347. Missions Accomplished

Yesterday I mentioned one of my February goals is to cross 5 items of my Mission 101 lists; however, I haven’t given you many updates on some of the goals I’ve recently knocked off the list. Since December I’ve crossed 4items off my list, reached a major milestone in completing another goals, made definitely progress toward other goals and revised a few goals as well.

The first weekend of December, Nik and I took a road trip some place I’ve never been before.  We decided to take a long weekend, and I suggested a mini vacation down to St. Louis for a Blackhawks vs. Blues hockey game.  The game was awesome – at least a third of the people there were Chicago fans – and I had a blast going on the trip with Nik.  But I think I’ve decided that road trips just really aren’t my thing.  I’m like a baby or little kid.  As soon as you put me in the car, I pass out.  Being asleep for most of the trip kind of takes the fun out of a road trip no?

I also sent out holiday cards this year, er, last year.  Every year since I graduated college, I’ve intended to send out holiday cards, but I never managed to actually do it.  I bought stamps first figuring if I bought the stamps then I had no excuse not to buy and send cards.  One of my mom’s friends makes handmade cards so I bought a bunch of cards from her and sent them to my family and friends.

And since my holiday spirit seems to be at an all-time high, I also participated in a gift “tree” of sorts.  Back in September my company did a service project that involved painting the lockers in a local community elementary school that is struggle to be kept open in the face of dropping enrollment.  Part of that process is to make the school aesthetically pleasing.  It needs to look like a place you want to send your kids to school.  For Christmas this year, my company decided to do a Secret Santa project for the kids in the school with the goal of getting a gift for all 119 students.  The school is in a very low-income area so for some of the kids, these would be the only gifts they get this year.  I picked two students – a boy and a girl both ages 5 – 6 – and got them each a game and a book.  (Yeah, I’m that jerk who gave educational gifts.)

Another item I tackled in December was to knit myself a scarf.  I took up knitting back in college, but somewhere along the way, I fell off the needles.  I’ve wanted to get back into it, but I just never did.  I mean, I only knew the knit stitch and I’d never attempted anything more difficult than a scarf. And frankly, you can only knit so many scarves before a) your bored and b) you have more scarves than you or your friends know what to do with.  Then for my birthday, Laura sent me a little Mission 101 jump start kit which included two knitting books.  Since then I’ve reading the book and messing around learning different stitches.  A couple weeks ago, a woman I regularly talk with on the train and bus brought me a set of circular needles.  I suddenly had everything I needed.  I just finished a horizontally knitted scarf.  It was the same basic knit stitch of all the scarves I’ve made in the past, but for this scarf I used the circular needles and each row is the length of the scarf rather than the width of the scarf.  I’m very excited about it!  I’ll definitely be posting a picture when I actually wear it.  (I only had one skein of yarn so I made it pretty thin making it more of a fashion scarf then a “for warmth” scarf.)

I also recently hit the half-way mark of reading 101 books.  This is pretty impressive considering I didn’t REALLY start this goal until sometimes in the middle of 2011.

I’ve also updated a few of my goals.  In an ideal world, I would complete all 101 goals as originally written, but this isn’t an ideal world.  Circumstances change.  Priorities change.  Relationships change. Desires and interests change.   So here are my “replacement goals:”

#4 Finish a marathon

#23 Figure out what I want to be when I grow up

#36 Volunteer at a race

#37 Go hiking or biking in a National Park


324. Goals, Goals, Goals: November 2011

I’m not really sure how it happened, but November is here.  Someone please slow things down.  However, since it’s a new month that means it’s time for new goals.  Let’s review October’s goals and set some goals for November shall we?

October Goals

Print cruise pictures: I didn’t get the pictures printed yet, but I did get them uploaded on to Shutterfly, and I’ve kind of started sorting through them picking and choosing which ones I want to use.  I did make the executive decision that instead of trying to put together a scrapbook in time for the holidays, I’m just going to make a photobook.  I enjoy scrapbooking, but it’s not something I love doing.  One day I’ll put together an actual scrapbook, but today is not that day.

