Jon and I watched Fed Up at some point over the weekend when we ran out of our typical stuff. It was ok, I guess. Nothing surprising or earth shattering.

I’ve waffled back and forth for a long time about labeling food “bad” or “good” and have tried not to be a hypocrite – and really don’t care what other people choose to eat (except Jon because CANCER) – but I think I actually have some pretty strong opinions about “bad” food. I guess all the movie did was reinforce that.

It sort of pissed me off, too, that there’s a lot of money/manipulation behind helping people feel like processed shit is a “good” option.

I was definitely reminded about where I started and all of the turns my path to better health had to take (and is still taking).

I used to eat SO poorly. Like, really poorly. And I SMOKED. Sometimes I seriously can’t believe I used to be a completely different person.

This person:

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I had to change EVERYTHING.

I’m not sure anyone would be able to walk away from an experience like this without some opinions about “bad” and “good” food choices.

I’m not sure I would be able to maintain a 100 pound loss without the opinions.

So I think coke is poison but I eat ice cream every Saturday? Eh. I’m ok with that. That’s been my path. Mileage varies.
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I’ve had a pretty active week so far. Spent an hour with the trainer on Monday, ran 4M on the greenway yesterday and did 2M on a different greenway early this morning.

It was SUCH a nice morning. I was actually kind of cold when I started.

The run sucked, though. My legs were tired and I just wasn’t feeling it. I’m going to try to walk a few miles tonight to see if that helps with the soreness leftover from Monday night (with the trainer).

Great morning to be outside. 👍⛅️🏃

Unfortunately, I was home, had cleaned/straightened up the house and baked some oat bran/apple muffins by 10AM … and was quickly out of things to do.

This whole thing is really making me consider what makes me happy, what impacts/produces anxiety and what sort of stress I’m ok to live with. I think I was too busy adjusting to Jon’s child #3 and MC last summer to think much about it that time around.

I need to make some plans to fill some of my days with something other than writing (for school/publication) because it’s depressing being (mostly) alone at home for hours and hours every day.

I definitely have more stress juggling everything when I’m working or in FT classes (or both), but I’m happier. I just miss it.

(Someone remind me I said that when I’m bitching when summer is over and I don’t have all of this freedom.)
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Jon took some co-workers out to dinner last night and invited me to tag along – probably because he can hear the desperation in my voice by about 5PM each day – so I got dressed in something other than running clothes or raggedy jeans.

The lighting is horrible in our room and the angle is weird, but whatever. I don’t have any inclination to figure out what to do about it right now.

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This is seriously the most comfortable dress ever. Old Navy. I think it’s this one. I found it on sale and think I paid something like $13-15 for it, so I have it in a peach/coral color, too. It’s super loose and flowy and not too short, which is often a problem for me.

I put a cardigan over it.

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Hopefully I’ll have a reason to get dressed again soon.
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Nothing much has been going on, I guess.

I’ve been tweaking the oat bran recipe my trainer gave me to try different stuff.

I made them with unsweetened apple sauce and raisins today. Turned out pretty well. Super simple.

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They’re just 107 calories each. 1 1/2c oat bran, 1c unsweetened applesauce, 1/3c raisins, 1/2c yogurt, 2/3c egg whites, 2T chia seeds, cinnamon & nutmeg.

We’re still ordering dinners from my trainer most weeks and still love the convenience.

I’m addicted to two new things. )Well, three – if you count the oat bran muffins.)

Love pecans, love these!

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I’ve been ordering strawberry salads every time I go out lately, so I decided to make one for lunch at home today. I didn’t have any chicken, so I used ham. I didn’t have any blue cheese, so I used some shredded 3 cheese blend Jon picked up over the weekend. I also didn’t have candied pecans, but that’s probably best. I rarely use much dressing. This has a little balsamic & olive oil.

So good!

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I guess that’s it.

(helping me with planks)
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❤️❤️❤️

My tv watching companions. 😬

Well, I’m a solid week into the summer freedom and I think it’s going to be ok.

I decided to take last W-F completely off re: school and noticed that my stress level/mood improved some each day – so I’m doing the same this week. I’m feeling pretty good. I needed a complete break for a little bit.

I’ve been finding all kinds of fun things to do.

I cleaned out all of our closets and dressers and reorganized and donated stuff and packed away winter clothes, etc.

(Had some help from a cute assistant.)
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I cleaned out and reorganized all of our cabinets, oiled/polished our wood stuff (like our dining room table), had some people clean our air ducts and polish our dining room floor, had our carpets and rugs cleaned, cleaned out file cabinets/my desk/bookshelves.

Basically did a massive spring cleaning.

I’ve watched all seasons of My Name is Earl and I’ve made a pretty big dent in 30 Rock, too. I listened to the entire backlog I had of Jillian Michael’s podcasts (and really miss Janice) and listened to the entire archive of Alec Baldwin’s podcast while cleaning. I’ve read the entire internet.

I’ve been shopping more than is normal (for me). I’ve been meeting Jon for lunch here and there. I’ve been cooking a little.

