CARILOUIE's SparkPeople Blog CARILOUIE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community 7/11/15 Sometimes I feel like there's a little "click!" that goes off in my brain. This week, something went off in my brain that got me to work out 6 days this week, to really pay attention to my eating, and to continually fill up my water bottle. I don't know what made it happen, but I'm glad that something did. <BR> <BR> Today: <BR> <BR> - go to the market to pick up some fruit. <BR> - make a fruit salad. <BR> - read. <BR> - drink water. <BR> <BR> I am going to a jewelry party this afternoon - ... Sat, 11 Jul 2015 08:07:42 EST Step away from the scale... (maybe??) As I work on getting back into a workout routine and a mindset of "you can do this!" I go back and forth on the best way to check my progress. The scale? Measurements? Perceived exertion? I didn't think I'd mind using the scale, but the last few times I've gotten on, it's just made me really upset. That doesn't motivate me at all! <BR> <BR> But I'll tell you what does - this morning I did a short run, the first time in a really long time where I ran two days in a row. One thing I know about ... Sun, 5 Jul 2015 08:28:52 EST 6.21.15 I love Sundays. The time I have in the morning before church is so peaceful - I get in a run, do some Sparking, and catch up on my life. <BR> <BR> I'm on a 9-day Spark streak, and have had my FitBit for about the same number of days. It's no coincidence that I am feeling better and more ready to take control of my body again. I've been drinking tons more water, and I actually got out of bed before my alarm today and ran! I need to get those steps in! <BR> <BR> Since it's going to be SOOOO ... Sun, 21 Jun 2015 08:32:29 EST No more pencils, no more books... Today was the last day of school! Hurrah!!!! I did pretty well eating overall. I actually declined an invitation to the bar this evening. Tomorrow night is the teachers' last day (I have an interview, so today was my last day) and we'll be going to happy hour after school is finished. I know that I'll be eating and drinking a lot then. <BR> <BR> I finally feel like I'm getting enough water, although I know I can always use more. I've been filling up my glass more often and drinking full bott... Thu, 18 Jun 2015 20:42:28 EST Winding down I just went back and read some of my blogs from last year. I don't know whether to be depressed or motivated - they were all about Eating Clean! Running 10 Miles! Losing Weight! <BR> And here I am now, feeling pudgy and struggling to maintain a consistent workout routine. <BR> <BR> I recently started a new birth control, and I'm hoping (hoping isn't right word...) that once my body adjusts to the new hormones, things will get back to where they should be. <BR> <BR> The school year is win... Wed, 17 Jun 2015 07:36:00 EST Day 1 (again) It's funny how 15 pounds just crept up on me. Well, not really funny ha-ha, but funny as in "hm." I think it was easy for me to pretend all spring as I was wearing long stretch skirts to school and flowy tops. But the first time I put on my shorts? YIKES. <BR> <BR> So I bit the bullet and bought a new Fitbit yesterday. I had one last year, lost it, and never replaced it. Right when I lost the Fitbit is when my fitness and nutrition started going downhill. I know that correlation does not equ... Sun, 14 Jun 2015 08:07:48 EST Yikes! It's been a long time since I've tracked my food on here. I've written down little bits and pieces in a notebook, but I haven't been looking at the calories. Holy moly! I tracked today's breakfast, and I'm already up at almost 700 calories. And it's the little stuff like the OJ and chai tea that add up. What an eye opener. I'm lucky I didn't gain more weight than I did! I'm going to enjoy my chai anyway, and I will be more conscious the rest of the day. <BR> <BR> It's going to be a busy day... Sun, 1 Mar 2015 08:48:54 EST Morning exercise I used to be a morning exerciser. I woke up at 5:00 every day to get in a swim, a run, or a lifting session. And it was great. I had tons of energy, I stayed on track with my eating throughout the day... <BR> <BR> So what happened??!?!? <BR> <BR> I am no longer that morning person. I've been staying up wayyyy too late, I can't get up with my alarm, and I am feeling sluggish. I'm so frustrated. I seem to have lost all my willpower. Just this morning, I got a muffin at Whole Foods just becaus... Sat, 21 Feb 2015 09:45:33 EST A fresh