Monday, April 28, 2014

Things keeping me focused.

Right now, I'm killing it. I'm sleeping close to 8 hours, doing well at work, coming home and running/walking, then either cleaning or doing yoga or a strength workout or cooking or baking. Basically if there's stuff that needs doing, I do it, otherwise I'll get in an extra workout.

I'd love to say that it's all discipline, but I'd be a big fat liar. The reality is that there's plenty of external motivation, and a bunch of safeguards. I recently got my Very First Smartphone, and downloaded a cleaning app and a few fitnessy apps that are reminding me to run. I'm using Nike's running app to get in shape for the Warrior Dash, and Fitocracy to help me level up my all-around fitness.

The best part about the apps is that I get pointless internet points, and can compete against others with them. For some reason, knowing that I'm getting beat, even if a person  is like, 40 levels ahead of me is making me push myself. Right now, my arms are dead because I wanted to complete a quest. Meaningless Points!!!

My other favorite new fitnessy thing cost money (okay, my cleaning app cost $2 as well). It's a fitbit, and I love it. My favorite thing is the sleep tracker, which I initially thought wasn't a thing I wanted. It not only lets you track your sleep from when you tell the app you went to sleep, but it also uses the wristband to note when you wake up (like when the dog has to go out at 3 a.m.) or when you're restless. I realized that I grossly overestimated how much sleep I was getting, and now I have an alarm set on my fitbit for 9 p.m. Every night at 9 p.m., it vibrates. This is way more discreet than an actual phone alarm, and because I can't figure out how to let it know I am aware of the alarm, it vibrates again in 15 minutes. It's perfect, because the first set of vibrations tell me that I need to wrap up whatever I'm doing, and the second set it like "GO TO BED NOW". It's made waking up at 5:45 more bearable.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

One Step Forward, One Ankle Busted

While working on getting ready for the 5k obstacle race that I signed up for, I decided that I should take the Special Needs Dog with me. She was abused in a former home, and her anxiety is crushing. She does better with exercise, so I figured I'd kill two birds with one stone.

She is, bar none, the worlds WORST running buddy. She cut across me, stopped, ran around, wrapped the least around me, and flipped out at everyone. I noticed a slight pain in the back of my ankle, but shrugged it off, did an Insanity workout, and went about my day. The next day, same story, only by the time I went to bed, the pain was bad enough that I was limping.

It didn't get better, so I took off the next few days. When I was ready to run again, I got Special Needs Dog and my husband and started running. I got two houses down the street before I was limping. We ended up taking Monster Dog and Special Needs Dog on a walk, and went for a walk today. It's been killing me

Talking to my husband and a running enthusiast coworker, I realized several things:

  1. Running in toddler-age shoes is bad. Seriously. My coworker asked about the age of my shoes and I realized that I was using the same sneakers that I had during the London Olympic Games. (whoops!). So the shock-absorbtion is gone, the rubber is dried out, and I'm an idiot. 
  2. My viewpoint on working out is messed up. It's either all or nothing, and if I miss a workout, I end up trying to "make it up" by doing a second workout the next day. And so on. Basically, I'm guaranteed that I'll be injured and/or burned out. 
So I'm working to make changes. But right now, I'm just RICE-ing.

Monday, March 24, 2014

What Have I Done?!

Since the holidays, I've managed to get back on track with my whole 30. I even bought cookbooks so that I have actual meals to cook and am not just throwing meat and vegetables together, and having awkward flavor/texture combinations. (Also, how many dogs did I have last time I posted? There are two now. They enjoy putting each other's faces in their mouths.)

When it comes to exercise, I'm still not off the couch. Literally, I'm writing this from the couch. I've been toying with the idea of just signing up for a challenge, with the knowledge that I will train my ass off through sheer competitive-ness. What I lack in discipline, I make up for in competitive drive. Competition is what got me through a Very Prestigious University in 3 years with a B+ average. Competition is what is getting me to spend 8+ hours this week cleaning (seriously. I'm competing with people who have clean/organized houses. They don't know we're competing, but it's on like Donkey Kong). I stopped going to yoga classes after I injured myself trying to go further into the pose than anyone else. And I'm listing this to prove that I'm more competitive than you.

Fortunately/unfortunately for me, my sister-in-law is a complete badass, and is doing the Warrior Dash this summer. She's also done a Tough Mudder and got me to try the Whole30. She's also nothing but supportive. So now my husband and I are doing a Warrior Dash with her. Now, I have no intention of competing with her, I just want to finish in an hour. Ish. My husband has already said that he'd stay with me during the run, so there's that.

I'm still worried. I have enough time to train, but no time to mess around about it.And I could publicly humiliate myself.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Not Enough Time

I’ve been struggling to get everything done, and frankly, I’m failing at it. It’s just difficult, because for 2 days each week I leave my house by 6:30 a.m., and the best-case scenario has me home by 9:30. So the other 3 days are me prepping for and recovering from those two days, then by the time the weekend is here, I’m exhausted and spend a day doing very little. Little enough that the next day would require constant work, and frankly, I can’t do it. I just lack the ability to push through a day of cleaning, cooking, and studying. 

Things are particularly hectic because we just had two weeks where people visited us for the weekend. While I LOVE the people who visited, and enjoyed their visits, it’s just awkward doing things like mopping the floor or vacuuming when entertaining.

