2012 Goals Check-in

Time to check in with my 2012 goals:

Cook 1 new recipe each week
So far, so good.  I didn’t think I’d get a new recipe in this week because we weren’t planning on eating dinner at home this week.  Staying home on Sunday instead of going out to San Francisco worked to my advantage.  I made split pea soup with yellow peas that I found at the Indian market by my house.  Pretty yummy.  I didn’t follow the directions 100% though…  I dumped everything in the pot and let it cook instead of adding the carrots and celery in the last 30 minutes of cooking.

Eat real food
This one I’m falling down a bit on.  Most bread in the supermarket has some kind of weird preservative in it.  I’m also trying to use up my peanut butter and salad dressings before I buy more (budgets, ya know).  And of course the cookies and candy at work don’t really work so well for this.  I just need to focus more and be more aware of what I’m putting in my mouth and what I’m buying.  I can do that.  It might be difficult at Disneyland next week, but I’ll do my best.

No white grains
Do onion bagels count as white grain?  Or the rice at lunch yesterday?  Or the flour that’s used to make those delicious cookies in the lunch room?  I’m pretty sure they do.  *sigh*  FOCUS Danie!  I’ve been doing good except for those three slip-ups.  And my sister was super sweet to buy pizza with whole wheat crust for my nephew’s birthday.  Thanks Sis! Yay me – I’m almost succeeding with this one!

Finish one quilt or sewing project each month
All I have to do is attach a border to this hot pink quilted throw I made and the project for month #1 is done!  I also have the stuff I need to complete at least on project for month #2!  This goal is going well.

Buy a house, not a condo
I showed DH some McMansions around our neighborhood that we almost have 10% down on.  I think we’ll probably end up buying something a little more manageable payment and upkeep wise (read: smaller and cheaper).  We have 20% down on bank-owned prices for smaller homes, but we need to save more for closing costs and any repairs/upgrades the houses might need.

Learn basic web development technologies
I haven’t even started on this one.  DH showed me a series of videos I can watch to get the basics down and then take tests to get certified on this stuff.  I’m just not super motivated on this, though.  Got any tips to get me motivated?

Get Project+ certified
This is a direct response to some project management training work sent me to awhile back.  I have all of the training materials I need sitting in the 2nd bedroom upstairs.  Have I watched one refresher video?  No.  Read one chapter of one book?  No.  Maybe I need some prizes to motivate me, what do you think?

Run a 5k without stopping; complete three 5k races; complete two 10k races; complete at least one half marathon; wear a bikini comfortably in public
I decided to lump all of these goals together because they each build on one another.  I signed up for a 5k, I joined a gym, and my rib is healed so I can focus on these goals more.  My weight went up in response to the gym-going though.  Just a pound, but I know that is water retention from the upper body workout I did yesterday.  Seriously, my arm muscles are so sore that it’s a miracle I could turn on the shower this morning.  I also jogged on the treadmill twice this week, which felt really good.  I’ll keep doing that until I’m jogging for the whole 30 minutes the gym allows.

 

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This food thing is hard!

Granted I haven’t been focusing super much on food for awhile, but I don’t remember it being this hard!  Like today, I added one of those little packages of liquid creamer to my coffee when we went out to breakfast today without thinking anything of it.  During a lull in the conversation I thought “I wonder what’s in that.”  I looked at the package and saw that it listed 2% milk, heavy cream, and some weird additive.  Three ingredients, but one of them was weird.  *sigh*

Then I ordered a Denver omelet.  Sounded right: eggs, ham, bell pepper, onion and cheese.  I should have ordered it without the cheese – who knows what’s in the cheese that makes it orange?  Side of hash browns that I only ate two bites of, and a slice of wheat toast.  Notice it’s not 100% whole wheat?

OK, OK, it’s basically day 1, right?  I’m out of the habit of analyzing everything on the menu and all the pieces of a particular plate when I’m ordering.  I just need to do better.  I’ll know better for date night on Wednesday.

Tonight should be easier for dinner.  My brother is coming over to make us some dinner.  He’s making his “California Salad” with tilapia on top and we’re pairing it with an amber ale.  He’s a chef and the author of http://goesgreatwithbeer.com.  It only has one entry so far because he caught a nasty cold right after the first meal.  He’s back tonight.  I’ve had the California Salad before, but this time it will be a little different.  We couldn’t find the strawberries that he’d normally use so he’ll be substituting with raspberries.  And normally there isn’t any meat added in, but since it will be a main dish salad there needs to be something to go with it.  I’m totally looking forward to it.  Since we moved out a few years ago, I haven’t been able to spend a whole lot of time with him and I kinda miss him.

OK…  now onto the exercise portion of things.  I’m pretty limited in what I can do since I fell and cracked a rib a couple weeks ago.  I’m moving better now, but I can’t run or lift anything heavier than 5 pounds right now.  And even lifting 2 pounds repeatedly makes me cry.  So as soon as I finish with this entry, I’m planning on trying some lower body stuff just to get moving.  Squats, calf raises, going up and down the stairs, that kind of thing.  Nothing that requires twisting or using my abs too much – I don’t want to hurt myself worse!