Continue strength training minimum twice a week: This was a huge epic fail.  I did strength training like maybe twice the whole month – three times if you count dancing at a wedding this past weekend which was some serious core work.  I’m beginning to think it’s in my best interest to never mention strength training on my blog again.  It seems like as soon as I do I’m setting myself up to fail.

Closet clean out: I’m 99.9% done with the great closet clean out.  I currently have 3 bags, and a pile.  I just need to bag up that last pile and drop off the bags.  I’m planning to do this tonight.  I’ll also be posting about it in the near future.

Clean House: laundry once a week with clothes put away – Hahahaha!  I did laundry once the entire month.  I did put the clothes away right away though.  Dishes get washed before going to bed – I did better on this one.  I didn’t always do them before bed, but I didn’t let them soak for days or, worse, get crusty.

Run Dallas 13.1 A++ on this one.  I am so proud of my performance at Dallas 13.1.  You can read all about that here.

So October went okay.  I’m disappointed that strength training fell by the wayside, but I’m planning to bring it back starting tonight.  I’m not actually making it a formal goal (or even mentioning what I’m doing on the blog here because clearly that just jinxes me.)  On to November’s goals.

Journal.  Journaling is something I’ve always wanted to do (It’s even one of my Mission 101 goals!), but I never really “got” the how to.  For me it always ended up being a junior high style “dear dairy” compilation of the day’s events or whatever – not really compelling stuff.  Somewhere in the middle of October I had a bit of a revelation about the how-to of journaling, and I’ve been journaling sporadically since then.  My goal for November is to journal at least three times per week.  If I need to us prompts, that’s fine.  Sometimes you just need something to get you started.

Recipe Index One of the areas of my blog that is definitely lacking is a recipe index.  It’s lacking because it doesn’t even exist.  I recently signed up for the new free account through Recipage, and my goal is to have it up and running with the majority of my recipes inputted by the end of November.  I’m also in the process of organizing and setting up a recipe book at home too.  I have a falling apart recipe binder and a ton of recipes torn from magazines in a disorganized pile on my kitchen bookshelf.   I want my recipes more easily accessible for you and me!  I don’t know that I’ll be 100% done by the end of November, but I’d like to make a solid dent in both.  My goal is a minimum 50% completion.

Weekly Goals, Planning and Organization  For the month of November, I want to try my hand at setting weekly goals, planning and organizing my weeks.  Things are going to potentially get very busy for me at the start of the new year so I want to get myself in organized mode now.  Plus, with the business of the holidays coming up, being extra organized certainly can’t hurt.  I don’t know how much of this I’ll post on the blog, but I’ve started a notebook to keep with me at all times.

So that’s it for now.  I’ll obviously be setting goals throughout the month as part of my weekly goal setting and Weight Watchers Wednesday, but these are the three major things I want to work on this month.

317. Weight Watchers Wednesday: Session 2 Week 5

Last week’s weight: 154.2lbs
This week’s weight: 154.6lbs
Change: +.4lbs
Total Loss: -10.2lbs, this session: -2.2lbs


I honestly don’t have much to say this week except I’m feeling pretty much “whatever” toward this week’s slight gain.  Less than half a pound is nothing, and considering how huge and bloated I felt yesterday (It did dissipate some throughout the day thanks to the insane amount of water I drank.) it didn’t really come as a shock.  Honestly, I was kind of expecting more of a gain.

I ended up eating out twice last week.  Nik took me to dinner at Wildfire for our anniversary on Thursday, and we ended up getting Mexican food  on Saturday.  (I was at the point where I would give up a limb for a damn burrito.)  Needless to say, my extra points didn’t really get saved for the bachelorette party.  I still came out of the week “in the black” between weekly allowance and activity points, but probably not enough.

I have a wedding this Saturday so my primary goal this week is to stay on track during the week and not worry about Saturday night.  I’ve gotten a little lax about tracking again so I want to make sure I’m pen and paper tracking daily.

That’s it for now.

