Tag Archives: New Year’s Resolutions

Hiatus

Well, I guess that’s one resolution down the drain.

Pause for a moment.  I’m going to apologize now, because I may sound a little whiny for the remainder of this post.  Rest assured I’ll be back to my witty blogger self next post.  Just bear with me for the time being.

This is not my first blog.  I have, in fact, created four blogs to date — this one included.  With each one, I have been inconsistent at best.  Inconsistency is kind of a thing with me.  It’s on my list of things I’d like to change.

My first attempt at blogging was inspired by a close friend of mine who happens to be a mommyblogger.  She was packing (and shopping!) for BlogHer ’08 and Tweeting about it.  (Um, do I need another reason to shop?  Abso-freakin’-lutely!)  Plus, the Twitter thing just looked like fun — that was my first exposure to it.

Then she came back the next week with pictures, stories, contact info for new friends, and tons of swag.  She got cool free stuff in the mail for her review blog.  Plus, she’s actually a really talented writer.

Fame, fortune, and cool shit?  Sounded like a plan.

Obviously, this was all easier said than done.  My mommyblogger friend had been blogging steadily, probably at least a few times a week, for almost five years by the time I got started.  She had a good readership going, and like I said, she had a separate blog for product reviews.  She already had a lot of good connections with other mommybloggers, and she’d already been making money off of her blogs.  I should have known that when it sounded to good to be true, it probably wasn’t what I thought.

When I started my first blog, I wanted lots of traffic.  So I told all my friends and family all about it.  I wanted everybody to visit.  I wanted feedback from people I knew and trusted on my writing ability.  I didn’t know I was setting myself up for self-censorship.  By telling everyone I knew, I didn’t have a place to vent.  Sometimes you just need to air things out.  That’s what anonymity is good for.  I’ve since learned my lesson, clearly.

I also didn’t feel like I really had my own identity as a blogger.  I jumped on the mommyblogging bandwagon, reading the folks on my friend’s blogroll, participating in her memes and contests, and just kind of piggybacking on the contacts she already had.  It didn’t feel right.

A few months after creating my mommyblog, I created a separate blog for essays that were spiritual in nature.  I’m Wiccan/Pagan/Neo-Pagan/a blend of many diverse paths that end up being a fairly unique religion that works for me.  But I didn’t really want to put all that pressure on my mommyblog.  There’s an awful lot of baggage that goes with that particular spiritual label, and I wasn’t ready to accept responsibility for losing readers just because they didn’t see eye-to-eye with my beliefs.  I thought that by being open about my spirituality, I would be opening myself up to rejection all over again (since I’ve opened myself up in my personal life to most of those people I’m close to).

With both my blogs, I ran into the time constraints of a mom trying to work full-time, take care of her toddler son, take care of dinner, groceries, cleaning, etc., and attempt to emotionally support a husband who was in school and student teaching to get his license.  I wrote more and more infrequently, and eventually, I abandoned both blogs.  Even after I lost my job last July, I didn’t try to get back into the blogging thing.  I figured it was too late to resurrect either one of my sites.

Last November, I created a new blog, with the idea that I would start it off by participating in NaBloPoMo, and thus kick my habit of inconsistency in blogging.  (Actually, my inconsistency basically permeates every facet of my life.  This is something I’ve had trouble with for as long as I can remember, and is one of my big projects in therapy.)  I didn’t even make it past Day 2.  So what did I do?  Give up.  I told myself if it wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t worth doing.  I deleted the blog.

That brings us to this blog.  I’m still having trouble with the inconsistency, the perfectionism, and the lack of confidence.  But today?  Today I am publishing a new post.  And that is good enough, dammit.

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Fitness Plan Journal, Day 5

Really feeling the effects of Sunday’s Couch to 5K today.  Ick.  (I am SO not a runner.)