And I weighed myself last night with my trusty Wii balance board…  I’m at 159.4 pounds.  Ugh.  I need to be around 145 to be at a healthy BMI.  So that means I have 14.4 pounds to lose.  I know BMI isn’t the be-all of health and fitness, but it’s a gauge to use.

Time to do some light exercise to get things moving.

Food and Fitness Goals for 2012

I’m sitting on the couch pondering my goals for the next year, and letting them marinate in my brain.  The ones that I’m thinking about the most right now are the fitness goals and the food goals, mostly because they go hand in hand.  And also because there are some limitations to what I can do right now.

Let’s start by further defining the food goals:

  1. Cut out wheat and rice
  2. Eat “real” food
  3. Cook one new recipe each week

I’m focusing on the food goals because those are usually the most difficult for me to follow/stick with, and because they have a direct impact on my fitness goals.

Cut out wheat and rice
Hmmm… OK, this one isn’t really what it sounds like.  It doesn’t mean that I will be cutting out all wheat and rice products.  It means that I will be only eating products made with 100% whole grain, 100% brown or wild rice, 100% corn meal.  If there’s any other weird grains, sugars, additives or chemicals added in, it doesn’t go in my belly.

Eat “real” food
I’ve noticed that when I eat food that has lots of “fake” things inside (like additives, flavorings, colorings, preservatives, etc) it takes more to fill me up and I’m not as satisfied.  When I eat real food I need to eat less and I’m generally more satisfied.  OK, to be fair I really like to have a bit of something for dessert, but doesn’t everyone?  So the rule is that the food that goes in my belly needs to be real.  In other words: no weird additives, no weird flavorings added, no weird preservatives, etc.  Birthday parties and other celebrations are the exception to this rule.

Cook one new recipe each week
I’m hoping this one will help me meet the other two food goals.  Plus I know it’ll help me meet the fitness goals.  It’ll also help me put to use the many cookbooks I have at home.

OK, now it’s time to further define the fitness goals

  1. Run a 5k without walking
  2. Complete three 5k’s
  3. Complete two 10k’s
  4. Complete at least 1 half marathon
  5. Wear a bikini in public comfortably

Run a 5k without walking
So, you’d think that with all of this training I’ve done that I could run a few miles without stopping somewhere in there to walk, right?  Well, you’d be wrong.  To tell you the truth, I’ve only run 1 mile without stopping and that was awhile ago.  So, to make myself feel like I deserve to call myself a runner, I’m going to run (or jog, whatever) 3.1 miles without stopping.

Complete three 5k’s
I find that when I’m training, I get bored if I don’t have little things to work towards.  Upcoming races are awesome for the motivation factor and I love how short a 5k feels.  I just need to figure out which 5k’s to complete.  Oh, and complete means just that: complete it.  It doesn’t matter if there’s walking mixed in, as long as they’re done and I’m happy with what I’ve done.

Complete two 10k’s
Again, having upcoming races as motivation is awesome, and a 10k is twice as challenging as a 5k.  So, as I get back into running, I’ll be working towards the 10k length.  And again, complete means complete.  I don’t have to run the whole thing.

Complete at least 1 half marathon
My plan is to complete the Disneyland Half Marathon on September 2, 2012.  I’ll be using the 5 and 10k races I complete along the way as training.  And if I don’t die and if I don’t totally hate it, I’d like to complete the Wine & Dine half marathon in Disney World in November.  So yeah, complete means finish it.

Wear a bikini comfortably in public
As I’m training and eating healthier foods, I should be losing weight along the way.  I’ll also need to work in some weight training too.  I don’t want to be “skinny-fat”, and doing this will help me become a more effective runner too.  So, I know this is cliche, but I’ve never worn a bikini in public because I’ve always been too fat to do so.  Being able to do this would be tangible proof that I’m not the girl they made up a song about in Jr. High.

I’ll come up with a training plan in another post… this one is already too long as it is!

Running Away

My jog yesterday was my fastest yet: 2.03 miles in 22 minutes.  I can’t help but think that the reason I was so fast is because it was my way of running away from what’s going on right now.

There are things about which we all worry, but that we try to ignore.  It’s the way we humans cope with things that are out of our control.  We don’t have a say, necessarily, in whether we lose our jobs, have a bomb drop on our heads, or have a natural disaster hit our neighborhood.  These things happen, and rather than worry too much about them we prepare for “just in case.”  We stockpile emergency supplies in case of a disaster.  We save as much money as possible in case of a job loss.  We purchase insurance in case of something else.

But how do you deal with the reality when those worries come to fruition?  I know some people who keep it bottled up.  I know others who spend their time grieving or freaking out.  Others talk about it incessantly.  Still others flee.

I would love to be able to flee the reality I see sometimes.  Unfortunately, there’s a complete inability to leave reality behind – to leave responsibility behind.  I’m good at pretending I can run away, but I really can’t.

