Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I think it's about time for me to swim again. Jason and I know a guy in Cambridge who swims with a Masters team up there. He was talking about his latest meet on Facebook, and I felt kind of jealous. I've thought about joining a Masters team for years, but never really looked into it too seriously. And when I did it seemed like practices were a bit too far away and at somewhat inconvenient times.

That is until I went online a couple of weeks ago and discovered that they just started a Masters swimming program at my Y. I noticed they only practice 1 day a week for now, and I thought to myself, "I could totally do 1 day a week." Even if it's a total butt-kicking (which it probably will be), I can do 1 day a week of anything.

So starting next Tuesday, I'm doing Masters swimming! I'm excited (and a little intimidated).

Jason tells me he'll go to all my meets (when/if I actually start competing). He's so supportive.

Monday, March 28, 2011

I Heart Sun!

For the past two weeks it has been pretty gloomy around here, but the last couple of days have been full of lovely sunshine. And wind. Providence isn't allowed to have sunshine without wind, it seems. I will find that much more obnoxious when it gets warmer and I'm trying to wear flippy skirts without the benefit of a heavy winter coat weighing them down.

This weekend I went on a couple of long walks on the path near my house. I'm so glad I started this challenge because otherwise I would have sat on my bum watching Firefly all of yesterday afternoon. Jason was gone and I wanted something fun to watch. I forgot how engrossing that show is. I watched the pilot, then dragged myself off the couch and headed to the path.

When I got home, I did some cleaning and planted some tulip bulbs. They actually wintered in our garage, instead of in the ground, but I planted them in some pots yesterday and am hoping maybe they might come up. If not, I'll just dig them up and plant them in the yard next Fall.

I'm really excited because all of the seeds I planted a few weeks ago have sprouted. This year I'm growing zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and peas. I also started some sage. My rosemary plant is looking a little sad so as soon as it's warm enough, I'll be putting it outside to soak in the sun. Even though I have it in a sunny spot inside, it's still too cold in the house for the rosemary to do well (as we keep the thermostat low in an effort to not go completely broke over heating costs).

Friday, March 25, 2011

Days 1-4: Success

I've been bad about keeping up on here, but suffice it to say, I have rocked the first 4 days of my challenge. Well, "rocked" might be a little bit of an exaggeration, but I've fulfilled the challenges I set for myself.

30 Days of Low-Carb
Day 1: 52 g net carbs
Day 2: 67 g net carbs
Day 3: 58 g net carbs
Day 4: Still eating, but since I only have 14 g net carbs right now (post-lunch), I figure unless I go crazy tonight, my carbs will be pretty low

30 Days of 30 Minutes of Activity
Day 1: 45 minute lunch walk
Day 2: 60 minute lunch walk
Day 3: 45 minute lunch walk
Day 4: 50 minute lunch walk + I'll probably walk the 3 miles home from work.

What's with the lunch walks, you might ask? Well, I've been feeling super sleepy in the mornings and getting up to go to the gym has felt impossible. Heck, getting up to arrive at work on time has been nothing short of miraculous. The whole theory behind this challenge is that something is better than nothing. So I'm doing something.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Day 1 Fail - Let's Try Again Tomorrow

So this morning didn't work out with the strength training class thing. I don't mean this to be a blog of excuses, but I was really, REALLY sore after my walk/jog on Saturday. By Saturday afternoon, my heels were killing me. Basically it felt like the bottoms of both of my heels (especially my left heel) were covered in bruises and every step was excruciatingly painful.

I swear, every time I start running, a different body part hurts. At least it keeps recovery interesting.

Today my heels feel a lot better, but my thighs and knees are sore. Plus, Jason's sister, who was in town this past week, left today and the three of us were up late last night. I still gamely set my alarm, thinking I could go for a walk, but I was so exhausted this morning that it didn't happen.

So, ok, I figured I could do a lunch walk. Only it's been snowing/sleeting/raining ALL DAY. Yeah, it was almost 70 and sunny on Friday.

Not fair, Providence. Not fair.

I've made the executive decision to postpone the fitness challenge start date to tomorrow. However, the food is going well today, so at least there's that.

In related news, my jeans are really tight. I hate it.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spring In My Step

Rather than be lazy until I restart my challenge on Monday, I've decided to begin getting in the habit of being active every day. Yesterday I had an early morning meeting in Boston, and instead of taking the T from South Station after I got off the commuter rail, I walked the mile or so to the meeting, then back to the train station after the meeting. It's a nice way to get over my sleepy head from the hour-long train ride up from Providence.

This morning I got up early (well, early for a Saturday) and hit the trail near my house. I did the Week 1 workout for Couch to 5K down the trail, then briskly walked back. I honestly am not sure if I'm going to complete the whole Couch to 5K program (since I haven't managed to do it yet), but the first few weeks of workouts are actually a good way to get in some intervals. According to Fitbit, I wind up running at about 6 mph, so that's not too bad. And for how hard I'm breathing after each 1-minute jog, you would think I was doing sprints.