I don’t have anything else to do around here except major projects like painting the fence – and I don’t seem to have the motivation for that – so I need to start thinking about what’s after 30 Rock.
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About the cooking and the recent eating …

One night I made this chicken thing I copied from a blog somewhere. I didn’t print out and follow a recipe (or save a link – so I’m not exactly sure where this idea came from), but instead just dumped a bunch of frozen vegetables and some cans of beans in the dish, put some chicken thighs on top (covered in garlic) and baked it. I roasted some sweet potatoes, too.

Super easy.

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I made a ton of corn salsa for the party a couple of weekends ago, so we had that leftover for a while. I think I ate it nearly every day for lunch last week.

(added some grilled chicken)
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(added some chips)
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One night I ate a 500 calorie (!) bowl of yogurt for dinner.

500 calories for plain yogurt, fruit and a few walnuts seems unfair. 😒  #dinner #myfitnesspaldrudgery

Yesterday I had a nearly 700 calorie lunch out with Jon.

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(I’m finding that I’d apparently just completely forgotten how quickly things add up when I wasn’t paying attention throughout the past year or so. You’d think years and years of calorie counting would mean this stuff is embedded – but it’s not.)

I made some banana/oat muffins earlier this week. I got the recipe from my trainer and worried they’d be awful, but they’re actually pretty good.

(oat bran, yogurt, egg whites, chia seeds, a little cinnamon and honey and a few bananas)

Looks like I'm going to be filling my free time this summer with baking. 👍👍

They’re sort of like baked oatmeal, I guess. They work well for breakfast with some eggs.

(I’m learning to love egg whites, so I’m doing 1 whole egg and the rest just whites these days.)
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I also made some larabar balls. I was bored and googled to find out why I can’t find banana bread larabars anymore and found some recipes, so I chose the simplest one.

(just almonds, dates and a banana chopped up in the food processor)
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I didn’t have any raw almonds, so used roasted ones. Other than being marginally salty, they’re pretty good.
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Jon and I had a great weekend together.

We did a whole Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge day on Saturday. We’re only about 30-35 miles away, but traffic is usually a bitch, so we don’t venture out there very often.

We did our bootcamp class first thing Saturday morning (which was brutal and left me sore for 2 days) and then headed out. Had lunch (our “treat meal”) and went to the outlet mall to do some shopping.

Lunch was sort of a “treat meal” victory in that I convinced Jon we needed to get a 10″ pizza vs. the larger ones since I knew we’d have ice cream later. We’ve been getting huge pizzas lately and ALWAYS wind up eating every bit, but that’s crazy.

Jon was super convinced we’d starve, but we really need to get our food intake back under control – so we went with the small pizza. He commented that I was right later that afternoon. So, yeah – it’s crazy how easily something like this can slip out of control over time.

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And yeah, we did have ice cream elsewhere later.

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We went to Dollywood (Dolly Parton’s park), too, and people watched and saw a show.

☀️😍☀️

Fun day. I was exhausted by the time we got home from the bootcamp and the miles of walking we did at Dollywood. We decided to skip the tram and walked from the parking lot to the park (and back) and I swear we probably walked 3 miles just from that. It was HOT and a little miserable – but better than standing in line forever.

I had a long run on the schedule for Sunday, so we did that at the greenway in Oak Ridge since Jon needed to stop by his office for a little bit.

It was nearly noon by the time we got to it and was 80 degrees with super high humidity. The air was heavy and the sun was beating down and there was no shade and it was miserable. Really. I’m not exaggerating.

Ever done something that seemed like a great idea at the start, but realllly stupid halfway through?  Yeah.  6.5M done, though. #toohot #noshade ☀️👣😜

We did 6.5 miles overall, but probably only ran 3 miles of it. I just couldn’t run up the hills and was super fatigued by the heat and humidity. It was my first attempt at exercise in that sort of weather this year, so it was just bad.

I would have VERY MUCH preferred to run the whole thing. I’m not super fast, but I’m at least faster than walking pace.

Not the best running day I’ve ever had.

Also, I might need to start having some sort of water/nuun/hydration with me. I don’t typically bring water since I’ve never really done any sort of long distance running – but I was REALLY wanting water that day.

I think I spent all of Sunday afternoon (after the run) asleep on the couch.

Anyway. Fun weekend.
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Have I mentioned Molly won’t run with me anymore?

I was taking her pretty regularly in early/mid March when I started the Hal Higdon thing. Sometime last month, though, she just started refusing.

I took her to the greenway one morning and was a little short when I got to the parking lot, so I planned to run past the cars to make it to 4 miles. She was fine until we started to pass our car. We got a few feet past it and she just flat-out stopped. Wouldn’t move.

She was seriously running along happy as can be – pulling me faster sometimes when she’d see other people or dogs – until we passed our car – then just dead stopped. Of course there were people in the parking lot who’d been on the greenway, too, who thought it was the most hilarious thing ever.

I couldn’t coax her to move AT ALL and there’s really no pulling on the leash to make her move. She just looks at me like she thinks I’m nuts and digs in her heels.

The next day, we went back to the same greenway and I got about a mile in before she stopped. I think some tall grass spooked her this time, but she seriously would not move forward. I couldn’t get her to move AT ALL until I told her we’d go home. At that point, she turned around and practically dragged me the whole way back to the car.

I was super irritated since we’d driven all the way to the greenway and I hate interrupting runs, but I finished alone in my neighborhood when I got home.