  • I went to bed at a decent time Sunday night, about 11:45 PM, and woke up this morning at about 8:20, still feeling tired and hungry.  Laid in bed for about five minutes, assessing the soreness in my quads.  Weighed in at 106.4 lbs.
  • Ate the last 3/4 cup of the Lucky Charms cereal with the last 1/2 cup of Kroger whole milk.  Felt just satisfied.
  • At 9:20 AM, I noticed my shoulders were starting to hurt in addition to my quads.
  • I drank 14 oz. water from my water bottle from 9:30 to 11:15 AM.
  • By 11:15 AM, I was pretty hungry.  I ate a Braeburn apple at 11:35, and was still hungry.
  • I finished the remaining 4 oz. of water in my water bottle (it’s an 18 oz. bottle) and felt a little better.
  • At 12:35 PM I ate an egg salad sandwich, consisting of 2 large eggs, hard-boiled, 1 1/2 tsp Plochman’s yellow mustard, 1 tbsp Kroger classic mayonnaise, and 2 slices of Kroger whole wheat bread, toasted.  Felt very satisfied.
  • I was hungry again by 4:30 PM, and ate a small snack of 6 pieces of chocolate (these are really small chocolates, folks — the serving size listed on the back of the package is 12 pieces).
  • I was a little hungry when dinner was ready at 5:30 PM.  I ate 1 1/2 Ruben sandwiches (of my own design, as I like neither saurkraut nor Swiss cheese): 3 slices of S. Rosen’s dark Jewish unseeded rye bread, 3 slices of corned beef, and 3 slices of provolone.  I also had about a serving and a half of steamed broccoli with 2 tsp Buitoni shredded parmesan cheese on top.  I drank 3 oz. of water with dinner, and afterward felt quite satisfied.
  • I had another 10 oz. of water after dinner, but wanted a treat around 9:00 PM, while I was watching t.v., so I made some chocolate milk.  I still wanted a little something, so I poured a bowl of cereal.  I was now out of Lucky Charms and whole milk, so this time it was 24 Frosted Mini Wheats with Kroger 2% milk.  I now felt satisfied.
  • Later on, probably around midnight or so, I was hungry again, although it may have been heartburn, so I ate two Pop-tarts, toasted.  In retrospect, I probably should have just gone to bed.  And I might have had heartburn at 9:00 too.

Nutritional Information:

  • Calories: 2290
  • Calories from Fat: 711.5
  • Total Fat: 76.75 g
  • Saturated Fat: 34 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 512 mg
  • Sodium: 2813 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 307.5 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 24 g
  • Sugars: 145 g
  • Protein: 85 g

Again, I got all my produce information from The Daily Plate, and was unable to include the corned beef in my calculations, as it was from the Kroger deli — deli packages don’t list nutrition facts.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • It must be the sleep cycle thing.  Why else would I get 8+ hours of sleep and still not feel ready to get up?
  • I was actually pleasantly surprised this morning.  I really thought I would be sore all over my body, and it would be pretty unbearable.  But I really only felt it in those three places: quads, ankles, and shoulders.  Things to stretch better for Workout #2, I guess.
  • Why do I keep dropping weight?  It’s not usually a good sign for me.  It’s usually a sign of stress, leading to being too distracted to eat or even feel hungry.
  • I was pretty thirsty today.  I’m guessing it has something to do with the total lack of water I had yesterday.  Not a good thing to do after exercise.
  • Guess I’m still not listening to my body very well if I’m confusing hunger and heartburn.  It’s not unusual for me to do, but it certainly doesn’t sound right.
  • Sodium: Gaaaack!  How am I still alive?!?!  Sugar still too high, too.  And I really had enough calories for the day without those damn Pop-tarts.  No more of those.

How are everyone else’s New Year’s Resolutions and Non-Resolutions coming along?  Any diet-related goals going better than mine?

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Fitness Plan Journal, Day 4

Today was also Couch-to-5K Day 1 for me.

Ouch.

But more on that later.

