Saturday, April 28, 2012


As I lose weight, I keep finding fun little changes to be amazed about. A few weeks or months go by, and one day I suddenly realize, "Oh hey, my nose is getting smaller!" or "Wow, even my shoes are too big!" One day this week, my realization of the day was that for the first time I can remember, I can now cross my legs comfortably. It is always heartening to have such reminders along the way of the success I am achieving one day at a time. My weight loss has slowed down a bit over the last few weeks, but mostly because I haven't been eating as well or exercising as much as I should.

I did feel like I was failing myself on a few occasions over the last few weeks, like when I gave in and had a binge on cookies, or put off going to the gym again (and again, still haven't been back for about three and a half weeks). But I have to put things in perspective. Considering how stressful school has become, I should be proud of myself for keeping it together as much as I have. If you let yourself, it's easy to get caught up in the idea that if you're not perfect on your diet or with your exercise plan (or whatever goal you are working for), you are a failure. I am not a failure. In spite of less than perfect diet and exercise, I have still continued to lose some weight, just not as much as I did when I was better about both. And sure, there have been a few times when I have been irresponsible about eating in the last few weeks, but I am still keeping track of everything I eat and keeping things under much better control than before I started making changes at the beginning of the year. So no, I'm not perfect, but I should not expect myself to be perfect either. The important thing is that I am moving in the right direction in spite of obstacles.

It's also important that I recognize the obstacles I face and the mistakes I make along the way, because if I'm not learning from my experiences what good is it all? The simple fact that I am monitoring my nutrition and activity level helps me to learn so much more as I go. I feel so much more encouraged today than I did last week or the week before.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Excited for Summer!

It has been three weeks since I made it to the gym for resistance training. I have been super busy with school and work, but that's really just an excuse. I could have planned my time better and made working out a higher priority, but I just didn't. Definitely need to work on that. I have still been getting some walking in, but not as much as I should. I'm still undecided about whether to pay for a summer pass to the rec center (since I'm not taking classes and therefore not paying the mandatory fee to use the facilities over the summer), or find another workout program. I had better make up my mind soon though, since there are only two days left of classes and then a week of finals, then the semester will be over!

This morning I had a group presentation in my English composition class, which was the last major project for the course. All that I have left is to attend one more class period, and then show up for the final to get my last paper back and do an easy writing activity. I didn't have time to think about that right away since I have my Computer Science class right after English, but as I was heading to my car and then driving home after CS, I just felt giddy. A huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders - I finished my writing class, which is something that I have been struggling with for a while, and I did really well in it! I still have a good bit of work to do for my Math Software and Econometrics classes, but nothing that I can't handle in the time I have to do it. I am so excited about finishing the semester!

Monday, April 16, 2012

In a slump

Last week I didn't make it to the gym. I just had too much to do and not enough time to do it all, so of course I wasted my time doing things I didn't need to do instead of going to the gym or getting started on Math Software labs or other homework that is due later this week or next week. Fun times. Did I mention I am the master of procrastination? I would feel much better and less stressed if I managed my time better and paced myself with homework, and especially if I exercised more faithfully, but I'm not there yet. I can acknowledge this as a problem, so that's a start.

I haven't been as good about my diet the last couple of weeks, so between that and my minimal exercise my progress has slowed. I feel like I'm almost at the point I was just over two years ago when I gave up on healthy nutrition after losing 20-25 pounds. I'm not giving up this time. I am determined to make it, to develop healthy habits to last a lifetime, to look and feel better, and especially to treat my body better over all. I'm just in a bit of a slump right now, but I know I can pull myself out of it and get back on track.

You'll notice I haven't been as good about blogging either. It's so much easier to blog when I have something positive to write about, but I think it's just as important to keep some kind of record of the down times so I'll be able to look back on them and remember what I learned.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Too busy to work out?

I haven't made the time to work out yet this week. I really need to make myself get to the gym in the morning since my evenings are full with work and studying and writing research papers. I especially need to work out for stress relief right now, because classes are very stressful. Only two and a half weeks of class left, but those two and a half weeks are packed with homework. I have a group research project and individual essay for English Composition, one more homework assignment and a research project for Econometrics, three labs for Math Software (last week's lab took eight hours to get through half of it, so these can get pretty ridiculous), three labs for Computer Science and one or two programming assignments, and studying for three final exams. And that's just the list of things for school.

