Ms. Marvel Project

Where’s your Halloween spirit?

Today is Halloween, and yet it seems to be just another regular old day. I’m not doing anything special tonight, I don’t have any hidden hordes of chocolatey sweets, and there’s no costume to speak of. Halloween has never been something that I’ve taken a great deal of interest in, but I at least look forward to the candy. This year, I didn’t even realize until just this afternoon that I’m actually a little bit sad that the holiday has come and will go with very little fanfare. Sure, D and I have spent almost every night during the month of October watching the scariest movies we can get our hands on, but that’s been the extent of it. I miss having occasions like this to look forward to and celebrate. I brought this up on a phone call to D during lunch and we decided that next year, this will all change.

As for tonight, I think we will pull out another scary movie (hopefully the scariest yet), maybe turn down the lights and light a few candles for a spookier mood and who knows… if we’re lucky maybe we can get a little bit of Halloween candy.

In other news, I’ve started the week off right with my workout routine. Yesterday, I jumped on the exercise bike for a full hour and today I got up at 6:30 and did Zumba Wii. I put it on expert mode for the first time today and while some of the dances were really hard to pick up on the first run through, others came much more easily to me than I expected. I think I’m really starting to like it!

D has been encouraging me to look up Zumba classes in the area and while I’d love to do something like that, I don’t think wintertime is a great time to make another after work committment. A few years back, I took a yoga class about 15-20 minutes away from my apartment and the “semester” lasted from September through mid-December. For the first month or so, everything was good, but soon we were changing the clocks, it was pitch black out at 4PM and absolutely freezing. I would get out of work, come home to change and I would have to literally drag my butt out of the house into the cold, unforgiving night, alone, and I didn’t really enjoy it much at all. I’d end up dreading the class for that reason alone. Perhaps springtime or summer of next year is a better time to take up a new activity.

A few goals for myself for the week:

1. No alcohol Tuesday through Friday. I’m allowing myself some tonight if I feel like it – it is a “special occasion” after all.

2. Commit to a few new recipes for lunches/dinners

I’ll add some additional updates to this list if I come up with any more, but I want to keep things manageable while I’m still easing into breaking some of my bad habits.

That’s all for now!

~L

October 31, 2011 Posted by | Life, Project | , , | Leave a comment

Weigh In #3

Today’s weight: 143.4
Starting weight: 144.4

Weight lost: 1 pound
Weight left to lose until goal: 13.4 pounds

This weekend is packed with to-dos and we have to cram them all in to today before the storm hits tonight. First on the agenda is a new haircut, which is desperately needed. I haven’t cut my hair since the spring and it’s getting to the point where I just can’t stand it anymore.

I’m hoping to get in a nice, long workout today at the office gym. I haven’t worked out the past 2 days so I’m itching to get back over there, and if we’re snowed in this weekend, I suppose I won’t have any excuse but to exercise, right?

In honor of the weekend, I joined the Restless Blog Hop. Happy weekend and happy early Halloween everyone!

young and restless

~L

October 29, 2011 Posted by | Project | | Leave a comment

Snowy productivity

Today I found myself with some extra energy during the afternoon, and I got so many things done that it fueled me for the rest of the day. I set out during my lunch break to go food shopping and to pick up some wine at the liquor store. I did both those things very quickly and had enough time to head back to the apartment and unpack everything (I’m lucky enough to live within walking distance to my office), and THEN unload the dishwasher, reload it and pick up clutter in the living room. When I got back to the office, I got a ton done there as well and I’m hoping this trend can continue because it’s going to be a busy weekend.

Unfortunately, winter has come early to Boston, and I’m not too happy about this. Winter is my least favorite season, and here, it’s also the longest. I much prefer seasons like the one we had last year, where the snow didn’t start until after Christmas. It doesn’t even matter (as much) that immediately after Christmas, we had a blizzard, followed by another blizzard almost every single week until March. I still was able to keep up relatively good spirits because we didn’t have to endure snow and frigid temps from October through December.