start Tomorrow is a brand new day. Not only a new day, but a new chapter in my life. I am starting a job within walking distance, and I'll be getting over 10 hours a week back in time I won't be commuting to work. This is amazing. <BR> <BR> Also, my grad classes are ending, which will free up some time. And!!! Tomorrow afternoon is closing on our house. We found a buyer for the house we've been renting out, and tomorrow at 2:30 we will no longer be homeowners. Hurrah! <BR> <BR> So all this good... Sun, 30 Nov 2014 17:42:32 EST Counting on strength in numbers... I haven't been on Spark since June - it's the longest break I've taken since I started Sparking in 2009. And you know what? I can tell when I'm active on Spark and when I'm not. I've gained back the 10 pounds I lost after eating clean and vegan, I've been slacking on my workouts, and my motivation is hanging on by a thread. In the beginning of the fall, I used the excuse that I was starting two grad classes and a new job. And now it's been two months, and I'm still using that excuse. <BR> <... Sun, 2 Nov 2014 07:54:11 EST Pep talk! I am having SUCH a hard time adjusting to my new work schedule. My eating is totally off - making really poor choices with food, and having a hard time with a meal/snack schedule. And I definitely feel it. I'm tired, I have to work really hard to stay positive, and I just feel *off*. Plan plan plan. I MUST prioritize the planning part of my new job. And I MUST get in the habit of drinking MUCH more water at work. My water bottle needs to be full and in view at all times. I've come too far to ... Thu, 12 Jun 2014 20:36:09 EST New job brings new challenges First, I'm very excited to be working full-time again. It's a relief to have some income and some breathing room with our bills. However, I need to figure out how I will keep up my healthy eating and work it into my day. I am so used to eating at home, having hubs cook healthy meals for me or leaving easy-for-me-to-cook meals in the fridge. My job has me working in an administrative office, and one challenge I have is finding food to being that can go in the fridge and is easy to prepare/no p... Thu, 5 Jun 2014 07:34:19 EST A new plan for snacks One of my biggest challenges in keeping up with my Sparked self is motivation. Or rather, keeping my motivation up during the entire day. Evening is the hardest time for me, especially with my eating. I get SO hungry and just eat whatever. My excuse is usually "well, I ate healthy all day and it wasn't really that much." So my plan to combat this evening eating thing is to eat more during the day; maybe add some snacks in, fruit and almond butter, guacamole... <BR> <BR> Overall I feel prett... Mon, 19 May 2014 08:49:23 EST Goin' to a shower... again! I think it's funny that the last time I wrote a blog, I was headed to a shower. Today's shower is for my best friend, and much less work than the last one. I don't have as much to do; I think this MOH has a better planning system than the other one. <BR> <BR> I am headed to the gym in a little bit. Yesterday was a run day, today is a strength training day. Then it's off to pick up the food and a couple last minute shower things... it's going to be a busy morning! <BR> <BR> Yesterday's run... Sun, 27 Apr 2014 07:46:04 EST Goin' to a shower Today I'm going to a bridal shower for my future SIL. It is up in the area where I used to live, so I'm traveling today. I'm one of the bridesmaids, so I've done a lot of preparation for today. I also know what the food menu is going to look like. I have my work cut out for me - I am determined to stick to my healthy eating. I've worked really hard to get where I am, and I feel great. I don't really want to leave the shower today feeling bad about my choices. <BR> <BR> I think I kind of forg... Sat, 12 Apr 2014 07:30:20 EST A little sugar here, a little sugar there... I know that cookies and cakes are my weakness. When I decided to go on my diet cleanse, added sugar was one thing I knew I really wanted to cut out. And I was doing really well! I lost about a pound a week when I was carefully watching my sugar, along with dedicating myself to my workouts. And when I saw that I was doing really well with my weight loss, I thought "one little _____ won't hurt." "I can have some ______ tonight, it won't be a big deal." But added up, it *Is* a big deal. I haven'... Tue, 8 Apr 2014 15:55:47 EST Wednesday I already got in my 10-mile run and