Spring dreaming

by Lisa on Saturday: Mar 29, 2014

Technically spring has arrived, but I haven’t let my guard down about winter yet. We had another close call with a major snow storm this week, and though we lucked out and only got some hurricane-force winds (no snow), I really have a hard time believing this rough winter is finally over. Maybe I’m jaded at this point, but I think I’m being realistic.

Regardless, we have had a handful of days where the weather has been in the 50s (today included), and I think now may be a good time to start thinking about some things I’m looking forward to about the spring.

Going outside
Yup, this is a big one! Last year I started going for short walks outside during my work day, which not only helped keep me moving during an otherwise sedentary day of computer work, but it helped me de-stress from whatever was happening inside the office. I’m lucky enough to work in a place that’s in a somewhat naturey area with lots of little lakes and interesting birds that roam around.

D and I will often go out on long walks when the weather is nice too. We now live basically across the street from a reservation that’s a great place to go hiking. We’ll be making this a priority in the spring/summer for sure!

Warmer weather = new clothes!
I have to tell you – I can’t remember the last time I went clothes shopping! On the one hand, I haven’t wanted to because I’d love to lose a little weight first. But on the other, winter is such a blah time that it’s hard to even care about looking nice. I’m still wearing my gigantic black winter coat every day if that tells you anything. But now I’m starting to look at some new clothes and getting the itch to finally spend some gift cards I’ve acquired over the past 6 months.

More sunshine
Winter can get downright depressing with the crazy temps and the lack of any sunshine whatsoever if you work a 9-5 office job (pitch black at 4:30PM = unhappy Lisa). The sun makes me want to be more productive, to get out and do more fun things and just generally makes me feel happy.

Here’s to the spring! My favorite season of all time. Now to get back on my “eating right” plan so I can wear some spring clothes without feeling self conscious.

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What are you looking forward to about spring?

Early Wake-Ups

by Lisa on Saturday: Mar 01, 2014

For the past few months, I’ve noticed a trend in my sleeping: About once a week, my eyes will shoot open anywhere between the hours of 4:30 and 6:30 and I will under no circumstances be able to fall back to sleep, no matter how long I lay there and try. Today was one of those days, and luckily this time it was much closer to the 6:30 hour. I don’t generally love waking up early (in fact I usually loathe it), but sometimes it’s kind of peaceful. No one else is awake, the sun is just coming up and I can do anything I want.

This past week had a bit of an unusual start to it. D has been experiencing a bout of vertigo, and on Monday morning, it was worse than ever so we booked him a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon. It was going to take a long time and he needed me there, so both of us ended up taking personal days. They did a bunch of tests and determined that it was “positional” vertigo, which means it only happens when he moves his head in certain ways, and gave him some exercises to help him get back to normal.

On the way back from the appointment, I grabbed a vegetarian burrito bowl from Chipotle with extra guacamole – delicious. I wish there was a Chipotle a little more convenient to where I live.

The rest of the week was fairly crazy because of work. We have a deadline coming up, followed quickly by another deadline, so I’ve been working hard to try to keep up with everything. I did, however, make it to two fitness classes during the evenings: zumba and kickboxing. I hadn’t been to either one in a few weeks due to various things getting in the way, mostly snow. I always have so much fun at zumba and it makes me miss the days when I used to take dance classes.

I wasn’t even planning to go to kickboxing the next day, but decided spur of the moment as much work day was dying down that it might be a good way for me to get in a quality workout, instead of doing something on my own. There was a sub, and I kind of liked her better than the regular teacher. This particular class always kind of annoys me while I’m doing it because it is so incredibly repetitive. We’ll learn a punching/kicking combination and then do it approximately 7 billion times in a row, before repeating it 7 billion more times on the other side. I like a little more variety!

I hope you’ve all had productive weeks and are gearing up for relaxing weekends!

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What’s your favorite thing to get at Chipotle?

What kind of fitness classes do you like best?

Back in action

by Lisa on Saturday: Feb 22, 2014

Hello anyone who may still occasionally come by the blog! I’ve been out of the blog game for quite a few months now, due to life getting a little too busy and overwhelming (honestly, I felt like I never really caught up with life in 2013 after the big move), however I’m back now, and I can’t wait to make blogging a regular habit again. I’ve missed it!

To get back into the swing of things, here are some of the things that have been going on lately and that I’ve been thinking about:

Healthy living: Much like blogging, I’ve bee finding it a bit of a struggle to keep up in this category for the past few months. I did join a gym, and I have been going, but not as often as I’d like. However I do LOVE going to Zumba and I’ve also every now and then been going to a kickboxing class there which (no pun intended) kicks my butt thoroughly. It’s also really nice to be able to use a treadmill again. I’m hoping that getting into blogging will keep me more accountable on this as well as food and inspire me to do more meal planning.

Treadmill action at the gym

Gadgets: I was certainly showered with gadgets this past Christmas! These gifts included a Fitbit, which I’ve been wearing almost everyday to track how active I am and how well I’m sleeping. Turns out, I’m not getting nearly as much activity as I should be, and I’ve been finding it hard to do so without getting in a formal workout at the gym or at home with the Wii. It’s the dead of winter, so there’s absolutely no walking being done outside right now. I’m really looking forward to spring for this and many, many other reasons.

Winter blues: Ugh, winter. I’m sure every other blog in a state that get snow has already covered this ad nauseum, however, I must make mention of it because this is something that is very much affecting my life. One of the reasons I’ve been feeling a lack of motivation lately is because of the terrible winter we’ve been having. The snow in MA has been nonstop, making everything (including getting the mail out of my mailbox – no joke!) way harder than it should be.