  • Today I woke up at 10:30 AM, since it was my turn to sleep in while my husband got up with our son.  I was pretty tired, but only a little hungry.  I weighed in at 107.4 lbs.
  • Ate breakfast at 11:15 AM, again the usual 3/4 cup Lucky Charms cereal with 1/2 cup Kroger whole milk.  I felt satisfied, but not necessarily full.
  • At 11:30 AM I decided to finish off the chocolate milk — 12 oz., after which I felt full, but not uncomfortably so.
  • At a little after 1:00 PM, I headed out for the Hilliard YMCA to meet with Krista and do the Couch to 5K Day 1 workout.  I’m going to write a separate post about that so I can go into more detail without screwing up my tidy system for the journal entries.
  • Spent the time from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM changing into workout clothes, stretching, warming up, running/walking, cooling down, stretching again, and changing back into street clothes.  At first I felt excited and nervous, and then dread and exhaustion set in as we ran.  By the end of it, I was pretty sure I was going to die.  I felt both better and worse as the rest of the day wore on.
  • I was pretty hungry when I got in my car at 3:00 PM, and ate an avocado as soon as I got home at about 3:45 PM.  While I was eating it, I soft-boiled 3 eggs, and then ate those as soon as I finished the avocado.  I felt full, but thirsty, and really wasn’t interested in drinking water.  I had 4 oz of Kroger whole milk, and then felt FULL.
  • We went over to my sister’s house for dinner.  While she was cooking, I had a dark chocolate/white mint Ghiradelli square.
  • My sister made cornbread chili, a recent quickie recipe of my dad’s.  I’ll get the recipe from my dad and post it later.  It consisted of cornbread, beans, tomatoes, and ground beef, with a bit of sour cream on the side.  We also had French-style cut green beans.  I was FULL.
  • Drank water from my water bottle all day, but it never reached empty.  Wasn’t really thirsty today, except while I was running.

Nutritional information I have for food consumed today (again, all produce information comes from The Daily Plate):

  • Calories: 1746
  • Calories from Fat: 545.5
  • Total Fat: 60.75 g
  • Saturated Fat: 23.52 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 712.5 mg
  • Sodium: 1984 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 246.65 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 24.7 g
  • Sugars: 123.83 g
  • Protein: 62.5 g

Thoughts and observations:

  • I feel like maybe I woke up in the middle of a sleep cycle.  So even though I got what should have been enough sleep, I still felt pretty tired.
  • I have no idea how I lost a pound and a half, since I pigged out on pizza and Coke last night for dinner.  Weird.  But I ate much better today, so I’m not too worried about it.  If I continue to pig out, then I’ll have to reassess my habits.
  • I eat cereal for breakfast every day.  I knew that.  I just wanted to make you aware that this is completely normal for me, and pretty much has been since childhood.  I may think about changing it up a bit, having a hot breakfast on weekends or something.
  • It seems that the chocolate milk became more of a temptation than a treat.  I want to be able to have treats now and again, but be able to have them around without succumbing to their wiles every day.  The chocolate milk was starting to call to me almost every time I opened up the fridge.  I’d like to say that my willpower is stronger than that.  Sadly, it’s not.  It’s something to work on.
  • I’m very proud of myself for having the avocado and eggs instead of junk when I was STARVING upon arriving home from my workout.  I imagine that those plus the milk was plenty of protein to help build muscle.  Or do you have to eat meat for that to work?  Oh well, there was beef in the chili.
  • Cholesterol seemed very high today.  The vast majority of it was, of course, the eggs.  But eggs are good for you.  As long as I don’t eat 3 of them every day, I shouldn’t have to worry about my cholesterol… right?
  • Sodium still very high.  Need more whole foods, fewer processed ones, probably.
  • Sugar also seemed high again today.  No more chocolate milk for awhile.
  • I have a headache.  I think it’s stress-related, but it could also be that I probably didn’t drink enough water today, especially considering the exercise I did.
  • I’m also hungry again.  Could be why I have the headache.

Off to find some sustenance.  Will update again with those calories, etc.

Edited to add: Felt so stressed that I drowned my sorrows in a couple of Pop-Tarts.  The nutritional information above reflects those empty calories and needless sugars.

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Day 1 of Fitness Plan

Well, today was supposed to be my Day 1 of the Couch to 5K programKrista and I had planned to meet at the YMCA on her side of town.  And then this crazy blizzard happened.  They really should make the start of the calendar year a little later so that those of us who would like to incorporate specific exercise into our New Year’s Non-Resolutions can do so.

But there I go, blaming anything or anyone other than myself.  I suppose I could try to find a free or inexpensive indoor track on this side of town.  Any suggestions?  (“This side of town” meaning the east side of Columbus, Ohio.)