315. Weight Watchers Wednesday: Session 2 Week 4

Last week’s weight: 156.2lbs
This week’s weight: 154.2lbs
Change: –2lbs
Total Loss: -10.6lbs, this session: -2.6lbs



You see that? Do you see that number up there?  Do you know what that number means?  It means I could hardly freaking contain my excitement after weighing in at my meeting last night.  It means I finally hit the 10lb lost mark.  It means I got below that 155lbs wall.  And it means I’m currently at my lowest weight since…well, I don’t really know when. 

Commence the dance of joy.

The funny thing is this past week really wasn’t my best week ever.  I tracked everything, but most of it was “after the fact” tracking and a lot of it was educated guesses because I ended up eating out 5 out of 7 days last week! Going in to the week, I had no intention of eating out that much.  I had planned to go out for sushi with my family on Thursday and out for my friend Dan’s birthday on Sunday.  I did not plan to go out for dinner on Wednesday or Friday (before the Hawks games) or eat lunch out on Saturday.

Despite all the eating out, I was actually feeling pretty damn confident heading in to my weigh in this week.  I certainly wasn’t expecting to be a full 2lbs down and well below 155lbs, but I felt like a loss would definitely show up.  I was just feeling it.

Last week when I was up .4lbs (mostly due to bloating…thanks mother nature!), I commented to my leader about how I was getting frustrated because this seems to be the point where I hit a wall, and I just bounce up and down around 155lbs.  She suggested I make some sort of radical change this week, but honestly, short of going vegan, I didn’t really know what kind of radical change to make.  Apparently the secret to weight loss is eating out a lot?  I’m guessing that’s probably not the case, but maybe that was the radical change I needed for this week?

In any case, last night left me feeling really confident and I’m hopeful that I can continue the downward trend.  My next goal is to hit the 10% mark which is 6lbs away.  I’d love to hit that mark by the end of the month, but I think by Thanksgiving is more realistic with the way my weight loss has been going for the last month or so. 

Here are my goals for this week:

Limit eating out to 1 meal for the week: After last week I feel like I need a restaurant detox.  I’m sure we’ll likely go out once (and I have a bachelorette party Saturday night which may end up with eating out)

Keep my points in check on Saturday I want to keep track of points as the night goes on rather than going back Sunday morning and piecing it all together.

Start the closet clean out

314. Goals, Goals, Goals: October 2011

Sometimes I’m just not in the mood to write even when I have things to say.  As Heather might say, “It goes in seasons.”   Last week was and off-season.  So I took an impromptu blogcation which turned out pretty awesome.  I attended not one, but two, Chicago Blackhawks games which is more Blackhawks games than I’ve attended in my entire life.  I don’t care if it was preseason; I still got to watch the Hawks beat the Wings while chanting “Detroit Sucks.” (No offense to any of my Michigan blogs friends of course!)

But I’m back in the mood to write and back to blogging.  I’m also back to setting some goals.  So here are my October goals…a few days late.

Print cruise pictures: I have over 400 pictures from my NYC trip/ cruise back in August.  They’re on my computer, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten.  My plan is to create a scrapbook, and I’d like to get that done before the end of the year.  (I think it would be nice to be able to bring to the various family holiday gatherings.)  Step one is printing the pictures.

Continue strength training minimum twice a week: You might remember my various failed strength training challenges.  You might even remember my most recent challenge.  I haven’t mentioned it on the blog out of fear of jinxing myself, but I’ve actually been doing really well this time around.  I might even actually be developing some upper body strength! I want to keep this up.

Closet clean out: Since deciding that a mess of new clothes would be my reward for I hitting my goal weight, and making more of an effort to dress myself like an adult, I’ve decided that it’s also time to get rid of  all those clothes I continue to wear despite being a size or two too big.  I many have mentioned this once or twice, but I absolutely hate doing laundry.  It is my least favorite chore ever.  Getting rid of clothing means having fewer options.  Fewer options mean doing laundry more often.  Laundry more often means, well, it’s just plain torture.  However, I’ve finally realized that wearing these too big clothes just looks sloppy and completely contradicts my goal of dressing like I know how to dress myself.  So the time had come for the clothes to go.

On a related note: Heather is hosting a giveaway for a $50 drugstore.com gift card.  $50 worth of new make-up certainly wouldn’t hurt my looking my best cause.

