And then how?

I was using this other job I hated as an excuse to not cook, clean or blog. I was depressed.
Then I quit.

I quit that lame job at the end of March. Why am I still spinning my wheels?

How do you, readers, make yourself go exercise, clean house, blog more or be a better human in general? My brain is an excuse machine.

I realize I should just do it. A million obligations–mostly social–pull me in different directions.

So, I ask again. How do you make yourself do something that you know you like? How do you get started?

-Kat

Advertisements

Kat’s: Food and Exercise Updates

It has been ages since I’ve mentioned anything on my blog about my progress. I don’t want you all to think I’ve given up on this whole healthy thing. If you please, follow my twitter I update followers frequently on my eating/exercise progress. I also share articles, snarks and videos that are amusing to me.

Here’s the run down: I went from a size 14 to a size 6 since January 3rd. I truly hope you didn’t believe that. I haven’t changed sizes at all in fact. Haha! Getting fit is a slow process for me. I have been exercising almost daily at the YMCA since January 3rd. My worst streak of going without working out was three days.

Food & Exercise Tracker

Since the end of January I have been tracking and trying to reign in my calorie intake. I am trying to stay at or under 1,720.

When I first started I struggled because there was no

mfp

baseline for how many calories typically I consumed in a day. I would hazard to guess around 2,500 to 3,000 given how many sweets and snacks we have around the house. I am a terrible habitual snacker and could probably can eat a family size bag of chips all by myself.

The fitness tracker app I chose to help me with my calorie count is My Fitness Pal (MFP). You can also just used the regular website if you choose to.
MFP has an awesomely huge food database and a code scanner if you are having trouble finding a product by search terms.wtrackerexcel

The exercise tracker aspect of MFP isn’t quite as refined so I only keep about half of my exercise logged. I consistently use a spreadsheet to track the times, weights, speed and reps of my different exercises. It may sound tedious to keep two trackers but it doesn’t bother me too much. And it only takes about five minutes out of my entire day to input stats.

Water and Vitamins

I haven’t been doing so well on these goals. It is all too easy to reach for coffee in the AM and then lightly sweetened homemade iced tea throughout the day.
My goal is a formula that PBS mentioned in one of their health series:

The old adage of 8 glasses a day is no longer true.
Instead, think about how much you weigh and divide that number in half. That’s how many ounces of water you should drink per day.

I have realized that adding a touch of lemon can make water taste a little less watery. I like the taste of it but I am a bit sporadic about drinks. Each time I refill my glass I want a different type of drink. Just ask my husband how long it takes me to pick a drink at the gas station.

Taking a multivitamin slips my mind most days. I tried setting up a reminder in MyFitnessPal and one on my phone. Neither one pops up to remind me, much less at the correct set time. I don’t take any other meds on an actual routine so it

jellybracelets

is hard for me to start this. Forreal, I only take an allergy pill in the mornings when my nose is stuffed up and even then I tend to forget.

I found a whole blog with tips on how to remind yourself to drink water. Starting today I’m going to do my best to follow the bracelet trick. I recently re-discovered my jelly bracelets from when I was a teen–Don’t judge me.

Exercises

I don’t really have a well defined plan here. If I can’t make it to the gym, I do have an extensive at-home workout plan that requires only free weights and a chair. I say extensive because I’ve never made a 45 minute at-home plan like it before.

I broke it down into the basics: Some warm ups, arms, legs and core and cool down stretches. All the warm ups and cool down exercises must be completed.
There are about six exercises in each of the arms/legs/core categories and am challenged to pick three from each group. I feel less trapped into one particular routine. If anyone is interested, I can share my plan. It includes instructions on how to perform most of the exercises but no photos or diagrams.

Not a picture of me

Not a picture of me

Mostly, I get to the gym when I can because I feel accountable to do a good job. My favorite classes of late have been the Pound Fitness class that is offered three days a week at my YMCA. If you’ve never heard of it you must Google a video! You use lightly weighted drum sticks to drum along with songs. Mostly focusing on the core. I feel like a badass akin to the sensation a non-musician gets from playing guitar hero. Accomplished even if it isn’t exactly the way the pros do it.

