249. Goals, Goals, Goals: March

I know it’s only a difference of two or three days, but February always feels so much shorter than other months.  I feel like just yesterday I was setting my goals for February.  My goal for February was to dedicate myself to fitness.  In the end, I came out with mix results.

I didn’t get back to a regular running schedule.  Snomaggedon combined with another bout of illness, this time strep, ear infections, and glands so large my doctor was muttering something about mono side-tracked me for most of the month.  Needless to say, I’m not really any closer to having a regular running schedule now than I was at the end of January.  This is a problem.

I did really well with the CoreFusion challenge…until I got sick.  I made it through two weeks of rocking out a minimum of ten minutes a day.  Several times I did more than ten minutes just because.  Then I woke up with a migraine which somehow turned into the plague.  Awesome.  After I finally recovered and was back to normal energy levels, I had a hard time getting back into the swing of daily CoreFusion.

I’m back on track now, and March is a whole new month.  I’ve got three goals for March.  The first two are pretty much re-dos of February’s goals.

This month I am dedicating myself to

  1. Running! I’ll be posting more in depth about this later this week, but basically I realized my half marathon is in nine weeks and I have to get it together right now!  I got myself on track by hitting the road Saturday morning for a 3.5 mile run.  I also purchased Jeff Galloway’s Half Marathon book for some educational motivation.
  2. CoreFusion! My goal for March is to rock out at least three CoreFusion sessions a week.  When I was out for my run on Saturday, I could totally feel a difference in my body.  I attribute this 100% to those kick ass CoreFusion DVDs.  My legs didn’t feel fatigued, and I just felt stronger all around.  I know strength training – especially core strength – is crucial for runners.  Now that I’ve found a form of strength training that doesn’t make me want to slit my wrists, I want to work it and making my running that much better.
  3. Cleaning! I’ve confessed it before: I am a terrible house-keeper.  Everyone knows it – including me.  I don’t know why keeping my house clean is such a struggle for me, but it is.  The boy is amazing and cleans my house regularly, but that’s really not fair to him.  (As much as I love it!)  I’m starting to feel like I’m taking advantage of his kindness.  So, for the month of March I’m dedicating myself to cleaning up and keeping it clean.  Step 1 is scheduling a cleaning date with myself.

Bonus goal: My grandma got a (almost brand new) bread machine at Goodwill and gave it to my mom.  Since my mom doesn’t need two bread makers, she gave me her old one.  Therefore I’ve decided March is the month I will get over my fear of making yeast bread.  I’ll start with the bread maker and build up to doing it all by myself.   I’m considering trying my hand at paczki’s this weekend to celebrate Fat Tuesday.  I’m trying to find a recipe so if you’ve got a good one send it my way!

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240. CoreFusion Challenge: 7 Things in 7 Days

Today marks the end of the first week of my CoreFusion challenge.  I’ve stuck with my challenge so far, and I’m still really excited about it.  So here are 7 things I’ve learned in 7 days.

  1. I love CoreFusion.  Seriously, if I had discovered CoreFusion a year ago, I probably have Michelle Obama arms and an ass you could bounce a quarter off of by now!  It kicks my butt without making me feel like I’ve just had my butt kicked.
  2. I am really weak.  I joke about how I have the upper body strength of a toddler, but in this first week it’s become abundantly clear just how little strength I have.  The first time I did the arms segment, my triceps were sore and I didn’t even use weights!  I’ve since moved up to cans of veggies.  This week I might manage some 2 pound weights.
  3. Finding a form of strength training you love is key to actually doing it.  For two years now “strength train more” has been one of my goals.  This is the first time I’ve ever been successful.  Maybe it’s because I don’t feel like I’m doing strength training at all until my thighs are still shaking when I climb the stairs to the el at 4:30 in the evening.
  4. I love CoreFusion. Oh wait, I used that one already.  Seriously though.  I’ve found myself craving my next workout.  Wednesday, while I was enjoying my snow day, I did the whole 50 minute body sculpt video just because.  I missed yesterday’s workout because of cooking, grocery shopping and Super Bowl partying, and I’m actually looking forward to doubling up on my workout this evening.  Who am I?!
  5. If you’re doing CoreFusion with a kitten in the house, tie your hair back; otherwise, the kitten will start swatting at it and mange to claw the inside of your nostril in the process.  No, really, this happened, and it hurt.
  6. I feel much tighter and skinnier with every CoreFusion session I do.  I haven’t lost a single pound and my clothes still fit the same, but I feel like I’m already being transformed.  I also pay a lot more attention to my posture.  Posture is really stressed in every segment, and I find myself paying more attention to my posture throughout the day.  Yes, I think these two things are directly related.
  7. Even if you think you’re not working your muscles, you are.  During the abs segment of the Pilates Plus DVD, I was sure I was screwing up and not actually working my abs at all.  The two days of soreness that followed promise me I was wrong.  Even just maintaining the positions with the tiniest bit of movement was enough to make me feel it later.

