Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Errand Day.

When you go to school full-time, and work two jobs in the evening, you sort of relish and also resent your "Errand day."

For me, this is often Sunday. A day in which I do laundry, I shop for food, I prepare food, and I clean the house and get ALL THE THINGS done that need to be done.

This morning, I woke up next to my love, with little feet pounding around in the hallway outside the room. Little feet is kind of a misnomer, they're actually only slightly-smaller-than-mine feet, as we later saw while shopping for winter boots and closed toed shoes for the kiddo and these chillier months at REI. His feet are now only about 1" shy of my feet, and that is CRAZY.

After that, thrift shopping for Halloween costume components. Shiny Mew, a Pokemon phenomenon. It's going to be good.

AND THEN, grocery shopping, where we took turns hanging out with Kiddo while he ate from the hot/salad bar as the other did their share of shopping. It was efficient, it was awesome, and we got it all done. Everyone was patient and did their part, and even though it was a day of to-and-fro, I was pretty smitten the entire time.

Over breakfast there was some talk of Kiddo money: how he earns, saves, and spends. Manpanion is doing a great job of trying to instill a lot of monetary lessons on responsibility, and I REALLY needed to rake the yard at the Bachelorette Pad. Since it was a gorgeous fall day, and Kiddo was actively seeking ways to make money (like earning $1 for vacuuming the living room at P's house, and $1 for putting away dishes there as well), I offered up a $10/hr position raking up leaves; explaining the difference between paying hourly, and on merit, versus on a per-job basis.

Kiddo worked it out. He really committed to this project, made it fun, and truly did a fantastic job. He added in fun by raking up a giant pile of leaves to jump in (because why else would we rake them?), and made a video in the process. He earned his $10 in 45 minutes, simply because he did not quit, and even when told he was done he still helped us carry out the yard bags to the alley because he had free hands.

So tonight, I'm studying for my next 2 Midterm exams, while roasting and baking and steaming all the things for the week.

I made....

  • a pot of steel cut oats for breakfasts ( I like to stir in peanutbutter for protein)
  • pan fried fajita peppers and onions for burrito bowls (and will add Chicken Tinga I brought home from the taco joint last week and threw in the freezer. FREE PROTEIN!)
  • roasted carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower for kimchi rice bowls
  • a pot of quinoa
  • baked sweet potato (for stuffing and twice-baking. Add quinoa, black bean and corn salsa, and Chicken tinga, with a little cheddar shredded on top)
  • an acorn squash
  • baked apples with brown sugar
The weeks meals are now easy to assemble, and I have a sweet treat in the fridge for when a craving hits. 

Though weigh in is not until Wednesday, I'm feeling mostly confident as I began integrating workouts into my slight free times this last week. I'm going to integrate various levels of the 30 Day Shred, with online workout videos, and my kettle bell. 

Hooray, this week is ON!


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Weighing In - 10/21/2015

Previous weight: 174.4
Today's weight: 170.2

This week's result:  -4.2 lbs!

Ok, maybe it's cheating to not do an official weigh in for nearly 2 weeks but DAMN IF IT ISN'T SATISFYING. 
It wouldn't be reasonable to expect such a loss in just one week, and I don't, and I wont. However, when you are starting, or re-starting, or re-re-starting any sort of weight loss journey... it's extremely helpful and motivating to see a good, solid loss after you've been struggling to change some habits. 

Because I'd more or less been living on Lean Cuisines for convenience the last couple weeks, and maybe I'd be eating 2 of them at a time, I might be a little surprised about this loss. I might have also eaten a couple pints of ice cream. HOWEVER, I tracked all of it. My goal for these weeks was just to track everything I eat. Don't lie to myself. Don't lie to my tracker. Don't try too hard to change eating habits, because you know that tracking automatically influences your choices. I did it! 

Now when I log into MyFitnessPal (let's be friends!), it tells me I'm on a 16 day streak! That's pretty exciting. 

This week and next, I'm being smacked in the face by Midterms. 5 tests in 7 days. 

I took the first one yesterday and just CRUSHED it. The super fun thing about going to school in the Future is that sometimes you have to take tests in the proctored lab. This has it's downsides, like... 55 other students clacking away at computers around you while you're trying to think. Also, that whole encoding specificity principle (we test best in the same context under which we learned [encoded] the information). The upside though, is that you get to see your score right away. 94%!