I'm feeling good. My legs are a bit sore from yesterday's workout, but I finished my run strong. <BR> <BR> Today: <BR> - drink lots of water <BR> - track my food <BR> - get some teaching stuff done Wed, 2 Apr 2014 11:02:05 EST Five miles = a fantastic start to the day! The blog I'm writing now is very different than the one I would have written last night. I was feeling pretty blah - I hadn't done a workout for a week, and my food choices were less than stellar. So after some journaling, prayer, and self-reflection, I set my alarm for 6:30am so I could get in an early run. My early run reaffirmed why I consider myself a morning person. I did five + miles before I could make any excuses, and I feel great. My run will set the tone for the entire day, includin... Sun, 23 Mar 2014 09:20:10 EST Getting back to it after vacation I think I have the post-vacation blues. Hubs and I had a wonderful week in Florida, but now it's back to reality. <BR> <BR> The only part of my diet that I stuck to last week was the "no coffee" part. Sheesh. But it's something! I really didn't want to have to wean myself off of coffee again. <BR> <BR> Yesterday was the first day since we got back on Friday night that I did a workout - I ran 4 miles. I ran during vacation, which was good - I need to be consistent for my 10-miler in May. Th... Thu, 13 Mar 2014 08:38:21 EST Progress report and new goals For February, I used hard data to set goals and track my progress. <BR> <BR> Goals - did I meet them? <BR> <BR> PAWS shifts (the no-kill shelter where I volunteer) - goal was 8, I did 7. <BR> <BR> Running miles - goal was 25, actual mileage was 29.37. I am thrilled about this number, especially given how stinkin' cold it was this month! I got out there and ran in all kinds of weather - snow, cold, rain, sun, wind... every day running in the winter is a day closer to spring! <BR> <BR> Appl... Fri, 28 Feb 2014 20:37:25 EST Cold weather = an exhausted me! I almost put off today's run until tomorrow - I'm glad I didn't. Tomorrow is going to be ridiculously cold. This morning at 7:00am it was about 19F, tomorrow at 7:00am it's going to be 5F, with a windchill of -7F. I'm a trooper, but -7 is a bit too much for me! <BR> <BR> Today's good things: <BR> <BR> - I drank lots of water <BR> - My nutrition was great! <BR> - I had a fun toddler class this evening - everyone left smiling, and nobody got hurt! <BR> <BR> So next week I will be in Florida... Thu, 27 Feb 2014 21:01:36 EST What a glorious day! If this morning's run was any indication of how the rest of the day will go, it's going to be great! I got 8 hours of sleep last night - it's so much easier to run with a full night of sleep behind me - I had a cup of pre-run ginger tea, I warmed up, and I was out the door. The sun was shining, the wind was low, and I ended up doing 2.5 miles at a 9:50 AP. What an improvement - the combo of sleep, nutrition, and regular workouts is making a difference! <BR> <BR> Today: <BR> - lots of water!... Sun, 23 Feb 2014 08:50:53 EST Good mood for Saturday! What a day to wake up in a great mood! The temps are going to reach at least 50 (!!), the sun is out, and in about a week I will be headed to sunny Florida with hubs to stay with his parents for a week. Life is good. <BR> <BR> I tried on some summer clothes so I can start packing (I am a crazy traveler and start getting organized WAAAAY ahead of time), and I am excited to report that everything fits! In fact, a lot of it fits even better than it did last year! This is good news - my dress fi... Sat, 22 Feb 2014 07:22:03 EST Another easy dinner. I am ALL ABOUT the easy meals. I have to admit, I think it would have been very hard for me to change my diet so (relatively) quickly without my chef husband. He loves cooking healthy for me, and he loves being challenged by my requests - no added sugar, dairy-free, unprocessed grains, vegetarian as much as possible... I tend to flounder when he's not around, walking across the street for pizza or a banh mi. So when I find an easy, delicious meal, I get really excited. And I love to share! <B... Fri, 21 Feb 2014 19:29:46 EST Goals for today Today is going to be a busy day, but I'm determined to get in a run this afternoon. Typically I like to go in the morning, but the temps dropped overnight and the sidewalks are really icy. I had to do a little dance to set out my garbage this morning, so I can only imagine what it would have been like trying to run! <BR> <BR> It's