So here is Day 1 of my fitness journal:

  • Woke up at 8:30 AM (Not off to a great start — I didn’t fall asleep until after 2:00 AM, with the television on and everything.  Bad Mel!  No cookie.)  Felt EXHAUSTED and pretty hungry.  Weighed in at 108.2 pounds.
  • Ate breakfast at 9:25 AM: 3/4 cup Lucky Charms cereal with 1/2 cup of 2 percent milk; felt not quite satisfied
  • Drank 8 oz. water with 2 ice cubes (who knows how much that translates to when it melts, and does it matter?); felt satisfied
  • Hungry again by 9:50 AM; ate a snack at 10:35 AM: 1/2 of a 100-calorie package of Cheez-its and 1/2 of a 90-calorie package of Quaker Mini Delights (Chocolatey Drizzle flavor — 1/2 of each because I had to share with my son; we had like no food in the house); felt satisfied
  • Drank 8 oz. water with 2 ice cubes; felt unsatisfied again
  • Went to Kroger feeling hungry and bought 1 gallon of whole milk, 1/2 gallon of chocolate milk, 24 oz. cottage cheese, 1 dozen large eggs, 2 lbs grape tomatoes, 4 Braeburn apples, 1 Haas avocado, creamy peanut butter, 1 loaf of whole wheat bread
  • Proceeded to shop at both Kohl’s and Kroger, feed my son, put him down for a nap, and take care of a few chores, ignoring my hunger
  • STARVING by 2:10 PM when my son falls asleep and I’ve microwaved my lunch: 1 large bowl of cheese ravioli and some kind of tortellini with alfredo sauce; felt satisfied and kinda sleepy
  • Drank 8 oz. water; felt really full — almost uncomfortably so, but feeling gradually faded to satisfied throughout afternoon
  • Saw that someone had cut up some Triple Crème Baby Brie and had a few pieces because it looked good.  No, I wasn’t hungry.  It was tasty, though.
  • Ate dinner at roughly 5:30 or so (forgot to check what time it was when we sat down): whole wheat spaghetti and beef/bean/tomato/cilantro chili; felt mostly satisfied
  • Drank 2 oz. of water before I knocked over my water bottle and spilled the rest; felt satisfied (at least hunger-wise, not so much with my gracefulness)
  • Remembered the chocolate milk I bought; drank 8 oz.; felt a little thirsty and pretty tired

Some thoughts and observations:

  • Except for where I noted, I forgot how tired I was.  This seems to be pretty usual for me.
  • I tried to eat about a serving-size worth of food so I could keep track of what I’m eating and how much.  In some cases, I didn’t know what a serving was of a particular food, and in the case of lunch today, I didn’t care.  I was starving out of my mind and had to eat a LOT of food, NOW.
  • I realize I violated the unwritten rule of not grocery shopping while hungry, but at least I bought (for the most part) healthy food, and a lot of it was produce.
  • I tend to get distracted when I’m hungry, if something else needs done, especially where my son is concerned.  Before parenthood, I would eat breakfast first thing in the morning upon waking up, or at least right after I weighed in if I was tracking my health that closely.  Notice that today I didn’t eat until about an hour after waking, even though I was pretty hungry at 8:30 this morning.
  • I did pretty well with resisting processed foods and treats once I bought some healthy snacks, even though I didn’t eat any of the produce I bought.  Maybe just knowing the healthy snacks were there if I wanted them was enough to avoid binging on sweets.  That, and we’re almost out of Christmas cookies.
  • I did snack on the Brie and the chocolate milk.  Maybe I need a few treats during my day to keep me on track for the most part.  And there are certainly worse snacks.  Another idea is to gradually wean myself of eating junk — might stick better that way.
  • I consumed way more sodium than I was aware of.  This should be less of a problem as I read more labels and buy more whole foods.
  • I am a little hungry again.  I think I’ll go have an apple.

I did track my calories and other Nutrition Facts where I could, for anyone who is interested (I included the apple I’m about to eat):

  • Calories: 985
  • Calories from fat: 288
  • Fat: 31.5 g
  • Saturated fat: 13.25 g
  • Trans fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 82.5 mg
  • Sodium: 1499.5 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 168 g
  • Fiber: 15 g
  • Sugar: 74.5 g
  • Protein: 55.5 g

Obviously I didn’t count all my calories.  I did not have information for the ravioli or tortellini, as they were leftovers from dinner a few nights ago (though I did have it for the alfredo sauce — damn, it had a lot of sodium!), or most of the chili (1 lb of ground beef [not sure how lean], can of tomatoes, fresh organic cilantro — but I included the information for the pasta and the can of pinto beans [the beans also had a lot of sodium]).  I have no idea how many extra calories that adds up to.  I’ll try to be more precise tomorrow, if I can.