Such is life.  It’s the reason I haven’t moved far, far away as I’ve often longed to do.  It’s the reason I haven’t aggressively searched for a job outside of the Bay Area.  It’s the reason I get up every day, go to work, exercise, pay my bills and take care of my family.  I remind myself that running away is for cowards.  Adults – the true adults – keep going even when it’s hard.

So instead of running away, like I really wanted to do, I ran – literally.  I ran up into the hills surrounding my neighborhood, past the parks, around the corners and made my way back home.  I ran the fastest 2 miles I’ve ever run.  And although I didn’t actually run away, running was enough yesterday.

Not a Fluke!

I wanted to see if my 12 minute miles were flukes brought about by all the downhill areas in my neighborhood. Unfortunately I didn’t want to run in a circle on the flat places over and over. The next best thing? Drive out to the Hayward Shoreline and jog along the flat gravely paths there next to the bay. The picture at the top of my blog was taken there a few years ago.

No music, just me holding my phone with my car keys tied inside my pants. I passed (and was passed by) a few people. All were of retirement age, most were on bicycles. I got to listen to the birds chirp, a squirrel chirp (who knew?), the planes pass high overhead, and my breathing. Somewhere in there some geese chased me for a bit. They also flew up and attacked a hawk!

I kept thinking “Man, 3 miles is a lot longer than I remember” and “Keep going. You can walk when you get to _____.” When I got home and checked my route on the park map, I found that I’d gone 4 miles! No wonder it felt longer! So, with that in mind, it looks like my 12 minute miles weren’t flukes. Even with the walking that I did, I still managed a little over 12 minutes. I guess I’m going faster than I think. This is definitely making me happy – I’ll be prepared for my next 5k on April 17th.

Jogging with my new shoes

I got lazy and decided that I didn’t want to drive for an hour to go buy shoes.  Instead, I exchanged the painful shoes for a couple of other pairs.  It took awhile to find replacement shoes though.  I tried on a few, jumped around like a crazy monkey, walked around and actually found two pairs so that I could wear them on alternating days.  Well, one of the pairs needed better arch supports, so I got a pair of replacement insoles.  Since then, I’ve walked, jogged and done aerobics in both pair, and both seem to be working fine.

Now for the awesome news: when I jogged around my neighborhood, I was jogging at about a 12 minute mile!  EEKS!  In the interest of full disclosure, I live on a flat street that connects a bunch of hills.  So my choice is to run up and down a flat street over and over and over and over…  or run up and down each hilly street and use my flat street to connect them.  As you can imagine, I’d get bored with just the flat street and the same houses all the time, so I run up and down the hills.

I’m not quite up to jogging all the way up each hill.  I can really only go 1/2 – 3/4 of the way up, so I walk the rest of the way up.  When I get to the top, I jog all the way down the hill to my flat street.  Keep jogging on the flat part, and jog at least halfway up the next hill.  I’m convinced those downhill slopes are what’s doing such wonderful things for my jogging time.  I won’t know for sure until later on this week when I find a flat-ish path to run on.

Exercise Update: 3/7/11 and 3/8/11

OMG!  My 5k is on Sunday!  I feel so unprepared.  I know I can walk the whole darn thing if I want, but I’d planned on doing a mix of walking and jogging (heavy on the jogging).  *sigh*  I’ll do this one, and then sign up for another one a bit further out while planning out my cardio to work towards jogging the whole thing.

So after this weekend I felt pretty bad about the lack of exercise I got, and all the unhealthy foods I’d eaten.  On Monday I got up bright and early at 6am (ugh) to jog on the treadmill and work with my weights.  It was sooooo hard to get going once I got up.  I was up and dressed but dawdled and moved slowly until 6:30, which only gave me enough time to do the cardio work before I had to get ready for the day.

I tried to jog, but it just felt wrong.  The treadmill was making crazy noises and I couldn’t get my breathing right, and my stride felt off.  It just sucked.  So I walked super fast instead.  Then I tried jogging again.  Then back to walking.  I repeated this cycle for 30 minutes and managed to go about 2 miles.

Later in the day I took a break from work and walked around the block.  It was nice and windy!  It felt good to get out of the library for a minute to re-center myself and focus on fitness for 15 minutes.

DH wasn’t home yet when I got in from work, so I pulled out the dumbbells and followed my SparkPeople weight regime.  I can tell you that I don’t like lunges.  They make my knees feel icky, but I know what awesome things they can do for the lower body.  I can also tell you that I’m not such a fan of crunches.  I did them, but ugh.

Today I set the alarm for bright and early again. I almost ignored the alarm and slept in until the absolute latest, but I told myself that ignoring the alarm was the first step back towards fat.  I got dressed in the dark so DH could sleep some more, went downstairs and found the yoga videos by Yogatic I scoped out on YouTube the night before.  I did all 3 beginner yoga videos, and then started in with my day.  The videos themselves were only about 30 minutes long total… but I dawdled after the alarm again.

I’m planning on taking a couple of breaks from work to walk around the block again.  We’ll see if the weather holds out.  If it doesn’t, I’ll have to walk on the treadmill when I get home tonight.

Here are the videos I followed this morning:

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