Last night I headed into Cambridge to have dinner with a friend. We hadn’t seen each other in at least 2 months and we talked mostly about my Disney trip. He’s from Floriday and is a Disney expert and enthusiast, so he wanted to hear all the stories and discuss how some of the attractions had changed since his last trip. The drive to Cambridge was grueling – it took me about 1.5 hours and it was torrentially downpouring the entire way. I only live about 15 – 20 miles from Cambridge, but the weather + rush hour traffic (although, logic states that traffic should have been going the opposite direction…) = a driving nightmare. By the time we had finished eating, the rain had turned to snow and it was REALLY coming down, but thankfully not sticking to anything.

If that wasn’t enough, now we have a noreaster headed this way for Saturday night, which will definitely result in accumulating snow. I’m so happy that I no longer have to dig out my car to go to work, but I’m so unhappy that the days of being able to do things outside are now over. The smallest things become hard when it’s 20 degrees outside and snowing – even doing errands or seeing friends. Last year, due to the abundance of blizzards, I had to schedule and reschedule a doctor’s appointment about 6 times because I wasn’t going to be able to make the drive with 10 inches of snow on the ground. So frustrating.

This weekend, I’m going to try to keep a positive attitude and focus on keeping up my streak of productivity. If I can get to the gym at least once (hopefully twice), I’ll be very happy. I’d also like to come up with some new recipes to add to our rotation so that I can keep things interesting in that area.

Happy weekend, everyone!

October 28, 2011 Posted by | Life | | Leave a comment

Are you a slave to routine?

I gave myself an off day yesterday. And by “off”, I mean REALLY off. Not only did I skip working out in any way, shape or form, but I ate anything I wanted. I started the morning off with a bagel and cream cheese from the caf at work and followed it up with lunch also from the caf at work. I got a roasted vegetable and hummus wrap, which, while it sounds healthy and probably is, came with a heaping side of pasta salad and I couldn’t help myself when it came to adding a big cookie to my tray for dessert. Dinner didn’t go much better, but at least I ate something from my own kitchen rather than having all 3 meals as takeout. One issue I’ve always had with food, is that when I’m having a bad day, or if I’m upset about something, food makes me feel better. I know this is not a unique situation, but the thing that keeps me coming back to this habit is that it ACTUALLY does make me feel better, before, during and after the meal.

For example, if I’m at work, overwhelmed with an assignment and/or having a fight with someone, I’ll start thinking about ways I might be able to get myself out of whatever funk I’m in, and I start fantasizing about getting a favorite food item from some restaurant or going to see what the cafeteria has for lunch today… and then I’ll start looking forward to it. I don’t think it’s just the act of having food that I like that may or may not be bad for me, but it’s also the idea of: hey, this is going to shake up my routine for the day! Routine can be overwhelmingly hard to deal with sometimes when every single day consists of the same actions, the same foods, the same workouts, same, same, same, same, same. In theory, I do crave some amount of routine in my life, but it seems that whenever I’m in the depths of it, all I want is OUT. Yesterday, the food “freedom” actually did put me in a better mood and gave me more energy. But I know that I ate way more calories than I should have.

This mindset extends beyond food as well. As an example, whenever there is a storm approaching, whether it be snow, thunder, whatever, I always get excited. Why? Because if it’s a big enough storm, it will disrupt the routine. I’ll have a reason not to do something I’ve previously made myself believe I was obligated to do.

I wonder if there’s any way I can find to replace the desire to do something “different” for a meal (i.e. takeout) with just doing something different in my day. A walk? An unscheduled phone call with a friend? I’ll have to think about this some more. Also, I should try and find new foods for myself that are healthy, but that are interesting and different from my current staples. Maybe a trip to Trader Joe’s is in order to take care of this.

The bottom line is: I need to find some new, exciting things to keep me interested.

Have you ever had success breaking out of routines and how did you do it? I’d love any suggestions!

