April 22, 2012

Another Sunday at school...

Welp, here I am. I've been working foooooooor 15 days straight now. WOW. Granted, a few of those days were spent grading at home, and at least one of them was spent cleaning my parents' house. But I haven't had a day off in soooooooo long.

I have a huge presentation tomorrow. It's like, soooo big you guys. It's my results meeting. This is when my committee gets their first chance of ripping me a new arse hole. And I have to take it. And they may even tell me my results are worthless (which, the more I practice this presentation, the more I think they might be). And then what will I do? Also, there's a chance that one committee member won't let me defend in June anyway. Not because of worthless results (though, like I said, there's a chance), but because she may or may not be here. And she won't give me an answer. And I really need to know. Ughhh.

So I've been at school trying to get this presentation done, and grading done, so on Monday I can have some semblance of a "weekend". Though it really won't be a weekend. It will be more of a take-some-time-for yourself-because-you-haven't-in FIFTEEN-DAYS afternoon. And that will feel really nice. I'm going to work out (because I haven't in a week...so much for routine...), I'm going to register for more stuff, and I'll probably spring clean and watch bad tv and go to bed early. YAY I can't wait for this meeting to be over!

And then, after Monday, it's back to the grindstone. Full freaking force people. (But I do hope I'll find time to workout). See, if I want to defend in June, which is like, two months away, I need to write my entire thesis. But see, I'm going to HAWAII in a few weeks. And sure, I'll bring my laptop, but what good is that really going to do, really? Yeah......

Also, for the record, I'm not complaining. I see a light at the end of the tunnel! For the first time! And yeah, it's only a pin prick, and sometimes it seems to flicker, and it definitely does not seem to be getting any bigger, but it's there. And that's great. I'm really excited for the summer. Lots of great things ahead.

April 6, 2012

A workout post!

Hi all and HAPPY FRIDAY!

I've been working my tail off this week and it feels so good. So I decided to take an hour long lunch break and catch up on the ol' blog. Today I'm going to tackle something I talk about often, but never really go into detail about: exercising!

I have bitched and moaned about losing weight, I have attempted to train for a marathon, and now I'm back on the work out wagon, getting ready for my Hawaiian vacation.

So, the thing is here people, I'm not actually fat. I'm really short though, so any extra ANYTHING shows up, and it shows up quickly. Generally around my stomach area, but also on my chin (super depressing) and my boobs. But if I lose three or five pounds, it goes away very quickly. I guess I'm lucky that way.

So how do I do this? My number one tool, hands down, is Livestrong.com. It's free to sign up, so no one has any excuse not to. Obviously, it's not fool proof, but I'm guessing it's pretty accurate. Here's how it works: you enter your height, weight, gender and age as well as your daily activity level (most of us are sedentary because we sit for our jobs, but if you're a waitress or a full-time nanny you might be classified under light activity. You should not take into account how much you work out when you do fill out this portion). Next you decide how much weight you want to lose (if any) and how fast (*note, I am not a doctor, please check with yours to make sure this is right for you). Livestrong then calculates how many net calories you need per day. Mine is an even 1400 to lose a pound a week. After that, it's really easy! They have a very very easy to use calorie tracker, with nearly any food you could imagine in their database. If they don't have it, then add it! You can also add your own recipes and it will calculate the nutritional value per serving. I find the easiest way to remember to track food is to just have the link open all day on my computer.

You can also track your "fitness" or your work out routines. Again, this is not guaranteed accurate. Most people recommend wearing a heart monitor to get better results, but since I don't need to lose a ton of weight, and I'm pretty healthy anyway, I feel like as long as I'm in the ballpark, it's good enough. Just like entering recipes, you can enter in your runs/walks/bikes on google maps, as well as how long it took for you to do said activity, and easily track it the next time. Easy peasy. I especially like this tool.

I've played with calorie counting before, and honestly, it never really lasts that long for me (especially once I get into a good routine), but this is the best site for it, in my opinion. It's very easy to use, and it's easy to look at. I like watching my bar go up and down each day, and you can compare across days to see what your eating habits are like. I also like the website because there are great user forums to help you get inspired to try a long run, or do a weight circuit or something.  (*note number two: I am not affiliated with Livestrong, nor did they ask me to write this post. I'm just sharing my own personal experience).

My second favorite tool, is actually more than one thing--it's the blogs I read. Two, specifically. Iowagirleats and the Fitnessista (I can't pronounce it either). Maybe these specific ones are not right for you, but what I like about fitness/eating blogs is that they are good inspiration for healthy foods and lifestyles. Both of them post recipes and workouts on a regular basis, which helps bring change into my routine (the Fitnessista has the best line: "change creates change". So. Effing. True.). Whether or not these are right for you, I suggest subscribing to something similar, if only for the reminder to stay on track.

