exercised... I'm just on the go go GO! When all I want to do is rest and relax and maybe read a book that I'd like to read. I'm not balanced... but hoping that in this next week I'll be able to catch up and the rest of the semester will be more sustainable - I definitely cannot go 12 more weeks like this!
I feel good, though. Near the end of my PhD (or earlier), I began to lose steam so it's really REFRESHING to feel energized by this project of teaching and learning. I am excited! My preparations (and expectations of myself) take a lot out of me though. But isn't this how anyone at a new job survives and thrives? First there is a learning curve, I've never taught this class before so I need to get organized. Second, I need to throw myself into it in hopes of ensuring that I get hired to teach again (I'm just on of the many many sessional instructors... too many of us have PhDs for the few tenure track positions that become open). Even if academia is not what I chose to continue in, I want to leave a good impression so that the reference will benefit me later. Truthfully too, so far I am enjoying myself.
At the same time, though, I am working two days a week in an office and taking house/ pet sitting jobs as they come up. My PhD debt is maybe $50K (I have friends with much more than that, I wanted to avoid debt but... didn't quite manage... but of the 8 years of my PhD, that is representative of just one year), I want to get rid of that as soon as possible! I just finished up a house sitting job today and instead of working on tomorrow's lecture, I cleaned the house. Cleaning isn't explicitly part of the house/pet sitting job but I couldn't imagine leaving the house at all dirty. You're gone for three weeks and have entrusted someone to look after your home and pets, you SHOULD come home to a sparkling floor! Next house/pet sitting job begins on Wednesday for 12 days. No rest!
Somehow I have managed to be alright with my food intake during this time, how else would I have managed to be 2 pounds less on Saturday? Unless it's my running around... Nonetheless, I will keep up meal planning and packing (I also hate to spend $10+ on lunch when I could have just brought it myself). Exercise-wise, I really miss yoga. Part of the reason I haven't gone is because my back has been acting up (old slipped disk injury, it seems to be getting a little better than it was a week ago) but I think my current stress level would really benefit. My plan is to go Monday morning (will finish tomorrow's lecture so I can go!), Wednesday late afternoon or evening, and Friday morning. Three times per week will be great. I'm also doing a lot of walking, the past three weeks with dogs and the next two weeks I'll be living in walking distance (but 15-20 minutes) of my yoga studio, the office, and the train to the University. I'll keep my heart beating as I inhale good air!
Writing this brief blog has helped me calm down a tad. I'm busy but it's alright, I can get through it and thrive. I'm stressed but I'm happy with where I am. All I really need to work on is getting a little more sleep per night and being more understanding and communicative with my boyfriend. Anyhow, I have two hours to complete my PowerPoint for my lecture and get to bed.
Sweet dreams Sparkfriends! May you get enough sleep and exercise and eat well this next week and, more importantly, may you exude happiness and peace to those around you!
Sunday, September 01, 2013
Why does it seem that September is so good at ushering in the feeling of something *new* all through our lives? This is the first September in almost all my life that I am not a student. This September I will be entering the University as a sessional instructor. I have my PhD so I will be Dr. Jench but it hasn't quite sunk in yet... I've been a TA (teaching assistant with my own discussion sections) numerous times and I've taught two university level courses in the summer session... This time feels different. More real. But much less permanent. I'm only signed on for one class this semester. I must be GREAT to get signed on to teach more classes. I have some ideas for classes that I will continue to put together and then, once I have enough clout in the department, I will propose them... I'm still not sure if I want to continue with academics BUT I do like the idea of working myself into an adjunct position so I'd have the option of teaching when some classes came up and I'd be able to have an affiliation to continue my research. It will work out, I just need to keep on putting my best feet forward!
In the meantime I'm still working at my usual admin job part time, house/pet sitting when available, still applying for other jobs... I haven't put too many resumes out (I need to be more proactive!) and I haven't received any calls... I'm hoping that maybe next week I will... There is one non-profit I would love to work with, positively visualizing receiving a call from them on Tuesday.
I have been doing alright with my recent, renewed nutrition and fitness goals. My sweet tooth is a bit rampant and I'm trying to tame it/ drive myself crazy by only having fruit in the house... I don't even have easy to grab carbs. Last weekend, I enjoyed too much chocolate, nuts, and wine while watching a movie with my boyfriend.. and I had 2or 3 nights when my dinner was more than I needed... but that is life and I'm still focused on eating healthy. All it takes is planning! This week's main meal is going to be my rice and beans with extra veggies.
I haven't been going to zumba very much lately... but it's because my back has been aching. Nearly 20 years ago when I was 12 or 13 I was a chubby but active kid when I stressed my back out and ended up with a slipped disk in my lumbar area. For the most part I have it under control but it has flared up recently and just aches. I'm taking it easy in my yoga classes. I tried acupuncture last week and have another appointment this next week, I'm hopeful. However, in terms of my exercise this September, I think I should be able to maintain my schedule of yoga 3-6 times per week, though zumba might be out and not only because of my back, but also because my favourite instructor is taking an Italian vacation and the woman who is filling in for her jumps too much (stresses out my back) with not enough latin choreography. I'll figure it out... but I don't want to go below 3 workout sessions per week.