already a good morning. I didn't hit the snooze button, I feel like I'm getting a taste for green tea (yesterday it tasted so funny to me, and today I really enjoy... Thu, 20 Feb 2014 07:52:30 EST Easiest dinner ever! There isn't a whole lot in our house to eat. There are a few snacky things, but I wasn't sure what I was going to have for dinner. We *did* have tofu and eggs in the house, so I started with them and made an AWESOME dinner. <BR> <BR> Brown tofu in a non-stick pan <BR> Add one egg <BR> Add about 1/4 cup pico de gallo (I bought a container) <BR> YUM <BR> <BR> It was so ridiculous. I don't really enjoy putting a lot of time into cooking for just myself, so I am THRILLED when I figure out an ea... Wed, 19 Feb 2014 21:02:07 EST No sugar going strong! I am committed to eliminating added sugar from my diet. Last night for my after-dinner treat I had a banana with some almond butter and cinnamon. It was delicious! Two nights ago, hubs made me a little treat - a tiny square of really dark chocolate, a dab of palm sugar, and some peanut butter. And it was too sweet for me. Huh. I never thought that I'd think something like that was "too sweet." <BR> <BR> Today: <BR> <BR> - water! <BR> - afternoon run, when the temp goes above freezing <BR> ... Tue, 18 Feb 2014 07:59:02 EST Working on a diet change I've been trying out an informal body detox, where I am working to eliminate dairy, coffee, added sugar, and processed foods from my diet. It's been a little over a week, and I'm doing great! I know correlation =/= causation, but there are some really awesome improvements I've noted: <BR> <BR> - better sleep. I was having some trouble sleeping though the night, and the last week has been GREAT for sleeping. Much fewer random wakeups in the middle of the night - I even sleep through hubby com... Sun, 16 Feb 2014 08:16:00 EST Skinny jeans feelin' skinny! Getting out for a run this morning was no small feat! It's cloudy and cold, and the bed felt especially cozy today. Sigh... but I got out and did a little over three miles. It was apparently a very good sign of the rest of the morning, because my skinny jeans actually feel skinny - they slipped right on and buttoned without any contorting, my belt is at a good notch, and I feel great. <BR> <BR> I'm off to church, then we are going on a field trip to the African American History Museum, and ... Sun, 9 Feb 2014 08:56:34 EST Thursday I feel almost back to normal today. I can tell that my cold is making its way out of my system, and I really want to eat some fruit and veggies. Last night around 6:00 I started to feel better - it's funny how it was kind of sudden, just like it started - and after taking some Nyquil for a stuffy nose, I had a great night of sleep. I teach this morning and again this evening, and between Spark clicks, I'm scheduling an easy workout in sometime today. <BR> <BR> When I'm coming back from a co... Thu, 6 Feb 2014 08:35:57 EST Confession time I think I spoke too soon when I said that I loved the quiet of snowfall. We had MORE nasty weather last night into today - sleet and gross cold rain - and I am STILL fighting off the end of my cold from Monday. I can't even stand it. I pulled something in my shoulder and/or back, and it's been hurting for two days. Like *really* hurting. Only this morning did it stop throbbing. I am a sad soul. And...!!! Today I ate a box of Thin Mints. An entire box. Ugh. <BR> <BR> I am primarily blogging ... Wed, 5 Feb 2014 16:37:34 EST Snow day! It's too bad that things can't go according to plan 100% of the time! I had today all planned out - morning yoga, afternoon volunteer shift, and photography class this evening. But my body had other plans. To get a cold. Ugh. But, aside from the aches and stuffy nose that come with a cold, it is a good chance to get caught up on some things that I usually procrastinate with - lesson plans, reading for work, cleaning... And anyway, the fact that it's snowing like crazy makes it less of a bumme... Mon, 3 Feb 2014 11:59:21 EST The numbers don't lie I've never been really big on using hard data to track my progress; instead, I usually go by how I felt I did over the month. But maybe it's time to try something new. I always get amped up when a new month is coming, so perhaps I'm overestimating my success for January. This morning I looked at the data. <BR> <BR> 18 apples - an apple for each time I worked out. This comes to a 60% workout rate. I'd like to