I’ll update again next week with my progress.  My goal is to do twenty minutes a day at least three days this week.  I want to do the upper body, thighs, and glutes segments from both the Pilates Plus and the Body Scuplt DVDs.

231. Goals, Goals, Goals: February

With January quickly coming to a close, it’s time to start thinking about February’s goals.

I didn’t really set goals for January, but rather focused on I would apply my verb this year.

I did start to dedicate myself to my blog more: starting my Slow Cooker Saturday series and updating my categories and tags.  I’ve also been doing very well with tracking my food the last two weeks or so.  I feel like I’m off to a very good start for the year.

February is really going to be my month to dedicate myself to fitness.  I didn’t do much through January because my cough came back which meant cardio was a no go.  I have two main fitness goals for February.

1. Get my half marathon training schedule in place, and start running three days a week again.

2. Increase my strength training.  I often set the goal of increase my stength training, but I never seem to execute.  This time I’ve got a very specific plan/ challenge in place.

28 Day of CoreFusion Challenge

As I mentioned, I bought some CoreFusion DVDs from Amazon.  I got the CoreFusion Collection featuring Body Sculpt, Pilates Plus, and Thighs & Glutes.

My challenge for the month of February is to do at least 10 minutes of CoreFusion a day.  My plan is to slowly build up the amount I’m doing. 

10 minutes is nothing to fit in to my day.

I’ve got the DVDs predominately displayed in front of my TV.  I’ve got reminders on my calendar.  I’ve got the starts of a vision board.  I’m good to go.

What to join my challenge? 

221. December Grocery Budget Challenge Final Look

I guess it’s time to look back and see how I faired in my grocery budget challenge.  My challenge was successful in that I stayed under my budget of $250;  I actually managed to stay well under $200.  However, it was less successful in terms of my methods. 

Getting sick half way through the month really threw me off.  I didn’t eat much of anything for about three days, and when I did eat, I was basically scraping something together because I knew I needed to eat something.

I didn’t bother with coupons at all, but I did do some price comparing.  I made sure to check cost per unit and compare the price and size of different brands rather than just grabbing what was on sale or  the name brand.

There was also a lot more dinners out this month.  Since I buy the groceries for dinners in, Nik usually pays for dinners out.  So my food budget was definitely down, but I expect his was probably up.

Here’s how my weekly spending broke down:

Week 1
$61.95 – grocery store
$3.65 – Panera
$8.42 – Panera

Week 2
$53.50 – grocery store

Week 3
$38.47 – grocery store (This was primary supplies for holiday gifts.)
$9.96- Panera
$5.38 – Pazzo’s
$3.05 NYC Bagel Deli

Week 4
None – I was in Mexico.

Totals
Groceries: $153
Fast Food: $24
$177

Overall, I’m satisfied with the outcome of the challenge.  I’m definitely going to continue to work on keeping my grocery budget between $200 – $250.

220. Goals, Goals, Goals!: Dedicate

I’ve got some free time while I wait for my brother to build the countertop for my new vanity so I figured it’s probably time to start thinking about my New Year’s Resolutions and goals for 2011.

Generally speaking, I’m not a fan of NYRs.  In fact, several years ago, I made a New Year’s Resolution to stop making New Year’s Resolutions.  But I also think NYRs get a bit of a bad rap because people make bad resolutions.

“This year I’m going to join the gym and work out five days a week.”

“This year I’m going to lose weight.”

“This year I’m going to stop biting my nails.”

One thing I’ve learned in the last two years is that small changes are the most important element of change.  Trying to dramatically overhaul one aspect of your life overnight isn’t going to work.  You’re not going to go from couch potato to fitness rock star overnight.  You’re not going to completely cut your favorite foods out of your life, stick to your diet, and lose 50 pounds, or even 5 pounds, overnight.  It’s just not going to happen.

But at the end of the day NYRs are really just goals, and I love goals – even if I’m not always very good at sticking with them.   So this is the year I give up my New Year’s Resolution to give up New Year’s Resolutions. 

While considering my NYRs for 2011 and catching up on blogs, I read this post for the brilliant mind of Rachel Wilkerson.  I love her idea of choosing a verb for the year.  After a lot of consideration, I determined my verb for 2011 is dedicate.

Dedicate:

a : to set apart to a definite use <money dedicated to their vacation fund>

b : to commit to a goal or way of life <ready to dedicate his life to public service>

(Source)

I’ve never been very good at dedicating myself to things.  It’s my problem with sticking with goals.  I stick with things for a little while, but eventually I let them fall by the wayside.  It’s not that I quit.  I don’t necessarily even give up.  I just kind of…forget.

A lot of my goals for 2011 involved dedicating my time in a useful way.

Dedicate myself to my health.  This includes dedicating myself to the process of finally getting to my goal weight.  I’ve gained back enough weight that I’m starting to get uncomfortable with myself again. 