Another favorite class of mine is the Aqua Zumba class. The instructor stands on land to lead and you follow except all the arm and leg motions are intended for under the water. This is an ideal exercise for me because I stay cool in the water and can feel the water resistance. Also, no one can see how badly you mess up under water.

When there is not a class at a convenient time, I do my own thing in the small weight room. I do a mixture of treadmill walking and machines that focus on my arms, legs or abs and back. I have been upping my weights on those machines when I don’t feel worn out after my sets.

Extra full belly--post lunch weigh

Extra full belly–post lunch weigh

Weight

I honestly should be going by measurements. That is a justification for my pitiful progress, but also I am told a more accurate way of telling how your body changes. My heaviest that I weighed since starting—Oh yeah, brace yourselves, the reveal is coming!!was 181.2 lbs on the gym scale. The lightest I have weighed and what seems to be consistent is 176.6 lbs.
It is a slow slogging struggle but I am keeping at it.

Looking ahead

I have a feeling that things will get easier once I begin my season at MACA. I will be average hiking four to six miles in a day depending on my schedule. Some of those days I will be doing the crawling tours which will engage even more muscles. I do not intend on slacking off of my gym time. I may go three to four days a week instead for five to seven days simply because work will keep me busy.

couchto5kI had a tipsy revelation last week regarding me and running. A good buddy of mine—actually many of my peers—are runners for health. One program that several have suggested to me is the Couch to 5K program. The thought of it excites and terrifies me. Afraid of failure but also willing to try to beat the stitches in my side and coughing to catch my breath. Yes, I really do suck at and hate running.
I also hate sweating all over myself, being out of breath and red faced in front of others, YET I have kicked serious ass the last two months at a gym!

It Takes a Village

ymcalogoIn this case it doesn’t take a village of people to raise a child, but a community to help me get fit. My mum was reading my blog and noticed me mention I wanted to get in shape in the new year.

My biggest issues are starting a routine and to be held accountable for working out. It is very, very easy for me to talk myself out of going to the gym or doing some sit ups. It is much easier to put a kettle on for a cup of tea.

So my mom is sponsoring me at the local YMCA.  She added me to her membership plan–Just so long as I use it. Which I fully intend to do!
I don’t so much have a plan yet or a routine. I’m trying to figure out which machines I prefer, the times I can go and when certain classes are being held.

So far, I am really enjoying the general vibe of the gym. There are people like me that are out of shape and just doing their best. There are also folks there that are already in shape and are extremely friendly. That is not something I felt when I went to my university gym. It is nice to think others are happy you are trying rather than trying to show you up or boot you out.

Today makes day three of my membership and day three in a row I will have gone to the gym. So far my plan is working because each time I go I have a buddy to come with me–I am being held accountable for showing up. My mom is an old pro and goes either swimming or lifting about everyday. My arm muscles are sore today from lifting yesterday. Love it and I can’t wait to lift some more on Monday.

Once I settle on a routine I am hoping to incorporate swimming, toning with the weight machines, cardio on the elliptical. I am keen to get into the zumba and yoga classes. Everyone tells me that the spinning classes are done, but I’m still not entirely convinced. I will try.

So can I get some likes to keep it up?
I promise not to share every single detail of my workouts, but if I reach some milestones I’ll share, or if need some encouragement it would be wonderful to find some here from my readers. Besides, over-sharing is for Facebook. I can’t promise I won’t share a gym selfie. hehehe.

Hopes, Dreams, Revelations and Resolutions

Happy New Year’s Eve!
image
Everyone is talking about their big parties tonight or quiet night alone.
Tomorrow many people will begin their resolutions.

I never have kept a resolution, the closest I got was to May or June. I had decided to stop cursing because my language was terrible at the time. After I found out I had been cheated on in the spring, I decided to give boys a break and try cursing again.

I don’t want to call them resolutions I want to be more free flowing. Why set yourself up for a guilt trip later? Why not list your hopes and dreams for the new year?

My hopes and dreams always far outweigh my accomplishments bucket, but I slowly plug away and get a few more things done.