subscribe to the 80/20 rule in February, so I'm shooting for 23 apples. This allows ... Sat, 1 Feb 2014 08:00:10 EST Yesterday =/= today I have had it up to my freakin' eyeballs with this cold. I know, I know, it's winter in the northeast, but still. Come on! <BR> <BR> After I got home yesterday afternoon, I just could not will myself back out of the house into the cold to get to the gym. This morning I stayed in bed an extra 45 minutes because I just could not seem to get out from under the warm covers. And now? I could just cry thinking about how cold it's going to be for the next week or so. <BR> <BR> Yesterday was a hug... Sat, 25 Jan 2014 07:35:56 EST Apples = success There are so many little tips I like to keep in mind to help me reach my goals. One of the most useful is "don't go more than two days without a workout." As I reflect on my progress over the last few weeks, I notice a trend - my calendar shows apples (I put apple stickers on the days I work out) on almost every day. And when there is no apple on one day, there is definitely one on the next. <BR> <BR> I love lists, so here goes. <BR> <BR> <em>244</em> things <BR> <BR> <em>551</em> :... Wed, 22 Jan 2014 09:09:22 EST Rain, schmain. The longer I live in the city, the less I mind going outside in not-perfect weather. Today was pretty crappy - freezing drizzle this morning, annoying cold rain this afternoon and evening... but I still managed to do a 3-mile run and get almost 15,000 steps in! (I got a FitBit for Christmas and LOVE to see many steps I take every day!) I am so excited to see how many steps I take when the weather is actually where I *want* to be out in it! <BR> <BR> It was an exciting day. I set up a job int... Fri, 10 Jan 2014 21:56:54 EST Brrrr! It's funny what happens when I listen to my body. Since joining SparkPeople five years ago, I've learned to be kind to my body and pay attention to what it's telling me. So for the last few days I haven't felt like working out. But I didn't freak out! I know that it was a temporary thing, and that when my body tells me it needs a break, it needs a break! And you know what? Today I got dressed for a run, and went outside. I didn't actually run, because the sidewalks are a sheet of ice, and the... Sun, 5 Jan 2014 08:47:44 EST Cold and cold It is SOOOO cold I can hardly stand it. And on top of that, I think I am fighting a cold. Ugh. I knew it was coming - I did a leg workout on New Years Eve and I still felt super sore yesterday. Whenever my DOMS lasts that long, I know something is wrong. So here it is, January 4th, and I still haven't done a workout. Not a very auspicious start to the year. But since listening to my body is just as important as working out, I can't be *too* bummed. I need to take care of myself! <BR> <BR> I... Sat, 4 Jan 2014 16:21:54 EST Spark Party! What a wonderful weekend! I spent a few days in Pittsburgh at a wedding - and it was all because of SparkPeople! Tomorrow it will be my 5 year Sparkaversary. There have been times when I was a gung-ho Sparker, and times when I needed a little extra push. But regardless, I have made some amazing friends through Spark. <BR> <BR> I love New Years. I love resolutions, I love the motivation it gives me, and I love starting fresh! Tue, 31 Dec 2013 17:17:07 EST Back to the real world... Hubs and I had a really nice Christmas. Family time was good, and it was a pretty relaxed holiday. My mom got me a Fitbit - I set it up and I'm excited to start keeping track of how much a schlep around the city! <BR> <BR> Looking forward to getting back on track and starting the New Year. Thu, 26 Dec 2013 19:49:04 EST Ugh Today was a good day up until this afternoon, when a few things really got me upset. <BR> 1. I thought I missed the deadline for my Ph.D application, even though I checked it a gazillion times. <BR> 2. I learned that emergency unemployment could very well end on Dec. 28th. <BR> <BR> I did *not* miss the deadline, but the unemployment thing really sucks. Just when I got used to living on part-time wages and unemployment, I learn it could just *end* in a week or so. I am so upset. I spent mo... Thu, 19 Dec 2013 20:40:27 EST Lessons from the shelter Today was a really good day. I did my workout this morning, got in some quality reading time, and then spent the evening serving dinner at my church's shelter. From November until May, my church hosts a group of men who eat dinner and sleep there. The young adults group