Sunday, January 17, 2010
Gasp - there was no more chili in the freezer! I am a chili-loving maniac, so I was really sad to see that it was all gone. This afternoon I re-stocked our supply, so now we have topping for pasta, rice and pizza (chili on pizza with some banana peppers and mozzarella cheese is delish).
Last night I whined about my body hurting and was hoping to get some pity from my honey - "Oh, you can skip swimming tomorrow. You've worked so hard." Oh no, no pity. He told me to go, that I'd feel really good when I was done. He was right. And even though I didn't push myself *too* hard in the pool, I did get some good thinking and reflecting done. When there is no one else in the pool it's a great time for me to think.
Thought about chapter 2 in The Spark, specifically the part where it asks you to think about your values and how you're working toward those values. I finally figured out what they are!
- Having access to fresh food (with a honey who's a chef, eating well is very important in our house)
- Leaving a smaller imprint on the environment. Right now, we drive everywhere. We don't have a choice. Biking is terribly unsafe, not to mention we live on a mountain. I can appreciate a little work biking up a hill, but a mountain?
- Helping others; specifically being an advocate for young children.
So then I thought about how some goals can relate to these values/beliefs.
- Move to a city where fresh food and farmer's markets abound
- Live somewhere I can bike more and walk more
- Continue my education in early childhood education. I've been thinking about what I'd like to continue studying, and this path will help me get to where I ultimately want to be.
This was a huge eye-opener for me... thinking about this in the pool really put me in a good mood and made my path seem so much clearer. It was hard for me to really pinpoint what was important to me; I thought for some reason my values weren't "normal" - thought that I needed goals like "make a lot of money, have three kids, live in a big house" but the more I thought, the more I realized that what is right for others may not be right for me.
I know I've blogged about this a lot, but Spark People has really helped to me to discover who I really am. And who I am now is nothing like I imagined I would be at this point in my life! But I like it. I'm happy, I'm healthy, and I'm secure. And I'm ready to really start going for my goals. There are going to be some big steps and big changes, but I'm ready.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
I am almost done with my Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction. The courses have been very thought-provoking, and they have also been quite progressive. Our textbooks ask us to think about the current state of education, and do we really need standardized tests? I just finished writing a short paper about testing, and it got me to thinking about this morning's weigh-in.
I have been going back and forth between "I should weigh in every day," "I should weigh in once a week," and "I am going to forget about the scale." Much like a standardized test tests what a student knows on a particular day about a particular question, the scale tells you what you weigh at a particular moment in time. Like the test does not take into account anything *else* going on in your life, like family problems, learning disabilities, or if it's just a bad day, the scale does not take into account anything other than what your body happens to weigh at that moment in time. It doesn't take into account if you had too much salt last night, ate a whole pint of ice cream recently (oops), or if you just didn't get to drink as much water as you'd like.
So back to the title of this blog. I happen to think that standardized tests are for the birds (for too many reasons to write). They do not accurately portray the knowledge of students - there are so many more things to take into account than if they can answer very specific questions about a subject on a certain day. Assessment is important to see where students are, though. I keep notes on students' singing, if they can keep a steady beat, if they can figure out appropriate movements to music... but I do not use just one single activity to assess where they are. I look at the whole picture to see if they are getting better at music and progressing. I can use this in my own life - look at things other than the number on the scale to assess where I am. Am I progressing like I should be?
So this next part is just going to be a little part to make me feel better about my non-loss weigh in this morning. Other ways I can see progress:
My Pilates and Yoga classes are getting WAY easier for me.
I can swim my laps much faster and with less effort. (Time to think of a swimming challenge!)
My kitchen is full of way more good food than bad - and I think the worst thing in the kitchen right now is granulated sugar.
My honey rubbed my back this morning and told me that it felt really good and muscle-y.
I spotted a pretty nice shoulder muscle in the mirror this morning.
At least I'm not *gaining* any weight!
I feel very organized and successful in other areas of my life.
It's so easy for me to tell other people "hey, you're doing great! Don't worry about that number, it has to move sometime if you're doing all this great stuff!"
It is not so easy, however, to tell myself those same words.
So I suppose that I need to figure out when I'm going to face the scale again. I'll refer again to my teaching. Do I have a student stop trying to play a steady beat for a month and then come back to him? No, I know that one day - BAM - he will be able to keep a steady beat. I think I'll keep doing the regular weigh-ins (which right now are every other day or so, just to keep tabs) and hopefully - BAM - one day my body will just figure out that "dammit, she's been eating clean and drinking crazy water and working out, I'd better drop some pounds." But until then, I will have to face the fact (because it *is* a fact) that the scale just doesn't want to move right now. "It is what it is." Luckily for me, though, *unlike* standardized testing, I won't lose any funding if I don't perform well.
Friday, January 15, 2010
I planned on having some hot cereal this morning, but instead I had my more filling breakfast of toast and an egg. Thinking about the hot cereal made me think about labels of food - the suggested serving size of the hot cereal is 1/4 cup dry. I thought "well I'm hungrier than that." Well duh, I am allowed to make more than that if I'm hungry! And if I only want 3/4 a cup of yogurt, not the 1 cup suggested serving size, then I'm allowed to do that too.
So anyway, I got thinking about what I can improve for the weekend and next week - I think serving size is it. I'm not going over my calories, but I can make smarter choices as to what I'm eating. (small steps!) For lunch, I know that a cup of yogurt is too much for me after a salad and whatever else I pack. Smaller yogurt portions. A whole sandwich is sometimes too much for me, but if it's there, I eat it anyway. And who the heck eats half a sandwich? I do! Today I was all ready to pack the Suggested Serving Size of two tablespoons of peanut butter for my lunch. And then I thought that I really wanted to use those calories later tonight for my dinner - I'm thinking about an ice cream night (I've been thinking about ice cream a lot lately) - so I put in one tablespoon of PB instead. Small steps.