I don’t know that I’ve ever encountered such a stubborn dog. She wasn’t hurt or overly tired either time. It wasn’t hot. I am NOT a fast runner, so my “run” is mostly just a trot for her – not exhausting. She came home and played and was full of energy.

She seriously just doesn’t do what she doesn’t want to do.

So, she’s out as a running partner. Pisses me off too much to be interrupted.

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I’m somewhat disappointed, but it’s not the end of the world.

It’s getting too hot now, anyway – but it’s too bad since I’m generally running during non-peak times at the greenway (i.e., after most people are at work) and am a little leery to be alone.

I KNOW that random violence is very rare, but there was recently a stabbing on the greenway – exactly where I often run. A woman was out walking after work and was stabbed to death by someone the news is saying was a complete stranger.

I don’t know what happened, but I can’t help but think about it every time I head out alone now. I’d feel a lot better if my stubborn dog was with me.
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So I know I said one of my resolutions this year is to dress better/more appropriately/care more about my appearance.

I haven’t been putting much effort into this one because … I just haven’t. But I’m starting to make a tiny effort.

I signed up for Stitch Fix after reading about it on a bunch of blogs and got my first box yesterday.

I took some horrible pics and I’m wearing a sports bra and I cropped my head out of all of them because I had been working in the yard and looked pretty rough – but here’s what I got:

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I like this skirt. I could wear it to work/school since it’s not cotton/see-through, so that’s a bonus.

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I can also move without it wrapping around/under my feet. I’m nearly 5’10” and these skirts are often troublesome in that regard. How in the hell do shorter people walk in them? I really don’t understand.

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I’m probably going to send this dress back. Too busy. A plain cardigan might tone it down, I guess. Felt weird. I don’t know. Just looking at the picture makes me uncomfortable for some reason.

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The jeans are ok and fit well and are super comfortable and all that – but I can’t wear distressed jeans (with legit HOLES). It’s just not me. I wouldn’t wear these to school (too casual) and can’t wear them to work – so I’m not sure they’re worth the cost if I’d just be sitting around at home in them.

I like the blue/green shirt, though. It’s a little tight across my chest, but baggy in the stomach – perfect combination. I might keep it.

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This shirt is WAY too big.

Also, I just don’t wear sleeveless stuff. Ever. I know I can wear a cardigan or whatever over them – but I get tired of having to iron two things vs. one. So – I guess I was a little disappointed to find ANOTHER sleeveless item.

(Yes, I know it’s summertime. I just … like to be covered.)

Overall, I like everything – but I’ll probably only keep the first skirt and maybe the blue/green shirt.

It was fun to try everything on, but I am SUPER cheap. I can’t really fathom spending $60 on a shirt like the one above. $15 at Old Navy or Target? Maybe.

I knew the stuff would be more expensive than my norm and I’m fine with that if I LOVE something – but I’m not sure any of it quite reached that level.

This is probably not something I’ll do long-term, but I might give it a shot for another month.

I’ve been shopping on my own, too. This whole thing – minus the shoes – probably cost less than one of the shirts above. So, yeah.

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I have some other new things, but I’ll get around to those later. I’ve had like ONE occasion to leave the house in something other than running clothes lately.
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Anyway. I guess that’s it. I’m bored today. Obviously.

This weight loss situation is really a bitch. I guess I had become more comfortable with maintaining than I realized.

Part of me wants to just not worry about the smallish (to me) gain and just focus on maintaining my current weight, but the other part knows I’m just trying to get out of the work required to lose the weight.

I’m good with the exercising. I love it, need it for my sanity, blah, blah, blah. It’s the giving up of the food that’s hard.

I haven’t gone crazy and started eating fast food/processed junk or anything. I think my portions have increased and my desire to do things like measure out almonds vs. grabbing a handful has just gone out the window. I seriously dread having to weigh and measure and all that – even though I KNOW it’s best.

I NEVER wanted to have to lose weight I’ve already lost – but here I am. Not the end of the world, but definitely unpleasant.

Losing 10-15 pounds is proving to be harder than losing 100. I just don’t have the same motivation for some reason.

I’m working on it.
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The past couple of weekends have been great. I don’t know if it’s the improved weather (and sunshine) or the lower levels of stress now that Jon’s job thing is getting better and school is ending for the year or what … but things just seem much better around here.

The weekend before last, we spent both days ripping out a bunch of stuff and redoing our backyard patio area. I really don’t know anything about gardening, but I think it turned out well.

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The pampas grass planted behind the patio was out of control and grew over into the patio every year and crowded everything and mosquitoes lived in it and I hated it – so it’s gone.

(wee Molly!)
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It was a huge undertaking to dig it all out – but it’s done and I’m really happy it’s gone. I need to fill in some areas, but I’m mostly done with it, I think.

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We also did a ton of pruning and trimming and yard maintenance stuff, in general, which Jon hates and I sort of love in small doses – so it was good. Sunshine and exercise combined!

This past weekend was even better.

On Saturday, we had a dinner party for a bunch of people who have helped me this year (with school). The weather was fantastic, so Jon grilled and we did a Mexican(ish) thing with fajitas, mashed black beans, a zucchini casserole, etc. It was a lot of fun.