Dedicate myself to fitness and running again.  I’ve got two half marathons on the calendar already.  I love running, but when I fall out of the routine, it’s a huge struggle for me to get back into it.  I need to establish a solid fitness routine overall that incorporates yoga, strength training, running, and some cross training.  I cancelled my gym membership to save money, and this actually excites me.  I feel like I have a world of untapped fitness opportunities and my fingertips.

Dedicate time to myself.  I tend to fill my day to the brim with work, errands, boyfriend time, friend time, family time, and everything in between.  It’s a very rare occasion that I take time to just do nothing – my commute to and from work does not count.

Dedicate time to my blog.  I’m quickly becoming queen of the sporadic bloggers.  I want to grow my blog.  I want to be proud of my blog.  I want my blog to be awesome.  These things aren’t going to happen if I don’t set aside time to write quality posts and improve my blog.

Dedicate myself to organization and being an adult.  I’m not going to lie to you.  I’ve got a bit of Peter Pan syndrome.  During the last part of 2010 this started to change.  I finally feel like I’m ready to be an adult.  I’m definitely not there yet, but I want to grow into myself more throughout the next year.  This also includes dedicating myself to my professional development.

It’s giong to be a challenge, but I’m dedicating myself right now to making 2011 my best year yet.

213. Grocery Challenge Week 1

We’re at the end of week 1 of my grocery budget challenge. (Side note: for the purposes of this challenge, my weeks are running Wednesday to Tuesday.)  So how did it go?

Well, I stayed almost within my $60 budget.  My grocery trip for the week cost me $61.95.  This isn’t too bad considering there were a few “impulse” buys on the receipt.  Chobani was on sale so I picked up a few of those which I wasn’t planning on buying.  I also had to buy some items to make appetizers to bring to my grandparents’ house.

My meal planning was not as well thought out as I hoped, but it mostly worked out.  Poor planning or changes in plans for a few dinners left me struggling for lunches when I had planned leftovers.  I did make due with what I had and stuck with only eating one breakfast or lunch out. Of course, it was an $9 lunch at Panera, but it was with my friend that I haven’t seen in several months so it was worth it.

I also ended up not making a few meals, but I shifted them to this week which will *hopefully* save me some money on this week’s shopping trip (which I will be embarking on as soon as I finish this post.)

Here’s my current meal plan for today through next Wednesday.  I’m sure things will change.

Tonight: Latkes with applesauce

Thursday: Spinach Lasagna

Friday: Beef and Barley Soup that I pulled out of the freezer

Saturday: We have Nik’s family Christmas get together, but I’m bringing appetizers so I’ll have to buy those ingredients

Sunday: Garlic Bread soup – this was on last week’s agenda

Monday: Shepherd’s Pie

Tuesday: Spaghetti Squash

We’ll see how things pan out this wee.  I’ll keep you posted!

Total so far: $70

212. Goals, Goals, Goals! December

In keeping with my goal to set goals and see them through, it’s time for December’s goals!  As I mentioned, my plan is to make two or three goals each month, but before I get to December’s goals let’s see how November went.  I fair okay.  Really, I like to think of it as a warm up for this month.

  1. Get in at least 5 runs. – This just didn’t happen.  I ran twice.  It was a combination of busyness, weather, and just not making exercise a priority.
  2. Stain and finish coffee tables and end tables. – The tables are finished and in my condo.  I’ve move on to staining the bookshelf my brother made.
  3. Set 3 quality goals for December. – Well here they are…

 

  1. Do strength training. – I always put off strength training which is absurd since it’s extremely important and the easiest form exercise to fit in – a few calf raises standing at the copy machine, some wall push-ups in the bathroom, some crunches straight out of bed.  My goal is to get a minimum of 30 minutes of strength training per week.  I figure 10 minutes three times a week is nothing, and I have plenty of resources available to me.  I really have no excuse for not making this happen.
  2. Keep my food journal up to date. – Weight has been slowly creeping back on, and I know it’s because I haven’t been paying much attention to what I’ve been eating.  A while back I followed Laura’s lead and created a separate, semi-private, blog strictly for tracking my food and exercise.  I don’t expect I’ll track much, if at all, while in Mexico, but I want to make sure I’m tracking breakfast, lunch, and dinner until I leave for the airport on the 23rd.
  3. Finish unpacking the boxes in my garage and organizing “important documents”. – This is a two part goal, but they go hand-in-hand.  I moved into my condo over a year ago, and I still have a few  organizational disasters going on.  There are several boxes in my garage that I need to either a) bring the stuff up into my condo and put it away somewhere, b) throw it out, or c) buy legit storage bins to keep it stored in down in my garage.  I also have a giant stock of important documents and mail I need to go through, organize and handle all this paper.  My goal is to have both of these things done before the year ends.

So, there you have it – my December goals.  I also have my grocery budget challenge in December so I tried to keep these simple, focused, and relevant.