Sunday, August 07, 2011
I'm excited about how my new-old habits are forming. This morning I woke up and my muscles were pretty sore, so I thought I'd take today as a rest day. But after I washed my face, I decided to take an easy swim day. After all, I *did* plan today as a cardio day on my calendar. And I'm so glad I went! This afternoon I went to a local festival with a friend and her husband, and of course they have wonderful fair food. For lunch I had cheese fries (MMM) and before we left I had a funnel cake. It had been SOOOO long since I'd had a funnel cake. And it was totally worth it.
On my drive home, I thought of how great it was that I was already at the gym this morning. Not that my swim worked off even CLOSE to the number of calories in my funnel cake and fries, but it was better than not doing anything.
So I'm feeling pretty good. I still had dinner tonight - I was hungry! - but it wasn't anything crazy. I had some pizza and for a sweet I had a Julie's Organic Chocolate Bar. They only have 100 calories per bar, and they are super delicious. Very creamy and yum. A little expensive, but a bar is better for me because I won't eat the whole stinkin' tub of ice cream!
I definitely need a hot bath tonight. I am sore and feeling gross from today's festival. It was SO hot and humid. Bleh.
Off to run a bath! Hope your weekend was stupendous!
Saturday, August 06, 2011
My husband is a chef. A very good chef. He's so good, in fact, that he has to work all the time. He just opened up a new restaurant (he doesn't own it, he's the Executive Chef) so he's there ALL THE TIME doing stuff. Ordering, prepping, setting up, reviewing stuff... like today? He left a little after 9:00am and he probably won't be home until after 11:00. While I'm very proud of him and I'm happy that he is doing what he loves, I'm feeling a little insecure lately. This happens when Brad works a lot... I start feeling insecure about myself. Especially because I'm not at work - I don't feel like I'm a productive member of society. I actually don't like summer for this reason.
When Brad is at work all the time, I don't have anyone to tell me that my muscles are feeling better. I don't have anyone grabbing my arse and telling me that it feels really good. (I suppose I could grab my own arse, but it's just not the same.)
So I suppose I have a few choices. I could:
a) wallow in self-pity and eat eat eat because hey, who's noticing if I pack on a couple pounds?
b) be sad all day, sit on the couch, not move, not even get up to eat.
c) be a gym warrior, working out like nobody's business, and then taking time to prepare good meals.
I think I'll choose c. With a little b in there for good measure. Because let's face it, when your hubby works all the time, it kind of sucks. But I can't get too mad at him - he really loves what he's doing. And I know that this job is a HUGE step up for him - he wrote the menu, he rolled it out, and he is doing lots of other Head Chef things that he didn't get to do at his last restaurant. Sigh.
Good things for today!
I earned all my stars today! Yahoo!
Henry, the Juice Guy At the Gym Who Is Incredibly Sexy, struck up a little convo with me today on the way in. He noticed that I was swimming a lot (I have been!) and he said "you look great." Swoon! I could have melted. If that comment doesn't get me off my rump and working hard, I don't know what will!
I took the time to do my hair today (I had to go into Brad's restaurant to get a check and then go pick up some ground buffalo) and get a little dressed up, and it did wonders for my self-esteem. My hair did what it needed to do and I even put on a little eyeliner from my new eye shadow. Yay! Maybe a goal for the rest of the summer is that I need to at the very least do my hair every day and not throw it back.
I'm going to find a little snacky before I go take a hot bath. Maybe just a glass of hot milk and a square of dark chocolate. I have to be extra food-careful. Henry's watching!
Thursday, August 04, 2011
There is an education book out there called Punished By Rewards in which the author (Alfie Kohn) discusses the problems with giving out stickers and prizes for kids doing what they should be doing anyway (i.e. giving a sticker to a child because they raised their hand to answer a question). One of his arguments is that when people give stickers out, they are not necessarily changing the behavior of the child. In other words, if you give a child a sticker for raising their hand, it doesn't always mean that they are going to continue raising their hand after the sticker-giving has stopped. I find the whole idea very interesting.