I made a lemon/blueberry cake that was FANTASTIC.

Windows open, leftover cake, no plans. Banner day. ☀️👌

Recipe is here: http://www.cookingclassy.com/2014/05/lemon-blueberry-cake/

Highly recommend it.

MC turned 10 months old yesterday (Sunday), which I just can’t believe.

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He’s definitely aware of the balloons now.

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Wasn’t too happy about them.

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It was also his mom’s 22nd birthday, so we celebrated that, too!

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Overall, super fun weekend.

❤️❤️❤️

Sweet babies and sweet puppies are the best. 😍

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I’m not really sure what I’m going to do with myself for the next few weeks. I know I was stressed last summer about not knowing how to fill my time – and I’ve been tempted to embrace that stress this time around – but I’m working on NOT worrying about it. I’m just going to take a break and be ok with it and learn how to live with the anxiety that accompanies this for me. Maybe I’ll learn how to knit or something?

We have been living under a pretty incredible fog lately – but it’s lifting. For real this time. Finally!

Jon’s job thing resolved in such a way that he’s now running the company. Really good for him professionally, but GREAT for me because it means NO MORE TRAVEL. Well, very little travel. Like, VERY, VERY little.

I can’t emphasize enough what a life change this is for us. He’s been traveling 50-75% of the time for the entire duration of our marriage (going on 9 years). It hasn’t been the worst thing in the world, but that kind of travel creates a sense of instability – or at least an inability to make commitments (i.e., joining a running group, etc.) and fully participate in life around here.

It’s sort of weird to think he’s going to be home now. Like, every day. He’ll just go to work and then come home and … BE HERE. Every day.

Anyway. It’s a really great thing and is something we’ve been looking forward to for a long time.

He had been offered a different job with a different company that would have required the same level of travel – and almost took it – but wound up turning it down and here we are and it’s been good. Stressful for him because everything is a total fucking mess and he’s having to clean it up – but he’s happy. I’m happy he’s not traveling. It’s good.

On top of that drama, I’ve been finishing up the last month of the semester. I have one more (not a big deal) exam to go – but I’m essentially done. I turned in a paper and took a stats exam on Wednesday and came home and didn’t move for the rest of the day. Totally wiped out.

I lived in fear until my stats professor emailed me the next day to let me know my exam grade. I have never worked so hard for or been so proud of a gd B(plus) in my life.

I have been SO worried about the stats requirement of the program (and of the career, in general, I guess?). It almost kept me from pursuing this path. I’ve just had this idea that I can’t do it. The story of my life has been that I’m just not good at anything involving numbers – I just don’t think that way.

But I can do it. I am.

Amazing what happens when you let go of the idea of who you’re supposed to be and become willing to struggle and to maybe fail … but to at least TRY to be the person you want to be.

2 classes down, 1 to go. And secretly? I kind of love it. It’s fascinating.
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I have no idea what else has been going on for the past month. I swear we’ve sort of just hunkered down lately.

Have I posted that this little guy is 9 months old? (Now almost 10 months.)

Molly LOVES him. He seems to love her right back.

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He is so fun.

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Henry turned 9 years old, which is just CRAZY.

Sweet boy. 💙💚💜

This one graduated to freedom from the crate while we’re gone, but the night freedom isn’t working out so well. I think I took this picture and sent it to Jon one night when I was all proud that she was asleep, but it didn’t last long. She just can’t NOT patrol the windows all night barking at every little potential invader/breeze. By the second or third night, she was walking into her crate when I was getting in bed and glaring at me to shut the door, so we’re giving up the night freedom. Not a big deal. Seems too stressful for her.

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I’ve been baking.

Intended to run and finish a paper after work. Instead I sat around and baked. #procrastination #lazyweave #tastesgoodanyway 🍴👍😋

That’s about it for the month. Job stress/major change and school clouded everything.

I’m really looking forward to the summer. I’m having a dinner party next weekend for all of the people who have been involved in helping me get some stuff accomplished this year (i.e., my mentor) – so that will hopefully be fun. MC’s birthday will be happening and I think his mom has decided to have the party here, so I’m excited about that. Our vacation was on, then off and now back on – just pushed back a month. SUPER excited about that. I’m doing an independent study and have some workshops/presentations to put together and some writing to do, but it’s all stuff I really enjoy – so fingers are crossed that the summer turns this year around.
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I’ve been keeping up with exercise, which is really just necessary for my sanity, of course.

I’m still with the trainer one night each week – and now Jon has joined us since he’s home on a consistent basis. She’s working out of a new space that’s really nice and close to home and totally private (meaning it’s not a gym – just a personal training studio) – so it’s been great.

We’re doing a bootcamp each Saturday morning (same trainer/place), which has also been really great. It’s essentially just another hour to an hour and a half of strength training each week, which I love. She’s structured it so we spend about 30 minutes doing 1 minute rotating sets of stuff, then we do 15 minutes of tabata training, then a core portion, then stretching. It’s just a 6 week thing that’s due to end in a couple of weeks, but I’m hoping she keeps it up.

