Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Book Update

So I finished "Joyland" and "Why We Broke Up" in about a day combined.  Once I set out to finish them I did. 

I really liked "Why We Broke Up".  It was a book I bought after hearing about it, and I purchased it in hardback because it was one of those books that just feels good.  I liked the touch of the pages, and since it was comprised of a lot of illustrations, it just fit better in the old tried and true format.  It was a sweet story and the illustrations gave it a unique twist that I really enjoyed.

"Joyland" was an entertaining read.  Nothing especially remarkable, but a good story with a bit of heart to it.

After that I read "The Silent Wife" in about two and a half days.  It was....strange.  It was one of those books where I didn't like either of the main characters, which always makes me feel a bit disconnected from the story.  I liked "Gone Girl" much better, but it was a good read nonetheless. 

I veered a bit off path after that and ended up buying, "Heartbreak for Dinner: It's Kind of a Long Story" by Annah Rondon.  She's the author of a now defunct blog, Red Means Go that I followed until it's very recent demise.  I think she's just reached that point where that blog has culminated in this book, and it's time to close one chapter and move forward.  I'm bummed because her blog always made me laugh, but I was glad to have the book to read.  It was alternately hilarious and touching, and the end left me wanting more!  She also does little drawings to go with a lot of her blog entries (and book chapters) and they are awesomely entertaining.  I highly recommend it if it's your kind of thing!

Next up:  "The Never List" by Koethi Zan.  Got a sample of it on my Kindle randomly and was hooked.  Immediately bought it and inserted it into my to be read list, right on top.  Sounds like a good psychological thriller, and I'm really thinking this will be a good one!

This concludes the Bluemoon book discussion post for today.  :-)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I'd rather be reading

I've barely read anything all summer.  For the last couple of months I've picked up and put down the same two books multiple times without ever making any real headway in either of them.  Yesterday I picked one of them up ("Why We Broke Up" by Daniel Handler) and finished it.  Last night I picked up the other ("Joyland" by Stephen King) and I made some good progress on it in my morning commute, and I look forward to reading more over lunch.

Sunday I bought two books online via Amazon:  "Heart-Shaped Box" by Joe Hill and "Locke and Key Vol. 1 Welcome to Lovecraft", also by Joe Hill.  Today on my Kindle I bought "Human Remains" by Elizabeth Haynes and "The Silent Wife" by A.S.A. Harrison.  I also ordered probably a dozen samples of other books, and this doesn't acknowledge the fact that I have two books at home waiting to be read: "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" by Neil Gaiman and "Wool Omnibus Edition" by Hugh Howey. 

I LOVE having this many books waiting to be read.  I love the options.  I love that some are Kindle books, some are real books, some have illustrations, some are short, some are long.  I want to throw myself headfirst back into reading with abandon.  I want to become so immersed in a book that I want to read it every spare second, so entranced that I lose track of time.

I've been so busy with real life things lately.  Baseball games, birthday parties, happy hours, movies, training sessions, dinner dates with girlfriends, brunches.  My calendar has been packed and it's been wonderful and I'm doing so many fun things with so many different people.  I've felt exquisitely happy in the last couple of weeks for any number of reasons, and coincidentally, I've gone on no dates in that time period.  It's just been me, my friends, my solo time, and it's been wonderful.

Last night I stayed in and made homemade macaroni and cheese.  Not good for the waistline, but good for the soul.  I have leftovers for lunch today, and I will eat them while I continue to read "Joyland".  All day long all I've thought about is books, and going home to get my books from Amazon, and what one I will read next.  It's kind of intoxicating to have so many choices!

Finally, my lunch hour is here and I get to go spend an hour somewhere else, in another world, with some awesome food to quell my hunger at the same time.  Happy tuesday, indeed.  :-)

Monday, August 5, 2013

stop the madness

Most people use the summer months as motivation to get in shape.  They envision beaches and pools and bikinis and shorts and cute dresses and think about how they should work to look their best in all of these summery things.  Me?  I look at summer and apparently I get hungry.  And lazy.  And indulgent.  And so I eat with abandon, and I slack on going to the gym, but maybe 3x a week instead of the six I used to.  And it shows!

I weighed myself this morning for the first time in MONTHS.  I'd been avoiding the scale because I knew.  I knew I'd lost ground, and I didn't want to see it in front of me.  But today I did it, and it was bad.  I've gained back all of my weight I'd lost except for 4 lbs.  Boo.  But honestly, it could have been worse. 

I surprised myself because I didn't cry about it.  I didn't immediately start berating myself over my lack of self control.  I didn't collapse into a puddle on my bathroom floor full of self-loathing and disgust.  I saw the number.  I logged the number on, and I got in the shower.  Instead of going down the dark road, I squared my shoulders and took stock of things.

I've cut my working out down by half.  Half as many workouts each week on my own, and only one weekly session with my trainer instead of two. 

I've been eating horribly.  Not only by quantity, but by quality.  I still eat fruit, but not as often.  I still eat vegetables, but way less than before.  I've been drinking a lot less water unless it's post-workout.  My sodium and sugar intake have been off the charts.  I've indulged in fast food a lot this summer.

So yeah.  OBVIOUSLY I've gained weight back.  Obviously my skin is breaking out a little bit more again.  Obviously.  What did I expect?

There are a couple silver linings to this dark cloud of a reality check this morning.  One, in spite of the weight gain, I feel like I don't look as overweight as I did last year at this time.  I think that's because I'm still more toned than I was.  Two, I know how to fix this.  I have all the tools to make it right, to get back on track.  I'm not aimless like I was before.  So I'm going to use those tools to get back on the better road.  I'm starting today.

I had a nice bowl of Fiber One Honey Squares with skim milk for breakfast.  I have a bowl of mixed berries for a snack.  I'm going to get a salad for lunch.  I'm going to drink a TON of water today.

Also?  I'm instituting some new rules for myself. 
1) Every morning when I get into work, I'm going to drink a big glass of water before I eat or drink anything else.  It helps get my water intake off to a good start, it makes me feel a little bit fuller, and it's good for my skin!

2) I'm going to make an effort to stop distracted eating.  This morning I noticed I was just blindly shoveling cereal in while reading news online.  I caught myself and stopped.  I took the time to focus on the rest of the cereal and finished it without distraction.  Distraction while eating equals eating more without needing to. 

3) Back to walking up and down more stairs or escalators instead of just taking the free ride.  Every little bit helps!

4) Back to the gym with a goal of 6x/week again.  If I can't swing trainer more often, I just need to make sure I do the strength and toning workout on my own at home once or twice more a week at least. 

5) Sleep.  I'm going to try to get my sleep habits under control during the week.  I can't be staying up until 2am.  Not only do I end up having more hours to feel like I'm hungry when I'm not, it just leaves me feeling exhausted during the day, and gives me an excuse to skip out on the gym.  Not okay anymore!

Tonight I'm going to the store to pick up a few staples that I need when I'm doing the whole eating better thing.  This will mean more preparation the night before of breakfasts and lunches, and more planning for dinners and snacks.  I will have to stop buying the trigger foods I can't control myself with, and absolutely, positively, without fail continue to track my food intake and exercise for at least a month or so to get back on track.

I can totally do this.  I've done it before, and I know exactly why I've gained the weight back.  I know exactly how to lose it again.  Here I go again.  :-)