But the whole thing got me thinking about my motivation, which has miraculously seemed to re-appear (knock on wood) for the month of August. For a long while, I wasn't giving myself any rewards - I was all high up thinking "I don't need rewards, I'm doing this for myself, blah blah blah." But the scale wasn't moving, and more importantly, my pants weren't fitting any better and my muscles weren't getting any more noticeable. So, a little sheepishly, I decided to restart my Spark program back at Stage One. I did the fast break thing, and... it didn't work. I thought it would be enough to just think about it. But really, I needed to go ALL THE WAY back to the beginning. What did I do when I started on Spark and saw awesome results? I did what any good elementary teacher would do.
I made a sticker chart.
My goals are simple. Eight hours of sleep, eight glasses of water, and ten minutes of exercise a day. I get a sticker for each goal met. So far, I have three stickers on each day in August. Yay!
So back to the opening paragraph in this blog. The argument against stickers is that I could theoretically stop drinking all my water or working out or sleeping when I don't get a sticker for them anymore. That most likely isn't going to happen, since I'm a little further along developmentally than an elementary age student. But the rewards don't go away, they just change. Already I'm seeing other "rewards." My posture is better, my self-esteem has gone up, my middle feels less jiggly... and that's only in four days! Imagine how it's going to feel in a few weeks!
I think the key (for me and for students) is to make the behavior worth doing even when the "sticker" goes away. I need to keep earning stickers until I see even better results. If I don't keep giving myself a sticker, I worry that I won't see results fast enough and will not keep doing what I'm doing. And besides, the whole water thing isn't second nature anymore. I used to drink tons of water, no problem. Not so much lately. I guess it doesn't hurt that I bought myself some awesome sparkly star stickers at the teacher store! My next set of star sticker goals will have a much more fun chart than the one I have now.
Tomorrow is a strength training day... one of my non-sticker goals is to get my gym time out of the way as early as possible. And it's funny - I really *like* to go to the gym, but I just have to go first thing!
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
I missed you, pizza. I used to have dough at the ready, cheese in the fridge, and lots of yummy toppings ready to go. I got back into it last night. Brad made a pizza that was pretty tasty, and I was re-hooked. I stopped for some mozzarella last night and this evening I made a Margherita pizza with basil and tomatoes from the farm. I was out this afternoon and thought about getting a Boboli, but I held out. I got home, had a little potato salad, and whipped together some dough. (We have a book about bread where you learn to make bread without kneading. So freakin' simple.) It's whole-wheat dough with olive oil - PERFECT for pizza.
My pizza was SOOOOOOO amazing. The crust was perfectly crisp, the cheese was melty and delicious, and the tomatoes and basil were amazingly sweet. I didn't want my pizza to end. I can't wait to make another one soon.
So here's how today went:
Lots of water and a super workout. Got my muscles workin' and my insides flushed out.
Ate not one, but two M&Ms ice cream cookie sandwiches. I just couldn't help myself. The good thing is that now they aren't in the house so I won't eat them. Ha!
Got lots done around the house. I bought some stuff for the bathroom today - a shower caddy and a shelf for behind the toilet - and I put both of them up when I came home. My new mantra "the only way to get it done is to do it" came in handy today. The bathroom isn't going to clean itself, the stuff isn't going to build itself, and library books won't magically appear in my house if I wish hard enough.
Bought some stuff at Borders - the going out of business sale. Everything was at least 20% off, and cards were 40% off. So I got some children's books for school, and the book Room for me. I have heard such wonderful things about it - I can't wait to read it. Don't give anything away!
I'm going to go get my books from the library - I borrowed Women, Food and God (or whatever it's called) and enjoy some Greek yogurt and strawberries for my after-dinner sweet.
August is starting out with a bang!
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