Monday Miscellany

I hope everyone had a great weekend! Is it just me, or do those two days go waaaay too fast? I’m a firm supporter of the four day work week, even if that would mean working later during the the four days in order to get the right amount of hours in. Everyone would be much better off!

I’ve had a lot of stuff rattling around my brain lately, so in no particular order, here are some random notes and thoughts:

  • I’ve been hanging around at the same weight for the last two weeks or so. It’s a little frustrating, but even though the scale isn’t moving, I’m starting to notice a difference in my body shape. At Zumba class on Saturday I noticed that I looked a bit smaller and more toned, especially in my legs and butt. So something must be working, right? I know I should post some progress pics soon. I’d like to do that when I hit 15 lbs gone – two more to go!
  • My husband is joining me on the fitness bandwagon. He got on the scale the other day and declared his goal of losing .5 lbs a week. I’m excited for this! It will definitely make eating healthier a bit easier. We’ve already been taking walks together, but now we’re going to add some extra long walks on the weekends. And we’re even talking about going hiking as soon as it actually gets warmer!
  • Bowling is fun! I used to hate bowling because I’m terrible at it and am pretty competitive. However, this weekend my husband suggested an impromptu bowling date on Long Island. It was so much fun! We were both pretty terrible, but I actually beat him (a first)! We’ll probably go back again soon with a group of friends in tow. Yay, for active dates!

Happy Monday, everyone!

 

When Life Throws You for a Loop

Aaand we’re back!

I truly didn’t think it would take me almost seven months to return to a state of normalcy, but here we are. I’ve learned a lot about myself, my family, and life in general during this unbelievably difficult time. I know it’s such a cliche, but you really do discover who your friends are and who you can count on in times like this. My father’s death brought about a lot of changes – mostly good- for all of us. My brothers and I are a lot closer now, which is nice. One of them got engaged in September and I was asked to be the matron (what a horrible word!) of honor. My husband has been an amazing source of strength and sanity as I unravel the millions of responsibilities I have as the executrix of the estate and as I worked on closing my father’s practice from about a hundred miles away. There are a lot of opportunities for changes on the horizon now, and I’m looking forward to taking advantage of them one at a time.

The one thing that has surprised me the most is my resiliency. As a teenager and young adult I periodically battled depression. Even in my late twenties/early thirties there were some periods of struggle. These past few months, though, have not been as bad as I feared. I have some seriously low and dark days, of course, but I’ve been able to keep going and actually enjoying life along the way.  I think one of the keys was recognizing the value in really taking care of myself and giving myself whatever I needed to heal. I took a first degree Reiki training course which has helped me both physically and spiritually. I bought myself a membership to a spa so that I can get a monthly massage. My husband and I went on a mini-vacation to Atlantic City at the end of the summer. I’ve allowed myself to say no to things I just didn’t feel like doing and to be a homebody as much as I wanted/needed. Showing myself some real compassion has been pretty eye-opening.

Through all of this, I only gained about five pounds. In January, I re-committed myself to getting healthy. I’ve been working out between 4 and 5 days a week. I found an amazing Zumba class that I absolutely hate to miss. I’m training for another 5k in April. (Side note: I ran/walked an Electric Run 5k in September which was a ton of fun!) I’ve been eating clean about 80% of the time and I’ve lost eight pounds since the beginning of January.

I hope to be back here regularly. I feel like I have a lot to share and I want to keep a record of when I meet the various goals that I have set (more on that later).  I also really enjoy the inspiration I find in reading about other people’s journeys. Here’s to more blogging in 2014!

Summer Lovin’

Howdy, folks! So sorry for the long silence. Life has been busy and full of stuff to do. Summer weather is finally here and I’ve been taking advantage of it!

A few weeks ago my husband and I went to his first ever professional baseball game! Now, even though I live in New York, I am a big Philadelphia sports team fan because I grew up in southern New Jersey. It kills my soul a little bit each time I step into a New York baseball stadium (unless it’s to watch them play the Phillies), but since the Mets’ stadium is practically down the street from my apartment, that’s where we went. I have to admit that I really do like Citifield. It’s a great ballpark. The night we went was a beautiful night for baseball. My husband really enjoyed it and we’ve been talking about going again (hopefully when they play the Phillies in July)!

View from our seats.

View from our seats.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Memorial Day we had a NYC apartment style BBQ – hot dogs on the Forman grill, corn on the cob, salad, and store bought potato salad. It actually turned out pretty tasty! It was another beautiful day so we walked around the neighborhood enjoying the sun and the people-watching.

This past week I decided to get my hair lightened from a dark auburn to a strawberry blonde. It’s not quite the color I had in mind, but so far I’m really enjoying!

New Hair 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In health related updates, I’ve been slacking a bit on my training for the 5k coming up on June 12th. I really doubt I’ll end up running the entire thing, especially if the heat keeps up like it has been the past few days. Surprisingly, I’m feeling okay with this fact. I’ve decided to look at this 5k as a chance to see what a race is like so that I’ll know how to better prepare for the next one. I’ve already signed up for an Electric Run in September and am looking for at least one more in the fall. Since work is about to seriously slow down in about two weeks, I’ll really be able to concentrate on training through the summer and hopefully finishing with a good time in September. This is going to be one sweaty summer!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Ah, Valentine’s Day: so many haters, so many fans, so much pressure on everyone…I’ve honestly never been a huge fan of the holiday, but I have to admit I am a sucker for all the hearts and flowers. I really wish more people would make it about love in all its forms, rather just romantic. Why not celebrate love of friends and family and self? I spent a lot of years being single and sad on this date angrily glaring at the happy couples walking down the street, rolling my eyes at the co-worker who had a dozen roses delivered to her cubicle. But as I got a little older I decided that I could enjoy Valentine’s Day with or without a boyfriend. I decided to enjoy the way the reds, pinks, flowers, and balloons gave the grey, cold city a little color and joy for a day or two. I decided to treat myself to that bottle of wine, that decadent dessert, that sushi for dinner from my favorite place. And you know what? It was awesome because it was exactly what I wanted and I had no worries of being disappointed! Heaven, I tell you.