Good luck to the rest of you attempting a healthier lifestyle this year!

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Non-resolutions

I was chatting with a friend today on Facebook, and she remarked that she “doesn’t do ‘resolutions’.”

I have to agree: the word ‘resolution’ is, in many ways, like the words ‘diet’ and ‘exercise’ — and often all three are used in the same sentence. The fact is, these words are just words. At their heart, they have arbitrary definitions, or denotations. It’s the connotation of each of these words that bother me, that bother a lot of people.  I often substitute ‘goal,’ ‘eating plan,’ and ‘movement’ to keep myself from dreading them or burdening them with negativity right off the bat.

I can’t help making New Year’s Resolutions anyway — or any kind of resolution.  It’s human nature to want to continue to better ourselves.  But there’s so much anticipation, so much hope and fear and expectation and dread, in just one little statement.  We almost invariably set ourselves up for failure.  Goals have to contain many sub-goals — you have to know what it is you’re ultimately reaching for, but just saying, “I’m going to get in shape in 2010” is not enough.  You have to make a specific plan if it’s what you really want.  You have to define what ‘in shape’ means for you.  You have to objectively assess where you are now: your habits of eating, moving, and resting.  You have to establish small goals to help you stay focused.  And you have to revisit your goals, large and small, constantly tweaking the small to keep yourself on track and to take it at a slow and steady pace so you don’t burn out.  And you may change your mind about what ‘in shape’ is, and what you want to accomplish in a certain span of time.  And that’s okay.  Resolutions and success are defined by the resolution-writer.

I hate defining my New Year’s Resolutions.  I inevitably put too much pressure on myself to create several acceptable goals, expect perfection every day, don’t leave any room for errors– you name a pitfall, I’ve got it.  I don’t remember the last time I actually made a New Year’s Resolution (or more than one) on or before New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day.  Maybe in second grade?

I expect too much out of myself.  So this year I’m trying something different.  This year, I’m writing down what I want out of myself and out of my life: breaking bad habits, establishing good ones; improving my attitude and my relationships; and all the hobbies I’ve ever taken an interest in.  My goal?  To look over this list frequently and regularly.  Pick something on that list to work on for the day, for the week, whatever.  In the case of my hobbies, I’d like to try to fit in at least one of them every two or three days.  And I want to try to revisit some of my old hobbies.

The whole list is way too extensive (and frankly, parts of it are way too personal) to post here.  But in general, I want to continue trying to be the best mom I can be to my 2-year-old son.  I want to improve communication in all my relationships — my marriage, my family, my friends.  I want to put forth more effort toward my looks on a daily basis (I don’t mean in a vain, narcissistic, or obssessed-with-my-looks kind of way, just making more time for me and bothering to look like I belong in the world and not so much with the sweatshirts and ponytails).

Specifically, I want to brush my teeth twice a day, and floss.  Good dental hygiene, you know.  Something I can do now about my looks when I’m in my 60s.  General quality-of-life kinda thing that I’ll notice in my 80s.  I want to work on picking up after myself in an immediate kind of way — I eat a meal, and right away I rinse the plate off and put it in the dishwasher; I put my son in his pajamas, and right away I put his clothes in the laundry basket.  And I want to get back into my musical hobbies.  I’ve been absent from them for so long, apart from singing in the shower.  I want to tune my guitar and write piano music.  Etc, etc, etc.

And yes, I do want to eat real food rather than junk, drink plenty of water, get plenty of rest, and … dare I say it? exercise on a regular basis.  I may be in my mid-twenties now, but if I keep eating crap, staying up late, and mostly being a couch potato when I’m not chasing after my son, I’m going to look and feel like I’m in my 50s in the next 5 to 10 years.  And it will be that much harder to change those bad habits into good ones.

Feel free to leave me a comment telling me about your New Years Resolutions/current goals/desired personal improvements/whatever.  Oh, and leave your email address or some way for me to contact you so I can respond to you personally.

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