January 2017 archive

Headphones and Food Adventures

There’s no better way to end a weekend than trying random recipes and playing with new kitchen toys while sporting some serious ear candy.

Headphones

I’ve been wanting a pair of over-the-ear headphones ever since Cliff got his recording equipment and I listed to his for all of 35 seconds.  Today I got my replacement graduation present.  (Cliff decided he wanted to use the computer we built for himself ’cause he’s a jerk.)

Just kidding.

It’s because I built this amazing machine and now I, apparently, have zero interest in playing video games.

I thought, for sure, as soon as I finished school I would go right back to gaming and I did…just not video games this time around.  I’ve really gotten into playing board games instead and I’ve been (finally!) reading again.  I decided to do a BookRiot Read Harder Challenge this year and I started on vacation.  I’m actually using the 2016 genre list because once I stumbled upon it there was no way I could wait until the 2017 list released before I set it up in my Bullet Journal.

Spoiler alert: Patient is not my strong suit.

Reading, BuJo

I’m a book and a half in so far and really looking forward to breaking all my reading norms.

As for today’s foodie adventures I tried both a new food AND a new appliance.  My parents got me an Instant Pot for my birthday and I’ve been absolutely terrified of using it.  I’m sure I’ve saved somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,000 recipes – never even turned it on.

Until today!

You would think such a momentous occasion would warrant pictures.

Nope.

Mostly because it was just brown rice, but also because I was way too excited to remember something like taking pictures, even if it’s for a pot full of brown rice that was cooked to perfection in 23 minutes.

However, I did remember to take pictures of my new food!

Today I tried both cooking and eating a spaghetti squash for the first time.  I’m actually really surprised at how easy it was!  I tried a bite and while it certainly was NOT a direct replacement for pasta (whoever tells you it’s as good/better than pasta is likely a liar or clinically insane) I think it’ll be pretty tasty with sauce and cheese tomorrow night.

cooking

Before

cookin

After

Tomorrow starts week 2 of training!  I managed to workout for, at least, an hour four times this week and stayed within my calorie range every day this week.  Hoping for an even better performance next week.

Still Going Strong

I’ve made it to the end of the week and I’m still going strong. This has been the longest streak I’ve had in months. Not a single slip-up.

My “cheat day” this week was having carbs after 3. Not too shabby considering this time last week I was living on a diet that consisted, primarily, of different varieties of donuts.

I’m now two sessions in with our personal trainer and it really seems to be the kick in the pants I needed. I’ve really enjoyed the structure and the fact that I don’t really have to put thought into it at all, just the physical effort. Having someone tell me exactly what to do and how to do it has made a HUGE difference.

A lot of my issues with working out have been related to my anxiety about either A) getting injured again or B) not actually working hard enough to burn anything off. Fortunately, my trainer takes care of all that for me! While I certainly don’t expect to use him long term, it’s really helped me to feel “safe” about pushing my workouts again.

Plus, it also helps that his gym is a pretty stellar place to work out.

Gym

*From BodyQuest website

gym

*From BodyQuest website

Food has also been on point this week. I made sure to make, at least, one dinner I could warm up on evenings when we had several errands to run. This week I decided on another amazing recipe from the Skinnytaste website.

http://www.skinnytaste.com/veggie-ham-egg-and-cheese-bake/

Food

*From Skinnytaste website

The only modification I made was using bacon instead of the ham steak. While I’m aware it increased the calorie count, the bacon was already in my fridge and I was more concerned about carb content than calories anyway. It was sooooooo delicious! I had it for dinner several nights, but it would be perfect for any meal – especially a dish for a group breakfast/brunch. Next time I plan to cut the recipe in half since there’s no way I can finish a whole 9*13 dish.

Tomorrow I’m making her Sicilian Rice Ball Casserole to take for lunch this week. It’s grown to be one of my favorite meals! Even Cliff got in on the food prep action today and made a large batch of tuna salad and lots of extra hard-boiled eggs to snack on through the week.

We just set up our official home offices (I start working from home one day a week soon so we decided to set up legit work spaces) so it’s time to say farewell and nerd out until I can’t keep my eyes open.

Ready to see what Week 2 brings!

Embracing the Gray

All you need to know about the last 6 months is that I:

• Finished my Bachelor’s degree
• Had an amazing birthday surprise celebration
• Saw an NFL game on Thanksgiving Day
• Went to a SUPER fancy wedding
• Played laser tag for the first time
• Hosted a baby shower for one of my best friends
• Went to 3 concerts and saw countless shows including an evening with Ira Glass!
• Really got into board games
• Rang in 2017 on the beach where we got married
• Gained 30 pounds
• Hired a personal trainer (see above)

Most of you know that the past 18 months have been filled with a lot of ups and downs for the hubby and me. Injuries, IVF complications, health issues, all on top of working and going to school full time. While I’m definitely on the upswing, there’s a lot that’s still raw.

Like being 25 pounds heavier than I was two years ago at this time.

It’s still very hard for me to focus on the amount of weight I’ve kept off versus the weight I’ve put back on. While I know it’s important to cut myself some slack, I feel like (lately, at least) I’ve cut myself WAY too much. At some point, I got comfortable with 190…then 200…then 215.

Then I woke up one day at 225 and I wasn’t so comfortable anymore.

For months I told myself I would “Get my shit together on Monday.”

I lost count of how many Mondays came and went and I had yet to follow through with a single plan. Working out no longer had any appeal (except the week we rode our bikes in Florida for vacation, more on that later). I had zero willpower and felt like I ate everything in sight. The only habit I managed to get back into was logging my calories in My Fitness Pal – no matter how terrible the day might be.

And there were A LOT of terrible days over the past couple of months.

Finally, on January 10th I said those magic three words out loud:
“I need help.”

Even though I knew what I was supposed to do, I just couldn’t seem to make myself follow through with anything.

It’s been a week since I sent that text to a long-time friend of mine who has been detrimental in my weight loss journey. As usual, she helped to remind me that I’m not alone in this struggle and this journey is anything but linear.

Cliff and I have now committed to 3 months of no restaurants (one exception being our annual trip to Nashville for Valentine’s Day), no alcohol, and no soda. (That alcohol one might get scratched altogether 😉

I also bit the bullet and hired a personal trainer and had my first session yesterday!

I was terrified I wouldn’t even make it through the first 10 minutes, but I surprised myself (and my trainer) and made it through the ENTIRE workout without a single extra break.

Needless to say, sitting down today as been…interesting.

Unfortunately, I didn’t grab a picture of his studio, but it’s amazing! Next time I’ll be sure to snap a few to share. It’s a really nice setup and I felt like such a badass working with him.

I’m both dreading and looking forward to my next session tomorrow.

Right now, I’m just trying to focus on balance. Understanding that everyday isn’t going to be perfect, but everyday isn’t going to be terrible either. I’ve always lived very much in the black and white; however, I’m trying really hard to embrace the gray.

And now, because it wouldn’t be the same without it, here are some random pictures from my life over the past 6 months.

The view from our hotel room in Ormond Beach for New Years.

The annual birthday tradition of going to Build-a-Bear.

Super fancy digs for a super fancy wedding. #MaynardPartyof2

Thanksgiving Day game – Lions vs. Vikings.

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