This may all sound totally anal retentive, but it's the result of a year of hard work in tracking calories, learning about myself, and figuring out what works best for me. When I started SparkPeople, I was not anywhere CLOSE to being ready to pay attention to my food like this. So if you're reading this, you're kind of new, and you're thinking "God this woman is crazy," just remember it took a long time for me to get this crazy about my food. In time, don't worry, you'll be a little crazy too!
Last night was a killer leg workout - plyometrics and spinning, and a core class for good measure. Tonight is circuit training (kind of) at my chiro's office, and tomorrow morning is even more relaxed with a Pilates class (maybe a little TM run if I feel like it). I push and push and push because I know that Monday is coming (my rest day).
Yesterday at lunch I ate one serving of these delicious little cookies. One serving turned into two, and then another few cookies just to make sure I was REALLY feeling full. Bleh. But come plyometrics class, I was actually sort of glad I had them - last time I took the class I felt a little faint because I didn't eat enough before class. Last night there was no chance of that. I felt much better! And although cookies probably weren't the greatest idea, it did teach me a good lesson - I need to pack more carbs for lunch and eat fewer carbs for dinner. The silver lining!
Did I meet yesterday's goals?
Water - YES
Dinner plan - mostly. I was SO hungry after my classes that I added a teeny piece of pizza to my dinner (my honey made it for lunch - delish), but I *did* manage to keep to my 1/2 a tuna sandwich.
Hot tea - YES. LOVE the hot tea cue.
100% at the gym - YES. And today my legs feel like I gave 4809809%.
Compliment - YES. I focused on the good kids at school today and praised like crazy!
BONUS! School work - got some done at school. Wahoo!
drink tons of water
eat a healthy dinner (I'm thinking pasta and a salad...)
Eat some ice cream (so I stop thinking about it!)
Clean up the dining room
This morning I:
packed my lunch
ordered some stuff for school - been on my To-Do list for way too long
drank a big glass of water
got my clothes ready for the chiro
felt really happy that today is Friday
hit the snooze button once and enjoyed every minute of it
Happy Friday and Happy Sparking!
Thursday, January 14, 2010
I'm almost finished with my second week of my New Year's Experiment - waking up at 5:00, doing my housework/ lunch packing/ gym clothes packing in the morning, going to the gym after school, and taking the evening to relax guilt-free. These past two weeks have been great! I've gotten in some really good workouts at the gym, planned my daily meals and have done well with staying within my calorie and nutrient ranges, and have felt really calm and organized. I think it's eliminated a lot of stress for me. I like when I have most parts of my day planned out, especially when they are packed full of stuff. The weekends are my time to ease off the planning and kind of let stuff just flow.
Mornings are a great "me" time - I can sip my coffee, pack a good lunch, check up on my Spark Buddies...
It's also helped me to keep my eating under control at night. For a while when I got home at night, I'd grab some random food for dinner. A piece of bread here, an apple there, some crackers and cheese... hoping it would add up to some semblance of a dinner. It never did. It just led me to too many calories and no sense of satiety. Now I know that I am going to have (X) for dinner. And even if I'm starving when I get home, I have a glass of water and remember that I have the evening planned out. One thing I *do* need to do differently, though, is drink even MORE water when i come home from the gym. I think I'm confusing my thirst for hunger, even though I know there is a difference.
Good stuff I've done today already (because I like to look at the positive!):
Drank a bunch of water
Packed a balanced lunch
Made tuna salad for tonight's dinner
Started a load of dishes
Packed up for the gym tonight
Entered my food for the day
Good stuff that I *will* do today (because I need to have goals every day):
Drink lots more water
Stick to my dinner plan
Keep using hot tea as my cue to stop eating (it's really been working!)
Give 100% at the gym tonight
Give someone a compliment
Goals from yesterday?
Water - YES
Class work - um, no. I think I need to write this into my schedule... it's so easy to put off until Saturday morning. Maybe at school today...?
Put away laundry - YES
Easy on the Hob Nobs - YES, amazingly enough.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
But I actually didn't freak out! I was able to tell her without feeling sick. One of my small, totally shallow goals was to be able to tell someone my weight without being embarrassed. I had forgotten all about that goal until yesterday when I was asked. What an odd feeling that was - blurting out my weight without apologizing for it. Huh.
Last night was a marathon gym session - three classes in a row. Phew! My legs are feeling good today! I learned something from yesterday - I need to eat a little something before I leave school so that my blood sugar doesn't go crazy low, and also so that when I get home from a night like that I don't go crazy eating all night. I didn't do too badly, eating-wise, last night, but I def felt myself eating more than I should have. (Stayed in my calorie range, though!)
I had planned on doing another spin class tonight - I'm going to see how I feel after the abs class tonight, though. I think my legs will be just fine. And I already planned the time, I might as well go. We'll see.
Planned my dinner for tonight already - took some tomato sauce and shrimp out of the freezer for some pasta. LOVE having food in the freezer - makes planning my weekly dinners so much easier!
Off to fold some laundry before school...
Today I will:
Drink at least 4 Siggs of water
Do some class work
Put away my clean laundry
Take it easy on the Hob Nobs after dinner.
Happy Hump Day!
Edited to say - I would NEVER think of asking someone how much they weigh, but the way in which I was asked wasn't a *nosy* way, but rather an interested way. I was asked by the same woman who tells me how great I look every time I see her - she has this great Eastern European accent - and has really pushed me to keep going on this journey. I couldn't imagine being asked the question by anyone but her.
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