As a reward for myself, I went grocery shopping at the Co-op. I picked up all the root vegetables that I love roasting when the weather turns cool, though Mother Nature is really sleeping on this here in Minneapolis. It's been about 70 degrees and sunny every day. I WANT MY CHILLS! I picked up a pork roast for the slow cooker, some mixed greens, avocados, snap pea pods, peppers, kimchee, Ozery bakery one buns, and lots of eggs. I wanted to give myself a chance to replace my Lean Cuisines with REAL food, but I needed meals that would be easy to assemble. One doesn't necessarily eat Lean Cuisines because they love them, but because they're too busy. That was me. 

I roasted up all the vegetables (parsnips, beets, Brussels sprouts, carrots, onions), braised the pork roast in the slow cooker, and prepared some rice. From this I can assemble rice bowls with vegetables and kimchee, to which I can add pork if I'm craving more protein. I can eat pork roast with roasted vegetables and a salad. I can make a salad with cold roasted vegetables, and add some pork roast if that's not doing it. I can put an egg on any of these things to make it feel more rich. For breakfast I can smash an avocado into a toasted one bun and put an egg on that. I can bring pepper slices, snap pea pods, and apples [from an orchard outing a while ago] with me to school, as snacks to get me through. 

These things are all easy to prepare, and easy is what you need when you flit from classes, to work, to home. Particularly important when you work in two different restaurants with delicious food, booze, and easy to grab snacks (bread and butter at the white linen place, tortilla chips at the taco joint). Being prepared is my best defense. 

So that is my goal for this upcoming week. BE PREPARED. Be a girl scout. Be Scar from the Lion King. Be a pie. Be prepared. My secondary goal is to try to remember to stretch at least 3 mornings a week. I am notoriously awful at this, and 3 sounds like a manageable amount of days. 

What are some of your go-to assembly meals? What do you do to BE PREPARED for a particularly busy week so that you can stay on track? 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Being found.

It's been about a year and a half since my last post. I've put on about 6 pounds in that time, which - in retrospect - doesn't seem like all that much. I've definitely done a lot of celebrating, drank a lot of great drinks, had a lot of great meals, and attended my fair share of BBQs. I biked the whole winter long, covering every inch of my body in merino wool or fleece. Someone gave me a car. That changed a lot of things.

It's funny how easily we slip back into old habits.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not judging people who drive. I drive. I drove, a lot. I drive now when I feel like it because damn if it isn't convenient. But, given my ultra busy schedule on the path to Dr. Of The Sex, biking is about my only form of exercise. When I opt out, I'm opting out of a lot.

I'm back here again because I stepped on the scale the other day. Something I don't often do anymore. It's not really in avoidance, it's just because I don't care. However, seeing that I'd jumped back into the 170s was a bit of a wake up call. Now that I'm older (and arguably wiser), I care less about the numbers on the scale. BMI scales mean nothing to me. I can probably still outrun a fair amount of people. But I think back to where I once was, and I wonder how I got here again. (Guessing it's the Steak Cobb at the Mill chased down with a martini, but I'm sure there are many factors.)

Things are a little different now. I feel conflicted about jumping into weight loss because my feminist identity has developed quite rapidly over the last 5 years. I've always been one... a feminist... but with the rash of body positivity (YES), and fighting back against social standards of beauty (NO), it feels odd to want to participate in something that is mostly socially forced upon me. The requirement to be a beautiful woman to feel you've arrived or had value. The scrutiny.

But I know that I am doing this so I can feel more ME. So I can do more cartwheels and climb more hills. Losing some of this weight helps me to participate in more of the things that truly bring me joy.

And also, my clothes might fit again.

So here I am. Starting over again. Trying to shine the spotlight on fueling my body to perform these feats of ME. The bonus is that my ever-lovely Manpanion, who has been a champion supporter of anything I've ever chosen to do or not do, is on board after suffering from some chronic knee pain over the last several years. We're both looking to lose a few LBs in order to return to a more exuberant lifestyle.

So follow along if you like. Relish in the everyday-woman challenges that focusing on health brings. The struggle to fit in sleep, the nights hunched over desks working on pages and pages of papers that will be read only once, and the teetering back and forth on what I should and should not do to balance the ME I want to be with the current reality of what I am and can do.

My hope is to start out somewhat slow. A series of mini goals that inch me closer to routines that work for my body as it exists in life as life exists in this moment -- which is hurried, rushed, and somewhat of a roller coaster. But people pay good money to ride on those things, so it should be an interesting adventure.