That's my mailbox - how do I get to it??

Which brings us to: shoveling: D hurt his neck a few weeks ago while shoveling – nothing too serious, but he does have to dial down the physical activity until it heals. As a result, I’ve been tasked with doing all the shoveling myself for a while. The new house we live in has a massive driveway, which is a really nice feature when you want to have people over. However shoveling it takes a whole lot of time and energy. Last week it snowed 3 times, each time being about 6-8 inches and very heavy snow. Frankly, I don’t have much time for anything else during weeks like that! Let’s put a positive spin on this and just say that I got in a killer workout on those days.

The stairs covered in snow

I’ll be honest – I’m really excited and happy that I decided to make today the day to get back into blogging. I kept waiting for the “right” time when things felt perfect, but much like with anything else in life, those perfect timings almost never happen and you should just go for something when you want to.

And now it’s time to head out and do some hopping around on other blogs :)

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How has the winter been treating you?

Have you every taken a blogging break, and if so, how hard was it to get back in the habit?

Any tips for staying motivated in winter?

Thoughts on Joining a Gym

by Lisa on Thursday: Sep 19, 2013

After re-evaluating where I am in my goals for the year, I knew I needed to make some sort of drastic change in order to get my fitness goals on track. I felt like I’d been trying and failing over and over again for so long now that I didn’t know if anything would work. But one thing that’s been on my mind, and something that D and I have discussed a lot, is finding some group fitness classes to take. Notably: Zumba. I love playing my Zumba Wii games and dancing is something I’ve enjoyed my entire life.

Then, I began thinking that if I’m going to sign up for fitness classes and pay a fee to attend, why not take that money and join a full gym that offers classes as part of a membership?

I’ve talked before about my current workout options: Wii games, the office gym, my old apartment gym (which obviously isn’t an option anymore, even though it was never a great option to begin with). But this is something I’ve NEVER tried. I’ve never actually belonged to a gym. The office gym works out okay, but it’s small and there’s something that makes me very self conscious about working out with my co-workers. I would rather just work out in my own little world without worrying about socializing. I really am a bit of an introvert.

After researching some options in the area, I found an all women’s gym across the street from my office. It doesn’t get more convenient than that for location purposes. I went after work on Tuesday and signed up for a week-long free trial. I stayed there that night and worked out for an hour, getting a feel for the machines and seeing what they have to offer. I caught some glimpses of classes that were going on during my time there, and one looked INTENSE and another looked very fun. They do offer Zumba and also spinning (something else I’ve thought about trying), and also have personal trainers and nutritionists on staff.

It feels like a big change for me and will mean I’m spending a lot more time out of the house and working out. However, it kind of feels like the right decision. I want change and this might help me get there.

Plus, I can try to learn to run on the treadmills there without completely embarrassing myself in front of people I work with!

Do you belong to a gym? If so, what convinced you to bite the bullet and sign up?

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Re-Focusing on Goals

by Lisa on Monday: Sep 09, 2013

Somehow, some way, 2013 is almost over. There’s only a little more than a quarter left in the year and if you ask me, the time flew by faster than almost any year in history. Now that the weather is turning colder, autumn is coming and it’s a season of change. I wanted to sit down and review the goals I set out for myself at the beginning of the year and formulate a plan to make more progress on a few of them. Thinking about them today, I realize that a few are totally in the bag, while the rest have kind of fallen to the back burner (in a big way).

1. Get in shape
Total fail! If anything I’ve gained another 8-ish pounds this year and not only that, but I FEEL very out of shape. I think this can be attributed to the extreme stress and eating my feelings that came with buying a house and moving (the biggest reason why thus far I haven’t achieved some of the goals on this list). Yes, I drank a little more wine than I should have. Yes, I had takeout quite a bit and didn’t hold back on comfort food. Yes, there was a period of about a month where I didn’t work out. However, this is the biggest goal I have for myself for the rest of the year. I’ll write more about my specific plan in an upcoming post.

2. Move up at work
Done! I got my promotion in March and since then, I’ve been getting great feedback from my boss and co-workers and have been told that another promotion is on the horizon at the beginning of 2014. I’m very happy with my progress in this category and have been busting my butt this year to get to this point.

3. Grow the blog
Neutral. At the beginning of the year, I was doing great getting more readers, commenting on other blogs and keeping things updated. However (shockingly) once the whole house thing started up, this was another goal that fell off the radar. Time to kick things up here.

4. Cook more new meals
Starting to turn this one around. In the past 2 weeks or so, I’ve started cracking open my cookbooks and playing around with new meals for both myself and D. This one was a little hard to work on while we were still living in our apartment which had the world’s tiniest kitchen. Now that we have a nice, big open space with lots of counter tops, cooking is much easier and there are no more excuses. This will be continuing for the rest of the year.

5. Buy a house
Done! The house is purchased, we’re all moved in and now we are pretty much mostly unpacked. I’ll be doing a series of posts in the near future that will cover what it was like throughout the process for other potential home-buyers out there reading.

6. Make more time for friends and family
Good progress so far. One of my good friends and I have dinner once a month now consistently, and with some others, it’s been hit or miss. Family, on the other hand, has been around quite a bit to help with the move. Still need to keep a focus on this one for the rest of the year.

There will be a lot to do in the remainder of the year, but I’m dedicated to making progress!

What are your goal for the fall?