serves once a month, and I look forward to it. <BR> <BR> It's easy for me to get wrapped up in all the "stuff" of the holidays. And why not? The stuff can be fun! Helping at the men's shelter reminds me to be grateful for al... Wed, 18 Dec 2013 20:26:16 EST Runnin' in the flurries... Yesterday I woke up and my body was telling me to stay home. I've learned when it's being serious about it, and when it's just trying to stay in the warm covers. Yesterday was for real - my legs were really sore from my weekend workouts, and I just felt a little off. Turns out I did the right thing - I slept a LOT, so I think I successfully kept a sickness at bay. All that from a rest day! <BR> <BR> This morning I felt much better and was able to do my scheduled run. It was a snowy two mile ... Tue, 10 Dec 2013 17:16:58 EST My first city snow! We got a lot of snow today in Philly! It was kind of unexpected - I had heard only an inch or so, but it was much more than that. It was so beautiful - hubs met me up at my church to get our picture taken with the animals in the creche, and then we walked home in a LOT of snow. I have to admit, it was really nice knowing that I didn't have to drive anywhere. I don't have to drive to get groceries, I don't have to drive to get wine... bring on the snow! <BR> <BR> I got in a 3.25 mile run this... Sun, 8 Dec 2013 19:50:55 EST Getting it done I have trouble going to the gym after a certain hour... I don't know why, I just do. I planned to go this afternoon, but after my nap, I just didn't feel like going. But this has a happy ending - I did my workout at home. I got out the weights, put on some upbeat Christmas music, and did my workout here. <BR> <BR> Drank lots of water today, got a bunch of housework done, and am enjoying a glass of wine while I do some computer work. I'm getting to some stuff that isn't pressing, but stuff t... Sat, 7 Dec 2013 21:44:49 EST Me - 1, Rain - 0 This morning was the first time I have ever done a non-race run in the rain. My former gym had great treadmills with lots of cable programming, so I could catch up on some trashy TV while I got in my miles if it rained. The gym I belong to now... I love the gym, but the treadmills leave a lot to be desired. The TV channels stink, and getting the miles done on the TM is more tedious than ever! So I put on my shoes, a hat and some wet-weather gear, and did 3.25 miles in the rain. Yay! I managed... Fri, 6 Dec 2013 11:09:31 EST Groove I feel like I'm into a good morning groove. My secret is when I wake up, I put on my running/gym clothes right away. Sometimes I go out right away, sometimes I wait an hour or so, but I'm always ready when I decide to get moving. <BR> <BR> Today: <BR> - water! <BR> - enjoy my time with my mum this afternoon and evening <BR> Wed, 4 Dec 2013 10:23:14 EST December! This is the first First-of-the-Month in a while where I've been excited to develop some goals for the month. I spent most of November getting back into some healthy habits - water drinking, working out regularly (at the gym and running outside), getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night, etc. So this month I can build on that and give myself some goals. <BR> <BR> Goal: Run 35 miles in December <BR> <BR> Goal: workout 6 days a week - 3 days running, 3 days strength training <BR> <BR> Goal: drink ... Sun, 1 Dec 2013 08:41:28 EST Keeping warm There's something about running in the cold that I really love. Maybe it's because it makes me feel really hard-core, since I am wearing a neck gaiter and mittens. Or maybe it's the quiet that comes from the streets being so empty, people bundled up in their houses instead. Perhaps it's the feeling of accomplishment that I got out there and ran despite the freezing temperatures. Whatever it is, I like it. Running in the Pocono mountains during the winter has prepared me to run in Philly in th... Sat, 30 Nov 2013 10:25:28 EST Thanksgiving success! I feel really good about Thanksgiving. Hubby cooked, and we didn't totally gorge ourselves. Since he's a chef, he is really good about controlling portions and eying up how much food we should make. There were just enough leftovers to have a little bit today. <BR> <BR> Yesterday morning I ran three miles, which is the most I've done since my half-marathon in May! And this morning, I did a great gym workout. I started following the New Rules of Lifting For Abs - I really like the workouts. I... Fri, 29 Nov 2013 17:39:18 EST