October 25, 2011 Posted by | Life | | Leave a comment

Anybody out there?

The week has gotten off to a rough start, and you know what would get me just a little more motivated? Some readers! So, I’ve decided to join a blog hop or two to get things rolling and to meet a few new bloggers out there. If there are any new readers out there, hello! Thanks for stopping by!

I will be back a little later with updates on my week. Now off to the gym for my lunch break.

October 25, 2011 Posted by | Blogging | | Leave a comment

Ups and Downs

This week, it was much harder to stick to the plan than last week, which is not that surprising considering enthusiasm for a new project tends to die down over time. In fact, in my previous attempts to make-over my fitness and eating habits, the second and third weeks have proven to be the toughest. For the most part, I still stuck to what I had set out to do this week, with a few minor splurges here and there. A few confessions:

- I had wine 3 nights this week (1 – 1.5 glasses each time). While that doesn’t seem like a ton, it’s still extra calories, and they have proven recently that alcohol really does slow down weight loss.

- Wednesday was an incredibly difficult day, motivationally. Wednesdays are always hard because it’s the halfway point in the week, I’m tired, and we have a standing obligation Wednesday  nights after work. To make matters worse, the weather was disgusting that day (torrential downpours and gale force winds), and I woke up in a bad mood. When we got home Wednesday night at around 8, I wanted something off-plan for dinner  and nothing was going to stop me. We ended up ordering takeout, and I ate something with way more calories than I should have and instantly regretted it.

Being that it’s Saturday morning, I’ve worked out 4 days this week so far, which is a victory. I’m planning another workout today to round out the week. The meal plan I prepared on Monday sort of went out the window. I need to remember when I’m doing these plans that I like variety and eating the same old thing over and over again will sort of make me insane, and it will drive me to get takeout. Maybe it’s time to do some recipe research.

My official weigh in today: 143.6 –> down .8 pounds from last Saturday.

The frustrating thing? Yesterday morning I weighed 142.6. I think I’m going to change official weigh-in day from Saturday morning to Friday morning going forward.

It’s time for me to wake up over here and get moving with my day. Hope you all have a great Saturday!

~L

October 22, 2011 Posted by | Project | , , | Leave a comment

Week 2, Day 1

Today marks the official start of week 2 of the Ms. Marvel Project, meaning it’s time to lay out a tentative plan for the week ahead. It’s already mid-day so I’ve done my workout for the day (50 minutes on the elliptical during lunch), and it went excellently. I was feeling the usual Monday morning blahs before I went and didn’t know how great I would do in that kind of mood, but once I got going, things completely turned around.

I can tell I’m getting into better shape now because my heart rate doesn’t go up so high as easily anymore and I’m able to up the resistance on the elliptical more than last week.

Yesterday was my second “off” day of the week, though I was not completely inactive: before bed, D and I did some free weights and then a yoga DVD. The DVD helped us relax a ton before going to bed, which was much needed since sleep is always so difficult on Sunday nights.

Something that always helps me stay on track is to plan my dinners in advance, so here’s the (very tentative) meal plan for the week:

—————

Monday: Quesadillas
Tuesday: Pasta side
Wednesday: Veggie Burger (Regular burger for D)
Thursday: Dinner out w/a friend  <– This will be a challenge to find something healthy at a restaurant.
Friday: Pasta
Saturday: Stir Fry
Sunday: Baked tofu (Baked chicken for D)

—————

In other news, I weighed myself on the scale at the gym today and got a vastly different number than I did on Saturday morning. I came in at 141.8, which is down 2.6 pounds, but I’m not sure if I can believe it yet, since it’s a different scale and it seems pretty drastic for 2 days difference. Even still, it is encouraging to see that things may be changing after all.