I had been faithfully keeping up with the Hal Higdon plan until last week. I was temporarily derailed by school and feeling anxiety over exams and needing to finish papers, etc. – so I didn’t get my runs in. The week before was a little sketchy, too, in that it rained a lot. I wound up going to the gym every day and doing the elliptical vs. running outside. Not perfect, but it was better than nothing. I’m just too slow to run in heavy rain. (Plus I don’t care enough to torture myself like that.)

Anyway. Back to the grind now that school is done. I’m up to 6M for the long run, I think.

I’ve been halfheartedly keeping up with myfitnesspal, but doing a good job with balance, in general. My pants are looser – though I still can’t comfortably wear a pair of jeans that I wore all the time last summer – so I still have a ways to go.

It’s going to be slow. I guess that’s the way it should be, right? Any rapid weight loss I’ve ever had (i.e., whole30) has been almost immediately followed by a regain of that weight. Just doesn’t work that way. Temporary change results in temporary change, for sure.

Woo! Spring is here!

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I’m so happy things are turning green and starting to bloom and it’s (mostly) warm.

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I think I stay in a fairly depressed state from about December through the end of February – our cold, dreary, unpleasant months – so I’m glad they’re over.

Now? I want to spend all of my time outside (until it’s blazing hot, obv).

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We’ve been doing a lot of that – and a lot of talking about some house/yard projects we have on the goal list for this year. It’s just that time of year! I’m ready to get things going.

PB cup thanks to Pinterest. Do this.
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So.

I haven’t mentioned this because I didn’t know how it would turn out – and still really don’t know how things are going to go, in general – but in addition to the general dreariness of the weather, the past few months have been pretty bad because Jon’s work situation suddenly became unstable in January when fed agents raided the place.

Jon is in no way involved with any of it and the investigation involves people who didn’t work for him, but … yeah. Things have been stressful for a while. He has worked for his company for nearly 9 years and is the #2 person – and obv his job is crucial to us since he financially carries our household – so … yeah.

It’s been bad. For many reasons.

It’s all working out, though, and we recently got some news that will mean very good things for us, in general – so the cloud of uncertainty and instability that’s been hanging over us for a while is slowly moving out.

I have to say – it was a shit way to start a year that I’d hoped would be positive and all about NO STRESS and getting life back on track. I guess in some way it’s happening since things are seriously looking up as of the past week or so … I guess we just needed to take a roundabout route?

Fingers crossed that things will move forward as we anticipate, for sure.
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We did the meals from my trainer again the last 2 weeks, but I failed to take many pics and I’m pretty sure I’ve been fairly negligent with myfitnesspal, too.

One night we had hummus, chicken & quinoa.

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Another night we had balsamic chicken, carrots, mushrooms, asparagus and quinoa.

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That’s all I’ve got.

Still love them and the ease/time they offer.

We’re taking a break this week since we have a lot going on. We just planned some simple meals for each night and grocery shopped yesterday and did some minor prep to get ready for the week.
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The Hal Higdon thing is going well. We’ve been keeping up with it and I’m liking doing each training week twice. The long run has been 4M for the past month, but I’m moving up to 5M this week.

The Knoxville marathon (and half and 5k) happened yesterday, but I didn’t participate. I was a little sad yesterday since my facebook feed was flooded with it and all of my running friends were there, etc.

This morning, my timehop thing – and some new facebook On This Day thing? – are both full of stuff from the last couple of years of races. I’d forgotten I had a party at my house last year after the race.

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I miss all that. A lot.

I want to do what I’m doing re: the Higdon plan and run a half distance on my birthday, but I’m contemplating either re-joining my running group (which is a training group with their own plan, but would offer a social community) or going to some of the social runs in town. I want to run alone, but not BE alone.

This summer is looking up now that I’ll (hopefully) not be bogged down by the job stress, so I need to figure something out.

I know I set a goal to do a 5k (or some other race) each month this year – and I know I’m not doing well. I missed February because of the crazy weather and missed March, too, because I just didn’t feel like doing yesterday’s race (or paying for it – it was low on the priority list).

I ran 4M yesterday, though, instead of doing the 5k so I don’t feel TOO badly about it. It’s not like I’m just NOT running. I’m going to try to get back on track in April, though.

I’m still meeting with the trainer once a week and we’re starting her 6 week boot-camp class this Saturday, too – so that will boost me up to two days of strength plus 4 days of running each week.

Overall – I’m doing ok.
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4 weeks to go until I’ve finished my first year of the PhD program. Unbelievable.

We’ve had a vacation in the works for a while, but it’s sort of been on hold given the job thing. I think it’s going to happen, though, (and things are officially booked/planned, so … I hope I’m right).

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The plan is to start in Salt Lake City and wind up in Las Vegas. We’re going to spend a few days outside Moab and then spend almost a week in SW Utah, so we should have plenty of time to do whatever we want to do.

We’re planning an overnight trip to Idaho Falls because Jon used to live there (and some of his kids were born there) – so I’m excited for him to have that trip down memory lane.

I can’t wait for the semester to end and for summer to arrive. Really. I’m counting the days.

I hate losing weight.

You’d think gaining it would be fun – all the ice cream! – but it’s really not. I hate the out of control feeling that accompanies it for me – and I hate how hard it is to regain control. It’s an emotional struggle for me once I’ve spun out of control.