The last couple of weeks, I just have not felt like I have enough time to work out. I only made it to the gym twice last week, which isn't too bad, but I'm afraid I won't make it to the gym this week until at least Thursday unless I make myself go first thing in the morning tomorrow. I haven't been getting as much walking in either, partly because my leg isn't fully recovered yet, but mostly because I have just been in too much of a rush. I plan on making time for at least a walk tomorrow no matter how busy I am, because I really need to take that time to decompress.

Question of the day: Do you ever feel like you're so busy you just don't have time to exercise, but at the same time you know that's when you need to the most?
It's so important to make exercise a priority, not just for physical health, but for mental health as well. Having that time that's just for me to reflect as I work out, taking the time to be active and relieve stress, is something new to me over these last couple of months. I have to make a very conscious effort to plan exercise into my day, and I probably always will have to - it's just not a natural part of the way I operate, but I would like it to become that.

(Edit: Just got back from a walk and visit with a good friend. I actually looked up and saw her out the window as I was about to post the above, and had to drop everything and go out to say hello. I went ahead and joined her for a brisk walk and ended up spending some much-needed time not thinking about school as we caught up. Between the exercise, conversation, and laughter, I feel much rejuvenated!)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Minor setback

Somehow I strained or pulled a muscle in my leg the other day. I first noticed there was a problem as I was heading to bed, but I have no idea what I did to hurt myself. I ended up missing a workout because of it, but sometimes that's the best thing for your body - have to give it time to rest and recuperate.

I'm getting excited about the semester being over. Maybe a little too excited. I need to get my head back in the game for these last three weeks of class and then finals. No counting chickens before they hatch and all that. But still, just four weeks! I am so ready for this semester to be over. Of course, I have another four or more semesters after this one, but I'll have the summer to recharge - I really need it!

I switched my weigh-in day to Saturdays, so this morning I weighed myself. I am down less than half a pound since last Saturday, but I'm okay with that. I'm just glad it was that direction instead of a gain for the week. It was a stressful week, and for most of it I either wasn't feeling well or was recovering from my mystery injury, so my diet and exercise were not the greatest. I'm already feeling better now, and I'm sure I'll do better in the coming week.

Looking forward to Easter with the family tomorrow, but not so much the temptations that come along with it in the form of rich foods and desserts and candy.

Question of the day: What's your favorite (or most tempting) treat at family gatherings? 
Mine is pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and anything chocolate at Easter. Right is a picture of LIBBY'S® Famous Pumpkin Pie from - pretty much just like the pie my mom makes.

Monday, April 2, 2012

It's Spring!

It has felt like spring here in Indiana for almost a month now. It looks like late spring outside, vibrant and green, and last week all the trees were in bloom. Today was yet another gorgeous day. Sunny and sixties, just the perfect weather. I absolutely love this time of year!

I had a great workout at the gym today. I walked a 16:33 mile, which is my fastest pace to date, and I didn't really feel like I was pushing myself as hard as I could have. It was my warm up before lifting, so I didn't want to push myself too much. I have been steadily increasing my pace on the treadmill. It's harder to gauge my pace when walking outside (which I also did today), especially when I forget to use the stopwatch on my phone, or walk a route I didn't map out, or various other circumstances. I'm really tempted to buy a piece of equipment to track my pace and distance, but I really don't have the money for more gadgets right now.

I've been thinking more about starting a section on my blog for workout tips and tidbits. I'm going to start putting a few things together as I have time, then I'll post it here to see what you all think.

Question of the day: Because yesterday was April Fool's Day, what was your all-time favorite April Fool's joke (either made by you or played on you)?
I've never done any particularly impressive April Fool's jokes, but one of my favorites was the year my brother Paul was born. He was born on March 30, and I waited to tell my classmates until April 1st. They were all positive that I was trying to fool them, which was, of course, the reason I waited to tell them until then!