Monday, November 9, 2015

Frost on the Window

In a very unwelcome turn of events, our nearly 80 degree weather on Saturday has now turned into a 30 degree morning with frost on the grass!  Brr.  I've really been enjoying the unseasonably warm weather, but I knew it was going to be short-lived.  One of these days soon we're going to turn a corner into permanent cold weather for the season!

On the upside, this week marks the beginning of a handful of short work weeks for me.  We're leaving for our road trip to Charleston at the crack of dawn on Friday and returning Monday afternoon.  Thusly, I have a four day work week this week and a four day work week next week.  I also will only have a half day on the 19th because I have a few appts. that morning and will be in late. The week after that is Thanksgiving, which means a three day work week!

While I'm dreading the car trip to Charleston, I'm looking forward to the escape from DC.  We're going to see BF's family, which includes his mom, sister, brother in law, nephew, their two dogs and cat....and they all live in one house!  It's a chaotic place to be, LOL.  Hopefully the weather there will be nicer and we'll find something fun to do.  We leave Monday morning, which we'll probably be quite ready for.  ;-)  We won't know until tomorrow if J is coming with us since it will entail missing two days of school.  She's checking with her teachers to see if it is workable and will be letting us know.

Tonight I'm going to work out with a new to me trainer at my gym.  I got a 6 session training package that results in one session a week.  I'm hoping he can help me get back on track fitness wise.  I'm looking forward to it regardless!  I've done a lot better in the last week on eating much less sugar and making better overall choices.  Weekend was more challenging, but I definitely did better than usual and those small lifestyle changes (ie turkey pepperoni vs. regular, whole grain sandwich thin vs. wheat bread) are the ones that stick!

I already have been planning ahead for our weekend trip by getting some snacks to bring with me.  I can't account for meals there until I arrive, but I know that having healthy snacks on hand for both the drive and the stay is important for me!  Hopefully I can make some decent choices for our meals there and get out for a walk or something in lieu of the gym.

I can't believe it is November, and that Thanksgiving is less than three weeks away and most significantly, that Christmas is shortly thereafter!  I guess I need to start planning for Christmas gifts and all things related soon.  Craziness.

Before I close out this post, I want to take note that I did have a nice weekend! It was a full J weekend, but we really didn't do anything of note!  I caught up on some TV via DVR Saturday and Sunday morning, I went to the gym and we watched Michigan State v. Nebraska football Saturday night, which ended very controversially and left this Nebraska fan feeling a little torn and sad for my MSU fan boyfriend. Sunday we watched the Skins lose to the Pats (shocker) and I also managed to get to Kohls to use some Kohls cash and a coupon.  Got a couple of clearance shirts and some black jeggings (god help me) LOL.  I'd been needing some black pants that worked better with boots and these are actually perfect for my needs!

There's a new DSW opening up out by me (well, closer than all the other ones) next weekend, which I'm pretty excited about.  I really would like to find some flat black booties at some point, but who knows when that will be.  This is the time of year when things start getting really busy!  Plus, must start setting aside money for Christmas gifts and Christmas party hair appointments and the like.  Ha!

Monday, November 2, 2015

November Already?

Seriously, where did October go?  I can't believe that this weekend marked the end of October and the return of Daylight Saving Time.  The fact that it is now dark so crazy early in the evening again is a tough pill to swallow.  It makes the days feel like they consist of work and then nothing else.  Sigh. I do appreciate it being light out earlier in the morning, but I'm not sure the sacrifice is worth it.

November is also marking the beginning of a new effort on my part.  I realized recently that my eating habits have gone from fairly lousy to incredibly terrible in recent months, and it's unacceptable.  I eat entirely too much sugar on a daily basis, I snack too much, and I just generally make a lot of poor choices.  The fact is that I'm not getting any younger, and I can't continue to eat like a 14 year old boy and not suffer the consequences.

My first step in reining things in was to download the My Fitness Pal Calorie Counter app to my phone.  I hate the concept of tracking my food intake, but it's incredibly important that I'm held accountable for my choices.  I'm hoping that just the knowledge that I need to track every item I eat or drink will make me opt for some better choices.  It's hard to look at a garbage food day and not feel like a huge glutton when you can see the cold, hard numbers of what you're doing to yourself.

I'm specifically working to cut down my sugar drastically, to drink water more consistently, and to not overload on carbs quite the way I have been.  I need to focus back on lean meats, nuts, fruits and veggies, and to make an attempt to eat whole grain products when I do indulge in bread products.  I also want to be more conscious of my processed food intake.

It's a big task.  It's overwhelming.  I sat down and tried to calculate out the amount of calories I recall eating on Friday as well as the sugar intake.  It was ATROCIOUS.  :-o  Looking at those numbers it was painfully clear why my pants have been fitting tighter, why my body is softer and squishier and flabbier.  It also lends a strong insight into why I feel low on energy often times, and why my skin is crappy and everything else.

Sometimes the idea of working to live a healthy lifestyle is just so daunting.  There are so many ideas out there about how to do it, and the calories vs. fat vs. carbs vs. sugar vs. anything else debates rage on.  I just figure that moderation is key.  I will never be successful in any lifestyle that completely outlaws any food/drink entirely.  Yes, it may be easier for some folks to go cold turkey on things, but I am not interested in that route, at least not currently.

I've tracked my coffee and breakfast this morning and already chosen to half my breakfast based on the nutrition information I saw.  I'm doing OK on my numbers for everything but sugar, which is already utilizing more than what I'd prefer of my daily recommended intake.  It's tough!  I'm also definitely planning on the gym tonight.  I want to do 30 minutes of cardio and then 30 minutes of weights/strength training.

I am meeting with one of the trainers at my gym tomorrow for another consult.  I'll get weighed, body fat assessment, measurements, all those awful things for someone who is brutally out of shape.  I'm dreading it, but I know I need to see the numbers.  I need to be held accountable for what I've done to my body in recent months.  I'm also hoping to get some insight into putting together a realistic workout plan for someone with my long commute and short amount of week day free time.

The holiday season is looming.  It's a really challenging time to try to straighten up one's eating habits, but honestly?  There's always an excuse to be had.  It's November 2nd.  My holiday party is December 10.  I'm using that as my first step goal!

I read an article about a study they did on kids and sugar.  They cut down their sugar intake drastically and replaced the sugar with starch, calorie for calorie.  They found that in 10 days, those kids had a reduction in blood pressure, triglycerides and bad cholesterol.  TEN DAYS!  They were eating basically the same amount of calories, just in a different form, and they had all these changes AND lost weight.  That's crazy to me, and it really struck me personally.  The last time I had a physical (nearly 2 years ago, not counting well woman visits and all that jazz), my Dr. told me my triglycerides were a bit high.  I also have a family history of high blood pressure and I've had instances of high BP myself (but also have a history of white coat syndrome, ie Drs. office increases in BP!).  So the idea that even a 10 day period of changing my habits could make even a small difference in my numbers is pretty incredible to me.

I'm due for another physical in the next month, and I'm planning to schedule it for at least two weeks out so that I can do what I can in the meantime, however small, to improve my situation before the bloodwork.

I'm really hoping I can make positive changes this time around.  Between the trainer consult, the looming physical, the MyFitness Pal app, the holiday party motivation, my desire to fit my clothes better and for my skin to improve, among other things, I really want to do this!  Wish me lots of luck, self-restraint and motivation!