Unfortunately, I think this latest bout is, by far, the worst it has ever been. I don’t think I’ve ever solidly gained anything near 10 pounds since I started this whole shebang (not counting fluctuations because of vacations or whatever), so this return to old thinking/ways has been pretty eye opening.

I know HOW to lose weight – the mechanics of it are simple enough. Getting my head to cooperate? Not so easy.

I’m doing ok. A body in motion stays in motion or something like that, right? I just have to remain steadfast in my plans to stop behaviors like eating whole boxes of girl scout cookies when I’m not even physically hungry.

Anyway, I just hate this whole thing. I worked pretty hard to have some peace about all of it throughout the past few years and I think I actually had it – overall – and didn’t know it. I was really pretty happy at about 160ish pounds and was easily maintaining and was just … ok.

I didn’t know I was ok, though.

I think I’ve mentioned here before that I haven’t known what “done” might be regarding weight loss because I don’t know any other mode. Gaining or losing is all I’ve ever known. Fortunately, I think this weight gain has helped me figure some things out, for sure.

I’m hoping to get to 160 again soon and then I’m just going to be done. I was maintaining, but I was still operating in weight loss mode – or was at least always still concerned about losing more – but that was stupid. It was a happy, comfortable, healthy weight.

I just need to do the work to wrap my head around there being this place in life where/when I’m not thinking about gaining or losing weight (or actively doing either).

It’s crazy to me that this has consumed so much energy. I know it will be an ongoing battle, but I’m ready to be done with it. (Yeah, I know I’ve said that before.)
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We finished out the week with the meals from my trainer and subsequently ordered more for the upcoming week. I’m really happy with how it all worked out.

Wednesday night we jogged to a nearby beer place (what do you call a hipster type place that’s really not a bar – more like a hangout place with food trucks and outdoor seating and all that – but is a bar?) and did a 3M run through my neighborhood that they host. We wound up doing 4M total since we walked/jogged there and back. It was nice to come home and have a decent dinner waiting. Also kept us from eating from the food truck, which was super tempting since other people sitting with us (after the run) were eating.

I had lime coriander chicken, roasted sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli.

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Jon had the same chicken with kale salad and cinnamon steel cut oats.

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Thursday was “baby day,” so we loaded him up and took him to the greenway for a long walk when Jon got home.

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We’ve had to alter the running plan a little to make that our rest day since we don’t have a jogging stroller and aren’t really inclined to buy one right now – but it works. Just means we have to run on Friday nights.

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(Baby day is one of my favorite days. I know it’s probably not ideal that I always let him sleep on me vs. taking proper naps, but he’s so gd sweet and cute that I can’t help it.)

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Anyway, I had chicken again with quinoa and zucchini.

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Jon had pulled pork, roasted potatoes and zucchini.

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We had to run Friday night, so we did that (3M) as soon as Jon got home. We talked about going out to dinner, but having the meal waiting in the refrigerator deterred us. I really wanted to follow through with eating them every night to see how they’d go.

I didn’t take a picture and don’t remember what Jon had, but I had chicken (again!) with brown rice and asparagus.

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Overall – I’m really happy with how the week went. I’d been concerned about what the quality of the food might be by the time we reached the end of the week, but it was all fine. Very fine. Not a problem at all. I couldn’t tell that it had been sitting in the refrigerator all week.

I started to regret that I’d chosen chicken for all meals (but one) pretty quickly. She has enough to choose from that I was able to create meals that I’m pretty excited about for the upcoming week, though.

Anyway – it’s keeping me on track. It’s saving time and making our nights easier. I’m happy with it.
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Jon and I went to the gym for a little while Saturday morning, but then finally had our much beloved treat meal.

(hummus & black beans)
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It practically put me in a coma after a week of pretty clean eating. I think my blood sugar was low and then spiked. Whatever it was, I felt awful and just wanted to sleeeeeeep.

Yesterday (Sunday) was gorgeous – so I was super excited about the 4M long run I needed to do.

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Molly has been hanging in there really well. She loves it. Jon has been a trooper, too, and has been hanging out with me on my walk/jog thing even though he could very easily run 4M much more quickly despite no recent exercise. His body just … does it. It’s much more natural or something for him. His feet are still bothering him (plantar fasciitis), but he is also concerned about a recent weight gain – so he’s back at it despite that.

Anyway. Pretty good week re: the eating and the moving my body. Now to keep it in motion for another.

Well, my first impression of the meals we’re trying from my trainer? Great!

I picked them up on Monday night when I worked out.

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We each picked a protein plus 2 sides for each night from a small list of options. Jon’s child #3 and I chose the 4oz option, which means each side is 1/2 cup. Jon chose the 6oz option, so his sides are each a cup.

Last night I had salmon, roasted potatoes and kale salad.

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Jon had a crust-less quiche, roasted onions and peppers and a quinoa.

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I worried the 4oz option wouldn’t be enough, but it’s fine. Looks bigger on a plate.

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Tonight I had plain grilled chicken, steamed green beans and more potatoes.

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Jon had salmon, brown rice and steamed green beans.