BUT, I have learned some multitasking tricks that go beyond “ask the husband to do most of this”. They’re below:

  1.   If you have a washing machine and a dishwasher, load and run them, spend 10 minutes quickly wiping down surfaces, vacuum the worst areas, and get a roast in the oven. Okay, anything automated makes me feel super-productive. While the washing machine and dishes are cleaning my laundry and dishes, I’ve vacuumed and wiped down the counters. And I’ve found that when we’re busy, roast are a great way to make sure that dinner WILL make it to the table. Protip: Pull the roast out of the fridge and let it hang out on the counter so that it’ll be room temperature by the time it goes in.
  2. Once the roast is in the oven, use any extra time to make coffee and breakfast. This way, it provides a built-in break so that you don’t end up exhausted and burnt out, AND when the dishwasher or washing machine is done, it’ll signal that the break’s up.
  3. Switch the laundry over, finish Vacuuming and take care of something selfish. Usually I watch something that’s been DVR’ed while I paint my nails. The idea is to  another break after vacuuming but still get something crossed off your “to do” list. At some point around here, the roast should be done. Protip: use the dust attachment on your vacuum to dust.       
  4. Do the worst one. You’ve just done something indulgent. Now take care of the thing you don’t want to. For me, this is homework (It’s not about the subject matter, it’s more of a core concept of having homework). I work on a bunch of different sections (it’s accounting, so there are different accounts/financial statements or tax schedules. I work on one until I hate its’ guts, then work on another one. I typically have a face mask on while I do this, so at least I’m also doing something that makes me feel pretty. I know. I’m vain). Do something to make it less miserable if possible. 
  5.  Do something easy or pleasant. This is when (if I haven’t broken down and went down a rabbit hole in the internet), I head to the gym. It’s usually on my to-do list, and I feel freaking amazing afterward. I do all my errand on Thursday afternoons, but if you’re going out, I’d suggest doing your errands as well.
  6.   Do any other assorted tasks. The idea is to go for volume here. Do quick tasks. Make marinades for the week or larabars. Wash vegetables, fold & put away the laundry, put away the dishes, pay bills online. The idea here is that the “running in place” chores, like laundry and vacuuming are done, and the chore you were dreading is done, so now you want to focus on getting everything else done so you can enjoy your next day, and maybe get ahead on your week.

The next day, I make sure my clothes are clean and prep my meals for the week.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Getting Things Done

I've decided to do a Whole 60, mainly because I haven't been eating enough vegetables, and haven't been seeing the full energy benefit of the program. I've signed up for a gym, and will be going on Monday, Thursday, Friday, and at least one weekend day (unfortunately I have class on Tuesday and Wednesday, so I can't really space out trips to the gym, as I'm gone from home from 6:30 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.).

In terms of getting things done, I've been running errands for the week after work on Thursday (I can flex time and leave early on Thursday and Friday). I've been doing my internet-ing while watching TV, and doing chores on the commercials. It's been working fairly well, as the smaller things that can really add up have been taken care of (I've hard boiled eggs, gone through mail, unloaded the dishwasher, changed over the laundry, made tea, frozen avocados, and baked chicken during commercial breaks. Yay multitasking!) I've also been listening to audiobooks while folding laundry and unpacking boxes upstairs.

I have noticed that when I start the day off, if I stop and sit for more than 20 minutes in the first 3ish hours that I'm up, I tend to get really bad sinus headaches, and the whole day is spent lying on the couch, which happened yesterday ( and the past 3 Saturdays in a row). So now it's a matter of making myself keep going for at least a few hours each morning I'm off. While it takes a significant amount of willpower, those few hours end up with my being super-productive.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Still in the "prep" phase

My 30 days is over halfway done, although to be honest, I may push the whole 30 into a whole 45 or a whole 60. I feel loads better than I did before I started this plan, but I haven't put in tons of effort; I'm still eating lots of fruit and nut butter (I'm keeping it to one serving of each a day), and craving carbs. This weekend required a lot of willpower not to demolish the Halloween candy.

I'm going to join a gym on my way home from work tomorrow, and scope out how crowded the gym is on a Monday (typically gyms are most crowded on Mondays, because people want to start the week off right, then lose interest as the week goes one. Essentially Monday is the January of the days of the week). Then I'm going to go home an prep my meals for class and get ahead on my homework.

On Thursday, after running errands, I plan on going to the gym and starting and actual workout plan. On my days off from the gym, I'm going to do yoga, in addition to assembling my meals for the day after, cleaning, and doing homework.

I also plan on starting to make my own nut butters. We'll see how much I can get done.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Slow Progress

Today is my tenth day of the Whole30, and if this timeline is at all accurate, the next week could be the most challenging week. And so far, the timeline has been accurate (I'm counting it as a good thing that my husband's work schedule took him away from home this past week, because day 4-5 and day 6 were "kill all the things" days), so I'm a bit nervous about the next week.

But I've committed. Everyone knows that I'm doing it. I've been feeling better, and the discipline from eating in a manner that complies with the plan is spilling over into all areas of my life. I'm developing overall healthier habits. I'm actually debating extending this into a Whole 60, because then I can get through this semester with energy, and hopefully create a regular exercise plan.