Clean House: Along with my closet clean out, I want to make an effort to keep my house cleaner.  Like strength training, this is a goal I often set, do well on for a short time, and then completely give up on.  I’m a terrible housekeeper.  I hate cleaning (though not as much as I hate laundry.)  I would hire a cleaning service if I could afford it, but I can’t.  So I need to stop being such a slob.  I’m going to start small with the two biggest problem areas: laundry and dishes.  (Doing dishes is on a close second to laundry on my list of least favorite chores ever.)  The sub-goals here are laundry once a week with clothes put away – no leaving the basket of clean clothes on the floor to be put away later – and dishes get washed before going to bed.

Run Dallas 13.1 This will be my third half marathon, but I’ve never run the entire distance without walking.  My first half I was undertrained.  My second half, I trained, and run, doing 5:1 run/walk intervals.  This time around my plan is to run the whole thing.  My training has been really strong, and I’m feeling confident.  I’m really just putting this out there as a goal to push myself through these last couple weeks of training.

Those are my five big goals for the month of October.  I still plan to set weekly, weight loss specific goals one Weight Watchers Wednesday.  So tell me, what are your goals this month?

313. Weight Watchers Wednesday: Session 2 Week 2

Last week’s weight: 156.8lbs
This week’s weight: 155.8lbs
Change: –1lbs
Total Loss: -9lbs, this session: -1lbs


I lost a pound despite a busy weekend of eating away from home and starting my period.  Plus, for the first time since I started Weight Watchers I’ve lost weight two weeks in a row.  My entire tenure with Weight Watchers has been up and down and up and down; my weight loss graph looks like a mountain range.  It can get frustrating even when you’re still at a net loss over all. I’m really happy about all that, but truthfully, the thing I’m happiest about is that I know I worked really hard this week.  Last week I set two goals, and I’m happy to report I did really well on both.

  1. Track absolutely everything.  I’ve gotten pretty lax about tracking on the weekends, and I think this is part of my stress.  If I’m tracking everything then there’s no guessing about whether I was under or exceeding my points (daily, weekly, and activity.)  There’s no room for second guessing myself and whether or not I did my best.
    I didn’t track super diligently over the weekend, but I did attempt to track which is more than I usually do.  When it comes to tracking, I always find myself frustrated and giving up when I have to start guessing at numbers.  If I’m not in charge of food prep – or I’m eating at a restaurant where the nutritional information isn’t available – then I tend to not track.  This weekend I did my best to track despite a going away party, a baby shower, and two dinners out!  My points estimates may not have been perfect, but I did something right.
  2. 2.    Get in my work outs.  I had a bad week for workouts overall last week.  This week is off to a much better start; I plan/ hope to keep that going.
    I scheduled my workouts in my new monthly tracker, and I did all of them.  I didn’t necessarily do them on the originally scheduled day, but I got them done and that’s what really matters.  I also had some really great workouts which is really encouraging after last week’s suck fest.

I really like the weekly goal setting so I’ve decided I’m going to continue to set 2 -3 goals per week.  They not necessarily going to be anything extraordinary, but whatever I feel will best help me stay on track for the week.  So here are this week’s goals:

  1. Keep tracking daily – even if it’s just educated guessing on points values.
  2. Save my weekly allowance points for Saturday.  On Saturday I have a 1st birthday party and a bachelorette party.  I know there will be a ton of food and booze throughout the day, and I won’t have control over much of it at all.
  3. No eating out except for the three already planned events: dinner Thursday night for my youngest brother and sister-in-laws birthdays, the 1st birthday party, and the bachelorette party.

This coming week is definitely going to be a challenge, but I really want to see that 154lbs on the scale next week so I’m going to do my best to really focus.