I came home to some happy purple crocuses in our front yard that someone planted who knows when. I love bulbs that come up every Spring!

Monday morning my plan is to head to the gym and take that strength training class that I took once a long, long time ago. It kicked my butt then, so I have a feeling I will be in a lot of pain come Tuesday. But I think I need someone telling me what to do, and a whole class full of peer pressure to really push myself with the strength training.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

It's On!

Today it feels like Spring and I love it!

It also reminds me that Summer is around the corner and that I would really like to go to the beach with the Young Women (the teenage girls I work with at church) like I promised them and not feel so unbearably self-conscious about my thighs in my swimsuit. I accept that my thighs will always be big, but there is no reason to accept the amount of fat currently on them. I need to cut the carbs, cut the flour and sugar, and up my strength training. I need to get back into my workout routine pronto, and not half-a$$ it all like I've been doing for the past few months.

My cousin Amy reposted someone's great blog post today about being honest with yourself. It was a good thing for me to read today.

Monday I'm restarting my 30 Day Challenges. Actually, I'm planning to go to the gym on Saturday morning too, but I'll officially start Monday. (Can't go to the gym tomorrow morning because of an early-morning meeting in Boston.)

On Monday I will begin 30 days of:
- Low-carb: under 100 g net carbs per day, though shooting for between 50-75 g. NO white flour or sugar.
- 30 minutes of activity every day.

It's sunny, the days are longer, and I'm feeling pumped!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Yesterday I did my first active thing in a few weeks and I went for a 50-minute lunchtime walk. Even with that, I didn't quite hit 10,000 steps for the day. Hi, my job isn't just sedentary, it's SUPER sedentary!

I planned to get up this morning and had grand visions of a walk/jog down the path near my house. Only I could not get up. Starting last week, I have been completely unable to get up before 7 AM, even if I get to bed by 10:30 or 11. I have a very bad habit of hitting snooze in my sleep and not even realizing the alarm has gone off until after 3 or 4 10-minute snoozes. The days when the alarm actually wakes me up, it usually wind up ripping me from some intense dream and the grogginess makes it impossible to get up.

Usually I need less sleep and wake up more easily when I'm exercising regularly, but in order to exercise regularly, I have to actually wake up. Vicious circle.

I'm planning to go for a walk in a bit to run an errand if the rain will ever let up, so that will have to count as my activity for the day since I'm busy tonight.

Seriously, how does anyone work out regularly after work? I don't get out of the office until 6:30 or so, and then there is ALWAYS something going on in the evening. This is why if the workout doesn't happen in the morning (or on my lunch hour) it's not happening.

Friday, March 11, 2011

I Keep Getting Sidetracked

I am the queen of good intentions it seems, but then it all gets blown out of the water. I was merrily chugging along with my good eating and daily activity, then I got sick, which I wrote about. Cold + flu. Good times. I can't remember the last time I got the flu, but it knocked me out for that entire week.

Last week, my cousin George passed away. He was a year younger than me and though we weren't really close, I have a lot of childhood memories with him and his younger brother, Greg. We lived in the same town when we were very small, and our parents often tried to time our summer visits to the grandparents so that the three of us had some overlapping time. I learned during Greg's eulogy that the very first time I went to my grandpa's camp in the Everglades, was also their first trip there.

It was a tragic accident and very sad. Jason and I drove the 14 hours to Tennessee to be with my extended family and I am so very glad we did. I think it meant a lot to my aunt, my mom's little sister, and it was good to be with family. It was also good to be at the funeral, which made the whole thing more real. Though, I had one weird moment at my aunt's house when Greg walked up the stairs into the living room with Geoff, the other brother, behind him. For just a split second, I expected George to be there too. If I was having flashes like that after not seeing him for so long, I can't imagine how it must feel for those who were around him every day, especially his wife.

Of course, everything took a back seat to that and my food choices were completely out of whack. One thing I have to say for the South, folks take care of you when there's a tragedy.* My aunt and uncle's house, and George's house were overflowing with food from neighbors, friends and co-workers. So many people showed up to give their words of condolences and to just love my family. It was wonderful to see.

* To be fair, I've never experienced a tragedy in the North, so it might be just the same. But I love that Southern hospitality.

So now we're back and I'm trying to get on a good schedule again. This week has been (and continues to be) really busy with work, church and personal commitments. I've been getting to bed by 10:30 or 11, but sleeping solid through until 7 and feeling like I could use some more sleep. My eating is ok, not great, but not horrible either. I'm putting off restarting exercise until Monday.

I need to figure out a way to not get sidetracked when life happens. It's so easy to let my good habits fly out the window at any opportunity.