happy-valentines-day

Lately I’ve been trying to view it as an opportunity to honor my friendships and to let the people I care about most know that they’re loved. That’s not to say that I don’t also celebrate the romantic aspects with my husband. Who doesn’t like to feel appreciated and special? We actually celebrated yesterday because he had to work tonight. We’ve agreed that in the future even if one of us is not working on Valentine’s day we will celebrate it either the day before or the day after – less crowds, no overpriced prix fixe dinner, etc.

So tonight I showed myself some love by getting to the gym and starting week 5 of the C25K program. Somehow I found this week to be easier than week 4. My guess is that it’s because there were less walking intervals so it wasn’t as difficult to switch back to jogging again. The best part was I got my pick of treadmills because the gym was pretty empty. My favorite spot is on in an area of floor to ceiling windows. I can’t get enough of the people watching!

I hope you all have (had) a great Valentine’s Day and showed yourself a little love regardless of your romantic situation. We all deserve it!

 

New Year, New Goals, New Challenges

ED: I wrote this on 1/21, but must have failed to actually hit publish.

How in the world are we already three weeks into 2013? I don’t understand how this happens!

Obviously, this post is seriously late if I’m coming here to talk about my hopes, plans, and goals for the New Year, but better late than never, right?

One of the ways in which I set myself up for failure is by setting out too many long term goals with very few short term, more easily achievable goals. This year, I’m changing that. So while my ultimate goal is still to lose (and keep off) a bunch weight, I’m re-focusing on smaller goals to get me there.

First up is adding a new challenge to my fitness routine. I’ve been stuck in a rut lately and only maintaining my current weight. So I decided I needed to do something new. Last week I began the Couch to 5K program. I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with running, but I know it’s exactly the kind of challenge I need right now mentally and physically. Getting on that treadmill is intimidating! This is especially true when I’m surrounded by other folks who are just pounding out mile after mile while I’m doing whatever run/walk combo is scheduled for that day. Even so, I love it so far. The sense of achievement I feel when I’m done is pretty much beyond compare. I can’t wait to see how it feels when I reach the end of the 8 week program and can actually run a 5K! If you are thinking about trying it out I highly suggest downloading the free app. It walks you through each workout while allowing you to listen to your own music. It couldn’t be any easier than that.

In the countdown to the new year I came up with some theme words which I hope will set the tone for 2013: teamwork, gratitude, abundance, and success. These are the things I plan to focus on and take note of throughout the year in my marriage, my work life, and in my individual life.  It’s so easy to fall into a downward spiral of noticing everything that is wrong or disappointing about life, but there usually is an abundance of things to be grateful for as well.

On that note, the first thing I am extremely grateful for is my husband’s new job! He began working right after the new year began. It’s not great pay and is most likely only temporary, but it takes some of the pressure off and has put him in a much better mood. Hooray for small miracles!

So far, 2013 is off to a great start.

Thanksgiving Countdown

This year I’m making my very first Thanksgiving meal for just me and my husband. It will be our first Thanksgiving together, so I’m excited and nervous! I’ve never cooked a Turkey before and, of course, everyone has a different method and varying advice. I’m aiming to keep it all as simple and tasty as possible. On the menu: roasted turkey (of course), stuffing (Mom’s recipe), corn bread, roasted turnips and brussel sprouts, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, homemade cranberry sauce, and store-bought apple pie. Just typing that all out makes me tired! I’ve found some lighter and healthier recipes for some of the dishes from sites like CookingLight.com. Luckily, my husband is from Turkey (the country) and has never really celebrated Thanksgiving before so even if it doesn’t turn out so great, he won’t have anything to compare it to.  😉

No Excuses November, has been going pretty well exercise-wise. I’m on track to hit my goal of 20 gym visits. I even plan on going Thanksgiving morning since my gym will be open until 3:00 p.m.! One of the things I love about New York City is that it does not completely shut down for the holidays.

I have to admit it’s been a struggle to get to the gym and continue eating well due to all kinds of stress. The biggest stress right now is that my husband is looking for a job. He’s been out of work for a few months now and my anxiety just keeps on rising. I keep praying every day that something will come along and I have faith that it will, but the waiting and not being able to really do anything to help is killing me. I hate feeling so helpless and out of control. I’m doing my best to keep his spirits up and to help him with the job search, but some days I just feel like all the hope is gone. It is exhausting. Somehow, I’ve managed to keep working out and not “eat my feelings” too often, but it has definitely been a challenge. I can’t wait until he is settled in somewhere and we have a new routine.

It’s times like these that make me so grateful for my job. Without it, we’d really be in trouble right now. I’ve been taking time to step back and try to see what else I’m supposed to be getting out of this experience. It’s definitely deepened our relationship and it’s helped me to realized I need to better manage my stress and anxiety. Being super stressed and anxiety-ridden is not going to help him get a job any faster. We will make it through this somehow.