My third favorite tool might not actually be in your tool box, but it's my addictive personality. Ha. When I'm not in a good workout routine, I never ever ever want to make that first trip to the gym. But as soon as I get one or two workouts in in a week, I can't stop. It takes something huge (for me, it was getting sick at the beginning of this semester). Now that I've been running on a regular basis, I don't want to stop. I luuuuuuurrrrve that feeling. It's super addicting to me. Hopefully it will be for you too (but seriously, give it some time. Because believe me, I know all about that "I'd rather eat my own feces than exert myself" feeling.)

Phew! This is turning into quite the entry. Now that I've given you my tools, I'll let you know what I'm focusing on right now. As I said earlier, I'm getting ready to go to Hawaii. In a bathing suit. Ugh. But looking farther into the future, I have a wedding to star in. So overall, I just want to look goooood, y'know? I'm at a fairly healthy weight (could stand to lose about three pounds. Go ahead and eye roll, but it's true), but I'm flabby as all shit. My stomach especially. And did I mention I'm heading to Hawaii? And that I have a thesis to write (read: I sit on my ass all day long)? So I'm trying to fit in 4 to 5 days of exercise per week, and mix it up each time. Three days a week I get in at least 30 minutes of cardio (either running or spinning), followed by an abs workout and either an arms or legs workout. Once a week I go hiking with the class I TA for, and once a weekend I go hiking/skiing/biking with Tommy. I also try to walk to and from school/grocery store when possible. I'm hoping that this variety will slim me down and tone me up for a smokin' (HA!) beach bod in a few weeks. At least it can't hurt. Also, the routine is key. Keykeykey. Because I WILL have a great body for my wedding. Hands fucking down. And if I can stay in this routine It'll be easy as pie.

I am also working on eating less (Livestrong). Which is hard. I can drink all my day's calories in one night out to the bar. Ooops. That's actually the hardest part. No, I'm not an alcoholic, but one beer or glass of wine is over 100 calories. And who has one drink anyway? Let's get serious. So yeah, I'm not perfect, but I'm trying. I'm also trying to just eat healthier, which again isn't that easy because I love bad food. But I haven't had french fries in a week! Yay!

In an effort to help myself and help you, I'm going to try to blog more about my specific work outs and what I eat. I was going to do it today, but the sun came out and it's Friday afternoon. So I'm out of here. Have a great weekend!

April 1, 2012

Also, this

A status update I made March 1 2011, perfectly sums up my sentiments in the previous post:

"HAPPY MARCH EVERYONE! Goodbye, goodbye winter. Hello to early sunrises and epic sunsets. Hello to spring flowers, less snow, more sun. Take off your down jackets, throw off your boots and effing rejoice! For March is the second best month next to Aprilmayjune!!!!!!!!! YAY SPRING IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER!!"

**Apparently my favorite month is Aprilmayjune. I forgot the June part haha. 


Well, I am pretty close to getting four posts in March. Oh well! Happy April anyway!

March was a great month, but it absolutely flew by. I mainly worked my tail off on my thesis, aaaaaand that's about it. Seriously, it seems that it's all that I've done. But I'm proud of myself for working so hard, even though it still seems like it's never going to end. I've already pushed back the date of my defense to "sometime in June", but that depends on my committee's individual schedules. And they're not giving me much information so far. Hmmmm...let the nagging begin!

April 1 not only designates the end of March, but the end of the first quarter of the year. So, I thought I'd re-examine my resolutions and see what I've done, and what I need to do!

  • Lost more weight: Ha. and HA. That's a laugh. I was doing so well during the fall because of all that marathon training, and then spring semester started up and I'm lucky if I work out once a week. And I really need to work out. I'm going to Hawaii in about a month and I must be beach ready by then. I hope to make it to the gym ~3 times a week from now on. Friday afternoons are spent hiking with my class, and Tommy and I try to do something (hike/bike/run) at least once a weekend. So if I can make it to the gym three times a week on top of those other two things, I should be in good shape (both literally and figuratively). 
  • Write this ish at least once a week: It's not been tooooo bad. Last month was a little slow. And when I did post it was short. But it's better than nothing! I think I can keep that up for another three months.
  • Cook more: I've been killing the shit out of this one. Unfortunately I never post about it, so you'll just have to take my word for it, but it's true! I've really started to become a better cook too! I just cannot wait until we have our own kitchen with our own nice things. It's really hard to plan for the week because we're constantly switching houses. But oh well. I'm still keeping on top of it and it's been fun.
Other than that, like I said things are going great. It's been sooooo nice out. Tommy and I went on our first long bike ride last weekend, and yesterday we took the dog up Millcreek Canyon for a hike. It's snowing right now, unfortunately, but that's why I'm at school! Getting stuff done!

Happy April to you all (yes, I know I already said that, but April 1 ALSO marks the beginning of my favorite season: Aprilmay. It's that time of year when the weather is absolutely perf. School is finishing up [though, I guess not really for me anymore since I'm no longer taking classes....]. Skies are blue. Birds are chirping. I just love Aprilmay!!!!!)