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It has worked out really well both nights since we worked out with my trainer for an hour Monday night (Jon went with me since my regular partner couldn’t make it) and were super tired because we had stayed out late the night before (seeing Fleetwood Mac!). Definitely a night we would have bitched about having to cook dinner and I would have left the dishes in the sink all night starting the cycle that leads to Mexican restaurants. We had to run tonight since we didn’t do it before work this morning – so again, it would have been another hassle. Instead – took just a few minutes to heat. I think my dinner tonight was $8.50 or $9.50. I’m ok with that.

So far, so good. I’m happy with it. Will report back when we’ve had all 5.

(Out late Sunday night! In the dark! In something other than pajamas!)

❤️❤️

Man, it’s been a month.

February was pretty shitty, overall, mostly because of the weather. I think we had two weeks of pretty consistent ice and snow, which is pretty unusual. Classes canceled two weeks in a row, anyway (except we met online in one situation which I hate because I prefer face-to-face communication).

It was pretty, but I got tired of it REAL QUICK.

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I hate being stuck at home. Class cancellations just mean more work to catch up.

It was depressing.

Snowing pretty hard around here!

I’m REALLY appreciating the current 50-60+ degree sunny days is what I’m saying.
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I’m trucking along with the running thing. The weather meant that February didn’t go very well, but I made it to the gym a couple times without sliding off the road.

I didn’t do an official 5k in February (per my plan to do one each month). I wound up not doing the Valentine’s Day run because the morning option sold-out and we spent the day in the mountains, I think. I intended to do one on the 28th, but it canceled because of the weather. Not a big deal.

The actual half marathon training didn’t start until March 1 (I started Monday, anyway), so I’m good. I’ve decided to do Hal Higdon’s novice plan, but do each week twice. That will take me right up to my birthday – which is the goal.

I’m hoping it will go well. I did my first long run today – 4M. I’m doing a walk/run thing and putting no pressure on myself, so it was very enjoyable.

Plus, SUN!

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I’m trying to make an effort to lose this godforsaken 10 pounds I gained. I stopping the gaining, which is great, but it’s going to require actual work to lose the 10 pounds. IMAGINE THAT.

I’m loosely utilizing myfitnesspal, but I’m mostly just focusing on fewer “treat meals” and ice cream trips and smaller portions, in general.

We haven’t created a meal plan for March yet because we’re trying out my trainer’s meals for the upcoming week. We ordered enough for dinner for each night, anyway. I’m hoping this works out because I’m tired of our entire nights being consumed by cooking and cleaning up. Jon gets home around 6, we go to bed at 9 – so that’s it.

I don’t know how to attribute a dollar amount to the time that will be saved, but I’m going to go ahead and say it’s nearly priceless right now. Realistically, buying the food from her isn’t THAT expensive and may not wind up increasing our food budget much at all.

Eating well is a priority, so it’s worth it. I’ll report back about how it goes.

We prepped for the week this morning.

Jon grilled some salmon and chicken, made huge pots of rice and bean-less chili and boiled a bunch of eggs for easy breakfasts and snacks.

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He also roasted asparagus, brussels sprouts and okra.

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I portioned it all up and we wound up with 15 lunches (meat, rice and veg option, chili, or spinach salad with salmon), which will feed the 3 of us for the week.

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We also had enough for lunch for today and some extra rice, too.

So, we’re good to go for the week.
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This baby? 8 MONTHS OLD. Crazy.

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He is so sweet and nearly always happy.

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So fun.
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The 2015 report so far:

My semester started in January, Jon traveled nearly every week, I had a stomach virus and jury duty and went on a quick trip to New Orleans. Busy and chaotic, but good.

February = snow/ice and drudgery and sucked.

So far, so good for March. My plan is to work on freeing up some time and mental space so life is more than the drudgery associated with work and basic life maintenance.

Onward.

Things have rapidly improved since I last posted about 11 days ago or so. Last week was crazy, but it wasn’t nearly as hellish as it could have been. Jon was out of town AGAIN, but I survived.

The Whole30 officially ended, which really just means I’ve reintroduced sugar. And rice (on a more regular basis). And dairy. I don’t really know whether I lost weight because I haven’t been weighing – but I feel pretty good. I’m not squeezing into my jeans, so there’s that.

Overall, I think January was mostly a success. A little too stressful, but nothing of our own making.

I revamped the monthly meal plan for February:

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So far, so good. It’s all pretty simple stuff in the meat + veg + potato/rice format that’s easy to prepare. We all still like to have a plan hanging on the refrigerator, so I’m glad I made the switch.

My trainer – Alison – has a food business, so I had considered buying some of her meals for myself and Jon’s child #3 for this upcoming week since Jon will be out of town AGAIN, but I was super busy the day the order was due and never got around to it. I’m not sure what we’ll have this week, but I suspect we’ll figure something out.

I made it to the gym twice last week, but I slacked on yoga and running. I think I took Molly to the greenway once for a few miles.

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We spent all day Saturday in the mountains, which was a really nice way to spend time catching up since Jon had just gotten home the night before. It was gorgeous outside and we had the whole day with no distractions (and often no cell phone service). We have this idea that we’re eventually going to buy some land and have a tiny cabin to go to on the weekends, so we go looking sometimes. We looked at 5 cabins (mostly in foreclosure), but I think we’re really more interested in finding the right land vs. finding the right structure. This isn’t on the immediate horizon, but it’s a lot of fun to plan and look.

