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?

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?

Momentum

by Lisa on Wednesday: Mar 13, 2013

We’ve made it to Wednesday! The week seems to be flying over here, and I can’t say that’s a bad thing. After changing the clocks this weekend and having a few days in the 50s, it really feels like the seasons have changed over to spring. And with that, the season of change (in my mind at least) has begun.

I’ve been thinking a lot about momentum lately, and how it can affect the way we feel and act. Last Sunday, D and I decided that starting Monday morning, we’d be extra good about our food and exercise and that we would report to each other the things we were eating (to keep each other accountable). I also bought lots of fruit and veggies to prepare us for this little experiment. Of course, the beginning of a change is always the hardest part. It’s kind of funny how much our minds can attempt to sabotage us when we’re trying to do something good. There were many times on Monday when I would ask myself if it was worth it not to have chocolate at that very moment, or worth it to skip an extra snack (even though I wasn’t really hungry at the time, just bored).

Well, turns out it is worth it. Tuesday morning waking up, I had a sense of accomplishment knowing that I did well with my eating and my goals the day before, and that propelled me throughout the day. It’s so motivating to know that the things you’re doing are adding up and building toward something good. The more days go by that I eat well, the more I want to keep up the streak. In reality, the same goes for any other goal I’m working on, whether it be fitness related, or just something random in my life. Progress leads to more progress.

Of course, it can work in the other direction as well, and I have certainly fallen victim to that side of the coin time and time again. A day full of bad eating leads to more and more days of bad eating (the “I already messed up so what’s the difference” attitude), and once that spiral begins, it can be hard to break out and turn things around in the positive direction.

The change in seasons is always a big deal to me because of the way it affects my mood, my outlook and my overall happiness. For the majority of the winter, I’ve been saying that I was waiting for spring to do so many things (buy new clothes, get my hair cut, etc.). Now it finally feels like the right time for changes, and I’m using this to fuel my momentum as well!

And I have to say, it makes all the difference in the world to have the sun still shining brightly now when I get out of work.

What are your spring goals? Do you hate having to changing the clocks or do you not mind it?

Knowing When to Take A Rest Day

by Lisa on Thursday: Feb 28, 2013

I have to be honest: my last few bootcamp workouts have left me in PAIN. And I’m not talking about the kind of next day muscle soreness that secretly makes you happy because you know you did something good for yourself. No, this kind of soreness makes it feel like I can’t walk or bend down to pick things up. The workouts themselves haven’t seemed especially hard in and of themselves (at least no more-so than any of the others), and I’ve even been modifying a few things here and there to accommodate my current fitness level (for example, instead of doing dive bombers, converting them into regular pushups).

On top of having this issue with my workouts this week, work has continued to be a stressful mess and I’m sure that’s not helping things. So today, instead of doing the next workout on the bootcamp agenda, I just did 35 minutes of Just Dance-ing. Also, after dealing with the work stress and it seeming never-ending, a few weeks ago, I put in to have today and tomorrow off. The timing for these off days couldn’t possibly have been any better. Today, I didn’t do a whole lot, and that was exactly what I needed. I slept in, cleaned the apartment, did our food shopping and just generally relaxed.

Sometimes you have to listen to your body (and your emotions!) and just do something relaxing. It does us no good to burn out either from workouts, work, or just in general by putting too much pressure on ourselves.

In my spare time, I’ve also been catching up with episodes of the Biggest Loser on Demand. Is anyone else watching this season? I hadn’t seen a single episode of this season until yesterday and now I find myself hooked again, just like what happens every other year. Even though the people on that show have their weight loss journies pushed to the extreme (and sometimes it’s questionable whether it’s healthy for them to push that hard), it’s still pretty inspiring and makes me want to get up and work.

Tomorrow I’ll see how I feel, and if the soreness in my legs is better, maybe I’ll attempt the next bootcamp workout. If not, I’ll just do some more dancing, and spend a lot of time reading/playing video games and trying my hardest to RELAX!

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In other, very sad news, my dad’s cousin passed away this morning. He was suffering a lot, and at least he’s no longer in pain. We’ll likely be attending the wake sometime next week.

January Mini-Goals

by Lisa on Sunday: Dec 23, 2012

Happy day before Christmas Eve, everyone!

It’s been an interesting month leading up to Christmas and the holidays this year, in that it hasn’t really felt like Christmas-time at all. Things have been so hectic and crazy with work, home, friends and family that I haven’t even had the time or motivation to get into the spirit. Usually I’m all about it, but I haven’t even listened to any Christmas carols. That’s so unlike me!

But if there’s one thing I have been thinking about a lot lately it’s the new year and how I want to make it a big year for myself, especially on the health and fitness front. In addition to my big, full year resolutions, I’m going to set up mini goals for myself each month to help me reach them.

Up first for January:

Joining Diet Bet — I’ve never joined anything like this before, but I heard about it recently and I love the idea! If you need some motivation to lose weight in the new year, you should check it out. The more people that join, the more fun it will be! The goal is to lose 4% of your body weight in the month of January. If I can accomplish this, I’ll be well on my way to reaching my weight loss goal.

Tracking calories — I’ve done this off and on over the years when trying to get into better shape, but I never seem to stick with it for more than a few days (or a week at most when I was really on a role) at a time. My challenge to myself is to track calories for the ENTIRE month of January. I’m going to be going back to use My Fitness Pal, and if you’d like to join me, look up my username (msmarvelproject) and add me as a friend!

If you’re celebrating the holidays this week, I’d like to wish everyone a happy time with friends and family!