I want to get more sleep... for about a week I was good at being in bed between 10-11, even if I read for an hour or two (and usually reading stuff for my class or research!). To get more sleep (and to fit in my workouts!) I will need to employ better time management. I can do that.
In other news, tomorrow my boyfriend and I are heading into the mountains! I'm hoping to get in a hike, but the area I was thinking was devastated by floods in June and the trail I used to love still isn't open. We'll see. No matter what we do, it will be a lovely day getaway!
Sparkfriends, I hope you are all having a lovely Sunday and your own twists in life! Happy September!
Monday, August 12, 2013
On Friday I wrote about my wake up call from a prolonged denial. Today I had my first official weigh-in in four months and WOW was it rather shocking to see in the graph tracking my weight the line increase 10 pounds over that time!
I have my plan to spark, be mindful, stay active, and sleep well. It will work out and I will work through these 10 pounds (plus the other 5 I was originally aiming for) and in doing so, more than cementing healthy habits (and I feel mine are alright... obviously could still improve!) I want to really be alright with my body wherever it is. Add meditation to my plan.
I didn't track over the weekend since I was with by boyfriend and when I tracked this morning I was happily reassured that my mindful eating is alright. Not perfect... but I did fine. Saturday we went to a farmer's market and wandered a fun area of the city and at night we went to a club and I actually got him up dancing for a while! Sunday he had a performance at this park on the water in the city that I haven't been to in about a year but keep wanting to return to, he was watching all these people on their bikes so we decided we'll return next weekend with our bikes and a picnic basket. It was a really positive weekend!
Today I began my week with yoga and the first day of my self-prescribed 10-day yoga challenge. I feel like I was a bit too indulgent with my lunch but I have the rest of the day to keep myself on track. For now, though, I should get to some vacuuming before doing some more job searching and heading out to meet some friends for an early/late night drink. I'll be in bed around 11!
Have a lovely Monday, Sparkfriends!
Friday, August 09, 2013
No, I'm not exactly a winner right now... that is the sound of realization.
Please excuse this blog if I'm a bit whiney, I'm also going to be honest, take responsibility for my actions, and make a plan.
I'd been feeling it... that slight discomfort when gaining weight... but I was definitely in denial. No, even though I wasn't consistently tracking I was fine, no I don't need to track the beers from last night, oh and I'll just give myself a week to normalize back to a weight I like better before entering my next weigh-in. I'm sure most of us have been there.
My excuse this past week was that it was my period and as I was applying for a job (and took FOREVER to get the job application done, but it's now submitted!) I was cutting my exercise, spending more time sitting and, consequently, less time sleeping. I'll be fine! I'll enjoy this weekend with my boyfriend and do an official weigh-in on Monday.
I haven't been to my boyfriend's in about a month (slightly long-distance, more convenient for him to come to me). I was debating stepping on the scale... so I did. He has one of those scales that tells you how much up or down you are (and it must somehow have memory for two or more people or maybe he never uses it)... and it told me I was UP 1.4kg (about 3 pounds).
I'm not freaking out over that but it speaks to a longer trend. Please excuse what is to come, it is a bit much but I just let my mind go for a few minutes. My last weigh-in was April 22 (15.5 weeks or 109 days ago). There is nearly a 10 pound weight difference. That means that, on average, I have gained between 0.5 and 0.75 pounds per week. I had to go a little further... That is about 42 grams per day. Not much at all... but obviously it adds up!
I'm mostly done whining (next whine minor and on a different topic).
What to do today... did I feel like going to the mall? I saw online this skirt and top I like at Zara and maybe if I get that job interview... I decided against the mall and took a walk instead. I tracked it, it ended up being about 9K/ 5.6mi so not too shabby! This is when I had a chance to do some thinking... until my back started killing me! I have had a slipped disk in my back since I was a teenager and it really only flares up when I do start gaining weight... it's an indicator I need to make some positive changes! Luckily I was only about 20-30 minutes from the house.
The changes I am going to make are not major. I need to get back to tracking and be more mindful when I eat. I am going to seriously limit those foods I know I don't need! Also, I want to give myself the suggestion that if I happen to be hungry after dinner, I eat fruit.
I want to stick to my yoga and zumba workouts (usually 2-6 times per week though I am giving myself a 10-day yoga challenge starting Monday, decided that on Wednesday). I'd like to become more comfortable on my bike and use that more, I'd also like to get out for a hike or two before the summer is over! I can do the exercise part (just might want to make sure I have ibuprofen handy, just in case my back flares up!). Exercise is not a problem, I just need to GO!
My sleep has also been rather irregular lately. My plan for next week is to get into bed between 10-11 where I can read for a while or just go to sleep. I know sleep makes such a difference!
I can manage this!
Now, the first question is, if I go out for dinner with my boyfriend, where do we go... I might take some time to look up a few healthier options!
Have a wonderful weekend, sparkfriends!
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