268. A Fear of Success?

When I blog, I tend to steer clear of post in which I do a lot of self-reflection.  It’s not that I don’t spend time reflecting on myself; in fact, I spend a great deal of time thinking about myself.  Lately, I’ve spent so much time reflecting – primarily my struggles with losing weight and reaching goals, that it’s overshadowed a lot of my blogging inspiration – hence the lack of posting lately.  I’ve considered posting some of these things, but to be perfectly honest, I think in such a random and fragmented sense that my thoughts usually don’t make much sense to anyone other than me (I spent three days composing this post going back over it to see if it would make sense to an outsider.)  However, I’m sure there are plenty of people who can identify.  Plus, at the end of the day, this is my blog and I’ll self-reflect if I want to.  So here’s what’s been consuming my mind lately…

I’ve talked before about how I’m not very good at seeing things through when I set goals.  Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about why this is.  I’ve examined my reasons before and come to valid conclusions – I overwhelm myself by trying to do too much.  I don’t keep them in the front of my mind so I forget.  And I’ve done things to try and solve my issues based on these conclusions – I go for small starts.  I set just few goals.  I create mini vision boards and stick post-it notes all over the place.  I’ve been creating daily goals to try and boost my confidence in sticking to goals.  Despite this all, I still come up short in sticking to so many of my goals. 

Recently something has occurred to me though: a sort of break-through if you will.  It’s occurred to me that my problem is actually making the commitment to my goals.  I set goals yes, but the truth is I never really commit to them.  I don’t really dedicate myself.  This begs the question why.  Why would I not commit to things I really want?  Why do I not commit to things I know I can achieve?  Why do I settle instead of going for things?  I’ve only come up with one answer, and that is fear.  I’m afraid.  It’s not necessarily that I’m afraid to commit, but I’m afraid of what will happen once I commit.  Part of me is afraid that I’ll fail, but even worse, a larger part of me is afraid I’ll succeed.

On the surface, I present a cool-as-a-cucumber, laid back attitude, and for the most part that’s an accurate depiction of my personality.  However, lurking beneath the surface there’s a tiny perfectionist, type-a control freak.  This is the part of me that’s afraid to fail.  The fear of failure isn’t what really bothers me.  I get it.  I understand being afraid to fail.  It’s the fear of success that bothers me.  It just seems so irrational to me.

That’s why I’ve spent so much time thinking about it.  It just doesn’t make sense.  I guess maybe it’s rooted in a fear of the unknown.  Perhaps I’m not scared of being successful so much as I am what will happen if/ when I do succeed.  That my life would somehow be changed for the worse?  Still seems silly, but…

As I’ve been thinking about this I’ve looked back on myself a lot.  I’m used to be good at stuff, but it’s rare that I ever letter myself be much better than average.  In high school, I was a good swimmer, but I wasn’t great.  And when I got a chance to be great, I quit.  Yes, there was more to it than that – I didn’t get along with the coach.  I was taking multiple AP classes.  There wasn’t enough time in the day to balance school and swimming and friends. – but ultimately, I quit when I got to the point where I was being pushed into going from good to great.  That was part of the reason I didn’t like the coach.  He pushed for more than just good enough.  I can find repeated instances of me basically calling it quits and settling for good enough: my grades in college, my decision not to teach, my staying with Chris for as long as I did.

Truth be told, it was Rachel’s post on how to handle praise that really triggered this entire post.  At the heart of my personality, I’m an introvert.  I don’t like to be the center of attention.  I don’t like people paying attention to my achievements.  I don’t like praise, and I don’t handle it well.    Her post got me thinking about how I handle praise and take compliments.  I don’t.  Receiving praise makes me really uncomfortable.    I down play everything.  When I first lost weight, I hated it when people would call attention to it.  I could handle about one comment before I started getting anxious.  If people started gushing about how good I looked, I immediately downplayed it.  “Oh, it’s nothing…”  When my friend Sarah would give me props on running calling me “the little marathoner,” I immediately emphasized that a 5K is only 3 miles.  Even when I cook or bake, I’m constantly nit picking the dish.  It could be this… It should be that…

Maybe I’m not so much afraid of being successful, of being great, as I am uncomfortable with the attention it will bring on me. 

But how do I fix it?  Do I just face the fear?  That seems much easier said than done.  Do I slowly learn to take praise better?  I guess that’s as good a place as any to start.  So here I go.  I’m going to do my best to learn to take praise.  If you compliment me on anything and I downplay it, feel free to slap me upside the head…or something.