A few hopes and dreams for the coming year for myself and others:

• I wish to keep trying new recipes with my hubbster. Maybe try another country/culture specific dish.

• Expand our chicken flock, build a simple coop and get free eggs all summer.

• Play with our kids daily or every other day so they learn to love people. (Goat kids are due in May or June)

• Start another garden!
Buy seeds, plan, start and plant.
We skipped 2013 and we were pretty sad every day we didn’t have fresh produce in the backyard.

• Go on more dates with Hubbster. My Christmas present of monthly dates should do the trick. (I will likely post about them later)

• Read more for fun.
Get a book, read it all the way through in two weeks. Quit hanging onto one tiny paperback for two months and then barely finishing it.

• Spread more joy.
Visit people, just to sit and have tea. Talk about happy things, really listen and respond to stories from their life and how they are feeling. Like plants; I need to tend to my relationship garden more.

That’s all I can think of off the top of my head. There are more serious hopes like, finding a solid job that doesn’t kill my spirit, paying off bills so I can travel, and exercising more. However, I don’t need a new year to start these things.

Do you have hopes, dreams, goals, resolutions for the new year, or have you had revelations in 2013?

My wish to all my readers is the warmth of a good meal in their stomachs, happiness in their hearts, and the strength of spirit to achieve their goals for the upcoming year.

Merry new year,
~Kit and Kat~

New Hairdo!

I have been a bum about updating my blog to my biggest changes, but seeing as I have rendered myself useless [bleach in my hair], I may as well blog about  it. Before you start getting worried, I’m just talking about changing my hair.

I recently cut most of my hair off. I mean for realz, most of my hair is gone-zo, but I love it. Let’s review some photo history:
hairlong1Check out the hair I used to have. I was pretty much at mermaid length hair.
Hair long2The trouble was with hair this long, if I washed it in the morning and put it up it would be wet all day. Things that don’t do well in winter. I loved my long hair, but have been planning a change for a long time now. Yes, I will likely grow out my hair again someday.

hair braids Even though my hair had been bleached, I decided to try and donate it to a wig making charity. The requirements page listed that they would be able to sell the hair for profits (to make more wigs) if they couldn’t use my hair. So my hair stylist braided it into four sections and started whacking off hair!hair in handPretty soon I was left with four braids in hand and a really awkward bob. I was excited to keep moving on from this weird hair length. trimming the bobShe pinned up bits of my hair and cut sections at a time. Our goal was to have short sides, very short back, bangs and enough hair on top to spike up and play with. M cut on cut on my hair for almost two hours!! I am very high maintenance I think.
hair on floorThis is just a little bit of the hair that was ultimately cut off. Keep in mind it doesn’t include the heavy braids nor the final 30 minutes of trimming and fudging to make it perfect.

katnewhairstyledsilly hair post shower

This was the end result! It is very very different from my usual loooong hair and no bangs. And yes, I am still getting used to my bangs.

20131121_150905I know you’re shocked but I still wasn’t pleased exactly with the length. So I got more cut off and I bleached it out.
20131121_141820Just freshly cut off some more.
20131121_160556Bleached, washed, cut and styled. This crazy spiky look is exactly what I want. I may wear my bangs down over my forehead if I want a slightly less spikey hairdo.
What do you think of my epic transformation?

Caught Her Breath

I am deeply sorry that I haven’t been blogging. Work and life have become a whirlwind. My park and job reopened and I started a new part time job simultaneously. My part time job has full time hours right now because of training.

Shortly, Kit and I will go intermittent from the park. In the upcoming lean months we will be forced to get more creative with cooking and eating in more. I love that about winter. We go out to eat less and eat food that is wholly more delicious because it is seasoned exactly as we want it.

My newest work-family has been very welcoming. There is even a birthday potluck that I am looking forward to participating in.

In addition to working and starting a new job, I have joined the community choir. We had our second practice this past Tuesday. We have a fun selection of songs and have practiced six of the ten we will perform in early December.
Not much else to report. The days and nights are getting colder which makes me want to brew hot tea and curl up with a book. I just hope I have some time soon to do that reading and snuggling.

~Kat~