~L

October 17, 2011 Posted by | Project | , | Leave a comment

Week 1

I’m doing an official weigh-in every Saturday as soon as I get out of bed. Today’s results weren’t amazing, but I think I know why:

Today’s weight: 144.4

Starting weight: 144.4

So according to the scale, I’m exactly the same as I was last week at this time. However, I have been on track all week and done tons of workouts. I believe my mistake was that yesterday I had a lot of very salty foods, and I started to bloat. I’m going to weigh myself tomorrow to see if there’s been any difference, but even if there isn’t, I’m just going to continue on. I know from my previous attempts to lose weight that it takes a WHILE for my body to actually respond. In fact, I usually only see weight loss one week a month, at a certain time.

In other news, I picked up my new car today and got to drive it around a little. It’s awesome! And the sound system in the car sounds incredible so I can just see myself making up excuses to drive just to listen to music.

~L

October 15, 2011 Posted by | Project | | Leave a comment

Newness all around

What a week this has been… Last night for the very first time bought myself a BRAND NEW car! My old car was on its last legs, and I’ve been on the hunt for a car for the past couple of months. Originally, I was convinced that I didn’t want to spend more than $10,000 and that it was going to be a used car. Well, it turns out the used car market is awful right now and that wasn’t even a remote possibility money-wise if I wanted something that wasn’t already out of warranty with a ton of miles on it. After much debate, it became obvious that I could get something brand new for not much more than I’d be paying for one of the used cars, so I upped my budget a tad.

D and I headed over to the Mazda dealership after work and we looked at a few different ones, but in the end I fell in love with a silver Mazda 3 and it was a done deal. We negotiated the price down a little bit and traded in my car, and as of tomorrow afternoon, I will be driving it! Every other car I’ve ever had has been used and was nothing that made me excited. In fact, I have grown to really dislike driving. I think this car might actually do the impossible and get me to like driving at least the tiniest little bit :)

Luckily, none of this excitement has thrown me off my fitness plan for the week. Wednesday after my lunch workout, my stomach started to feel a little upset, so I took it easy for the rest of the day. My heartrate had climbed higher than I would have liked during that lunchtime workout, possibly due to a combination of lack of sleep the night before, and pushing too hard while I was there.

Thursday, everything seemed to be back to normal and today, I think I may be taking a rest day. I was scheduled to do a workout in the morning, but last night’s sleep was the WORST one of the week. I woke up at 3:30 and didn’t get back to sleep until 6! So, a morning workout wasn’t exactly in the cards.

No worries though. It’s Friday and with tomorrow being wide open except for picking up my new car, I’m sure I’ll be able to get in a very quality workout with D in the morning. Tomorrow will also be the first weigh-in since I started making progress on the project so I’m excited to see what the result will be.

Have a great Friday, anyone out there who might be reading!

~L

October 14, 2011 Posted by | Life, Project | , | Leave a comment

Finding balance

I’ve succeeded in my quest to get more protein in my diet. Yesterday, I added some bulk to my breakfast and had a slice of bread with almond butter, plus one egg (and a little big of organic ketchup). It satisfied me and definitely added to the protein total. Today, I woke up absolutely STARVING so I had the same thing + 1 additional egg.

It’s a tough thing to find the right balance of not going overboard with food/exercise and not doing enough. There’s no way I’m going overboard with the exercise part of the equation yet, which is good, but yesterday in particular, I found it challenging to get the full amount of calories I need without accidentally going way over, so I accidentally erred on the side of not eating enough (hence, the starving Lisa this morning).

It’s only day 3, so I’m sure as every day goes on, I’m going to make mistakes and learn how to fix them for next time. I’m not beating myself up over it, just continuing on.

It’s just about lunchtime here, so I’m off to do my 40 minutes on the elliptical! I really need to get some new playlist ideas for something to keep me motivated at the gym.

Also, as a side note, I’ve changed the template on this blog approximately 239,234,340 times so far and I’m still not satisfied. I’m starting to think I need to just branch out and do my own thing rather than using one of blog.com’s options.

~L

October 12, 2011 Posted by | Project | , | Leave a comment

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