Resolutions

I used to think that making resolutions for the new year was cliche and purposeless. What was the point in making the same promise every single year to “lose 15 pounds” and “exercise more”? I created these vague goals for myself but obviously lacked the motivation to follow them through. I have heard and read and seen countless stories about other people who’d make themselves the same promises that I did and lose steam around February or March (I don’t think I ever even saw my resolutions through to the end of January). Obviously, there is a right and a wrong way to make resolutions.

My first rule: my resolutions would have nothing to do with numbers. No weight goal, no calorie-counting. I’ve tried both of these strategies more times than I can count and neither has worked for me. Being healthy to me involves changing my lifestyle, not the number on a scale. That being said, my health-related goals might just help me lose the weight I’ve gained this winter.

My second rule: my resolutions need to be specific and attainable. What does “eat better” actually involve? What am I eating? How can I achieve that?

I know that these two rules seem to contradict themselves but stay with me.

I decided to make goals in three categories: personal, health, and professional. It’s only the 3rd, but so far I’ve found them manageable and valuable. These are my resolutions for 2012:

Personal

Walk the dog every day

Stop texting and driving (a horrible habit, I know)

Read 1 book a month (doesn’t apply to the “no numbers” rule)

Health

Run a 1/2 marathon (more on this later)

Set weekly fitness goals

Plan meals

Keep a food and exercise journal

Eat more vegetables (not specific, but this is just a general rule I try to follow on a daily basis so I added it)

Professional/Financial

Get a job

Build up my savings account

Get a new car (eventually)

 

I wrote my goals on the first page of my journal to remind myself of them. I left room to add more if I think of any.

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Keeping a journal and recording the food I eat and my workouts has been very helpful in encouraging me to be mindful of what I eat. It also makes planning what I eat and what I do for workouts much simpler.

And have been very honest in recording what I ate.

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While I’ve only walked Cash once in the past three days and haven’t done any reading yet this month, I am very happy with these resolutions and hope to see them all through to 2013.

I’m Back

I took a break from blogging while I was student teaching. I don’t think anyone wanted to read an excessive amount of posts titled “I Hate Lesson Planning.” That probably would have gotten old. Here’s what I’ve been doing for the past three months according to my iPhone photos:

I was lucky enough to be able to enjoy a couple beach days…in October!

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I hung out in Portland.

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And art walked.

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Friends came to visit.

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I got an award.

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And planned a LOT of lessons.

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Beer was involved.

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I made a bulletin board.

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And hung out with this guy.

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I saw the tree lighting in Portland.

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I tried sushi for the first time! (I loved it)

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And once my portfolios were finished and my tests were corrected and grades were entered, I celebrated.

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I’m done with student teaching and I’m officially a college graduate. So what’s next?

I’ll be looking for jobs and substitute teaching in the meantime. Also, my goal is to put my gym membership to good use now that I have a lot more free time! I taught my freshman all about goal setting this semester…I should take that lesson to heart.

I <3 the Weekend

Happy (belated) birthday to my sweet roommate! We celebrated Saturday night by having a few people over and going out in Portland after.

The beautiful birthday Girl

Saturday was a gorgeous day and I made it out for a run with Cash. I planned a two mile loop and intended to do it once with him and then drop him off and do it a second time. Cash was struggling by the end and we ended up walking the last half mile or so. I think the hill in the beginning really tired him out! The best part of my run was when I stumbled (not literally) upon a yard sale and stole found a free dining room table! My roommates and I have been scouring thrift stores and craig’s list for weeks trying to find a cheap dining room table with no luck. This one was the perfect size and looked pretty nice too. It’s round with a leaf in the middle. I ran home to get a vehicle and some man power and returned as fast as possible to snatch up my great find. It may have been used that night for some drinking games 😉

Unfortunately, I didn’t make it back out to finish my run. And I’ve been too busy with student teaching/cleaning/open house/happy hour/sleeping to run this week.

Four days till Trail to Ale.

Come On Irene

Every time I hear a reference to the hurricane the song Come on Eileen pops into my head, hence the title.

Getting sick really made it hard to run this week. Running any distance with body aches and a fever just wasn’t that appealing. And now Hurricane Irene isn’t making outdoor activities any easier.

Calm before the storm? Maybe.

Just in case we’re stranded here for a while my roommates and I made a necessary trip to Hannaford for a few things.

Just a few.

This week I also made my favorite cookies: chocolate chip zucchini. The recipe is from the book Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver which I credit with igniting my interest in health and in eating local. Don’t let the fact that these cookies are made with vegetables and 50% whole wheat flour stop you from making them as they are so soft and delicious. When I made them I didn’t have honey so I substituted pancake syrup (not the healthiest swap) but they tasted great. I forced them on my coworkers on Saturday night but I don’t think anyone minded. I might have eaten some of them this week too.

Just a few.

Small Victories

I’ve learned to always appreciate small successes in life. For instance:

I survived Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred DVD (level 2) and only had to drop to my knees during mountain climbers three times, pause it twice, and get in child pose once. My shoulders are killing me now too. I’d call that a win

Also, I showered today. That’s a success…even if my arms were shaking as I washed my hair.

This week I also stole found a practically brand new size 2 Brooks Brothers blazer for $28 at a consignment shop. Another point for me.

I was able to replace my favorite flamingo cup ($5 at Reny’s) that didn’t survive a fall at work.