Yesterday, we caught up on life with the house cleaning and bill paying and laundry and everything else that gets neglected during the whirlwind of the regular week. And caught up on tv watching, of course.

I’m not sure what this week holds, but I’m sure I’ll make it to the trainer tonight and I’m sure I’ll make it to the gym at least once more. I’m thinking I might try some yoga videos at home since I can’t seem to work up the motivation to make it to the studio now that the class ended (it was just a one month beginner thing).

Oh! I have a 5k on my list for this Saturday. I put off registering so long that the 9AM race sold out. They have another one at 11AM that’s not timed (I guess the race is popular?), which is completely fine with me, but I’m not sure that I want to wait until 11A to do it since that cuts right into the middle of the day. I haven’t decided whether I’ll register for the 11A version or just find another one for the month. We’ll see.

Last week really threw me for a loop.

I got home from New Orleans that Saturday morning, Jon spent the afternoon/night at the ER with his child #3 while I had MC, he left to go to Germany that Sunday morning and I wound up super sick with the stomach virus a few hours after he got on his plane. So, the weekend wasn’t great.

I laid in bed and hardly moved all day on Monday, but started to feel somewhat better that night. Tuesday morning I felt ok, so I reported for my first day of jury duty per the summons I’d received a few weeks earlier (Monday was a holiday). I was selected and wound up spending all day Tuesday and all day Wednesday listening to a car wreck case – missing all of my classes for the week. I spent Thursday morning going to a meeting (for school), trying to catch up on life and it was also “baby day” so I had MC for the afternoon/night. I worked all day on Friday (at my job).

I spent every spare minute on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday doing homework and trying to stay caught up with school assignments and freaking out about missing classes.

A stomach virus knocking me out for a couple days + jury duty wiping me out for 2 more full days + classes/homework/school obligations piling up + Jon gone + unprepared for the week = SUPER OVERWHELMED.

I should have tried harder to reschedule or postpone the jury duty, but I didn’t know that I could do that since the website and the instructions they provide don’t offer ANY guidance on that whatsoever.

I missed my appointment with the trainer on Monday because of the stomach virus and rescheduled for Wednesday, but we didn’t finish deliberating and get out of court until nearly 6PM that night, so I missed that appointment with her, too. I missed yoga on Tuesday because the class would have ended too late for me to have made it to jury duty on time and I chose to spend Thursday morning doing homework (since it was due!) so I missed it that day, too. My only options for running would have been in the dark – and I just didn’t feel like dealing with it – so no exercise happened during a super stressful week when I would have greatly benefited.

We hadn’t grocery shopped or prepped for the week since Jon left early on Sunday and I wound up sick – so we had NOTHING available to cook.

I know I ate bananas and Larabars every morning for breakfast since that’s my thing these days and I buy them in bulk.

I grabbed lunch downtown both days of jury duty and did ok, I guess.

(I ate this salad plain and wound up just picking out the chicken. I remember feeling pretty bad since this was the day after the stomach virus situation and I wasn’t 100% back to normal yet. I hadn’t packed lunch or prepared because I never dreamed I’d be chosen to be on a jury and would spend the day in a courtroom.)

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(Lunch on day #2. I know the potatoes probably had cream or milk or something, but whatever. I spent that entire early morning working on homework and took no time to pack lunch.)

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I picked up salads at Panera or Chipotle for dinner those jury duty nights since they’re easy and whole30 compliant and all that.

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I was finally able to pick up some groceries on Thursday morning after my school meeting, so I grabbed a rotisserie chicken and we (me and Jon’s child #3) had our first (mostly) home-cooked meal for lunch.

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Jon got home on Friday about the same time I got home from work and things started improving from there. We spent the weekend getting back on track, anyway.

Also, we did this:

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(We actually ordered it almost a month ago. It arrived while Jon was in Germany and I was in the midst of chaos, so we picked it up on Saturday morning. This is the first car I’ve had that’s not super basic, ever!)

Things have been ok this week. Just the normal level of busy with classes and homework and all that. Jon’s been cooking per our plan and I’m back on schedule with exercise (and actually just got home from taking Molly on her first ride to the greenway in the new car – did 3.5 miles).

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(I’ve been eating rice this week as the whole30 is winding down. I know it’s not whole30 compliant but – realistically – I’m never 100% compliant and I’m ok with that.)

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I really can’t believe how much last week threw me off. I would say that I’m impressed with myself for not throwing in the towel and reverting to junk/food to cope with the stress and pressure to get a ton of things done with a time deficit, but I really don’t feel like I made THAT much of an effort to eat decently and treat myself well – even though that’s pretty much what I did. I know how to do it and I WANT to do it and I think the effort I put into the ongoing process to work out the emotional kinks paid off last week. I didn’t need to cope in some unhealthy way, I guess. I just felt stressed and dealt with it.

And bitched a lot. That helps.

Also, I have a pretty great life. I just repeated to myself that nobody was going to die if an assignment was late or if I couldn’t keep up with email or if laundry piled up or if I couldn’t vacuum every day or whatever.

A cupcake wouldn’t have fixed any of that stuff even though I SWEAR my brain told me it would when I walked through the grocery store on Thursday morning.

😘❤️😘❤️

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