Cash hasn’t had an accident in the house today. Nevermind…guess I jinxed that one.

I successfully created the breakfast taco.

I found an apartment!

I ran twice this week.

I did some baking and I didn’t switch cornstarch for the baking soda (I’ve done that before) or burn them. And I didn’t make too big of a mess.

I caught this sunset.

And I lost another 1/2 inch from my hips. A small victory when you consider that I used fit into size 15 jeans and now I wear a size 2, but a victory that is definitely worth appreciating.

Excuses

I’m the queen of excuses and I have plenty to explain my lack of blog posts lately. Don’t get me wrong, I think most some of them are pretty good. The almost 100 degree weather…working a lot…and not having my computer for the past week or so (someone who will not be named decided that my charger looked like a chew toy). Not blogging because I haven’t been running…now that’s a terrible excuse. It finally cooled off enough/I finally woke up early enough to fit a run in yesterday before I went to work. It’s amazing how running made me feel like a human being again! Of course…I haven’t found the motivation today yet. I did manage to drag myself to the nail salon down the street for a shellac manicure though…it matches the “Cajun Shrimp” nail polish on my toes!

This week I’ve really been trying to eat less at work. Working in a restaurant can definitely be difficult sometimes, especially when there are plenty of extra french fries, chili cheese nachos, and chips. I’m determined that this Summer won’t be forever remembered as the Summer that I ate my weight in french fries so I’m making a conscious effort to bring my own food to work from now on. I still occasionally snack at work (and I will never say no to a couple bites of cheesecake) but bringing my own meals and snacks means that I don’t leave at the end of the night feeling bloated from eating too many chips with bleu cheese dressing. Last week I made a delicious curried tuna salad with granny smith apple, fresh cherries, and almonds over spring mix that was inspired by a recipe in the Whole Foods flyer. Yesterday, in a moment of genius, I created the hamburger salad. Grass fed beef, Farmers Market tomatoes and spring mix (amazing), red onions, and dill relish with a little mustard on top. I decided not to take a picture because it looks very a little weird, but it’s definitely delicious.

Blogging has also been difficult because I haven’t been taking a lot of pictures of anything other than a previously mentioned little monster.

He’s a pretty cute excuse though.

Will Run for Smoothies

So I broke up with the training schedule I was using…maybe I’ll try it again but actually start at the beginning this time…duh.

I’ve run three times this week so far, but the heat hasn’t made it easy. When will I learn to run earlier?? My legs also felt like lead the past two days. I blame myself for not stretching after I ran on Monday

Monday: I ran 4.5 miles in 40 minutes. My iMapMyRun app tells me I ran an average of an 8:49 minute mile…I don’t believe it but I won’t argue with technology! I also took sweaty self portraits of myself.

I’m weird…I know

Wednesday the heat definitely got the best of me and I ran 3 slow miles. I ran on a trail for a mile and it definitely tires my legs out faster than when I run on the road

Today my legs still felt like lead and I had to take a couple walking/stretching breaks but I ran 4.4 miles around a neighborhood near my house.

I was feeling pretty tired by the last half mile but the thought of making a giant fruit smoothie when I got home motivated me to finish strong. So after stretching and hydrating, I pulled out the blender and threw in:

A giant handful of spinach (don’t worry, you don’t taste it)

About half a cup of plain greek yogurt

A frozen banana

A generous portion of frozen strawberries and blueberries

Milk to help it blend

The spinach makes it look a little disgusting strange, but trust me, it’s great

I poured the finished product into a tall glass

And enjoyed it outside while hanging out with my favorite guy

Who likes green stuff as much as I do

And smoothies

What I’ve been doing lately

Well…I haven’t been running since Wednesday. But I have been busy!

I’ve been making kale chips

I used this recipe for kale chips from one of my favorite bloggers. I made two trays, one with garlic powder and parmesan cheese and the other with cumin and curry powder. I can now say that I’ve eaten an entire bunch of kale by myself in an afternoon.

I’ve also been doing some reading

I love this book but it’s taking me forever to finish it. I’d say that it really sums up my own food philosophy. I won’t go into detail about the contents because I could write a whole post about this book (I probably should!) but humor me and at least check out this review of In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto from the New York Times.

I’ve been hanging out with this guy

Eating ginormous salads

This one had romaine, carrots, cukes, tomatoes, salsa, black beans, red onions, avocado, chipotle cilantro hummus (from the Farmer’s Market!) and fresh cilantro. Delicious.

I’ve been shopping (big surprise)

I take pictures of clothes when I try them on so I can send them to my friends for approval. That’s completely normal right??? Maybe I should just stop shopping by myself.

Going to BBQs

Eating lots of strawberries

(Try this dressing, it’s amazing.)

Celebrating with good friends

And drinking a little wine

No wonder I’m exhausted!

This is Cash

He’s an eight week old black tri Australian Shepherd…and he’s all mine. I think that Cash is too cute for words…so I’ll save them and just post some of the adorable pictures I’ve taken in the past few days.

My sleepy Puppy:

This Week I’ve…

Run…not enough

Drank…a little too much

Blogged…not enough

Had fun…a little too much

Slept…not enough

But I spent the week with good friends

Ate some good food

Drank some good beer (and a couple shots)

And watched the Bruins win the Stanley Cup

So I’m not complaining.