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November goal review and December goal setting

I can’t believe it’s already December 1st! I think I say this to myself every time we enter a new month. Mostly, I can’t believe that 2011 is coming to an end. It’s been an interesting year, but I feel like I’m ending it on a high note and I feel very blessed.

Anyway, a month ago today I posted my November goals. I’m glad I only set a few because it ended up being another busy month, but let’s see how I did.

My November 2011 Goals

  1. Get at least one more room of our house “finished” – Um, sort of? I did put a lot of stuff away when I thought someone was coming to clean our house (remind me not to buy anymore Groupons for cleaning companies) and I’ve also gotten a good start on Christmas decorating. Nothing is really ever “finished” right?
  2. Send out some handwritten cards – YES! I sent out the two cards I mentioned last time and I’ve also been trying to send encouraging messages to people on Facebook and via text. It’s been good and people really seem to appreciate it.
  3. Bake, bake, bake – I have taken this one to a whole new level. I’ve baked desserts, enchiladas, vegan meatloaf for Thanksgiving, cinnamon rolls from scratch (first time ever), and a lot more that I’m sure I’m leaving out (plus some no bake things too). Very happy with this one and want to continue.
  4. Homemade Christmas presents – I’m working on this one too. I didn’t get started until the week of Thanksgiving but I’ve already got one gift nearly finished and just a few more to do before December 25th, let’s hope I can buckle down!
  5. Rest – I haven’t taken a nap in a few weeks so I definitely need to get on this. I also didn’t do enough fun shopping/browsing but hopefully I can find some small local shops to visit this month (no malls or Target for me this time of year, too much stress). But I have been spending more time at home during the week and I’m learning to say no to things from time to time when I just don’t have the energy to be somewhere.

So, in review, even though they each required a little explanation, I would say I was fairly successful at meeting my goals for November. I could have done better but at least I made some intentions and followed through on all of them to some extent.

Now, what to do for December? Hmm…

My December 2011 goals

  1. Stay active during the holidays – The colder it gets outside, the harder it is for me to stay motivated to go out, get in the car and go to the gym. It’s easy when I’m at work because the gym is here, but we get a little over a week off after Christmas and being away from work (hence, off my normal “schedule”) can make staying active more difficult. But I have plenty of options to use over the break, including a temporary membership to the YMCA and a Groupon for Zumba/Yoga classes, so no excuses. Staying active to me means getting in some sort of movement outside of your normal daily activities at least a few days a week and resting when you need to as well (it’s important to recognize resting needs vs. wants, ha ha).
  2. Keep up with reading/listening – I see a theme here. Keeping up with the things I’m already doing now while I’m off work. In the past few months I have discovered audio books and it helped me reach my goal of reading 12 books in 2011, I’m actually on #13 right now. I buy them at a used bookstore and then sell them back to buy more, but I also live down the street from a public library, so I need to utilize that more. This will be easy to do for most of the month but I think this one will be challenging at home because I won’t be at my desk with headphones on able to listen. Perhaps I will be able to read a “real” book that week! Ha ha. Maybe that’s the real goal here, read one “paper” book. If you are interested in what I read or want to swap book ideas, find me on Goodreads. I have decided to up my goal to 24 books in 2012, eek!
  3. Stay happy – This one is not just for me but for all of you as well. It’s so easy to get bogged down by this time of year. The changing weather and less sunlight can be depressing, or maybe you are just stressed out by the holidays in general, or by your family and friends. Things can get kind of crazy this time of year. My friend Rob wrote a post around Thanksgiving called GrAttitude where he talked about how we “ramp up into higher gear.  Guests coming over, visiting relatives, dinners to cook, houses to clean, games to watch, presents to buy, etc.  The purpose of the holiday gets lost, stress increases, relationships strain…” I agree with him that our attitude really determines how things go. We can make a choice to be angry or stressed out  for whatever reason or we can choose to put it all aside and give thanks to God for all our blessings. We can choose to be grateful and happy. (Disclaimer: I know this “choice” doesn’t apply to everyone, some of you are probably dealing with some very tough emotions right now, maybe you lost a loved one recently or you are just going through a difficult time in life. I just pray you are able to find joy and happiness.)
  4. Send Christmas cards – This is something I haven’t done in years, believe it or not. I just sort of got out of the habit and now that we know so many people I was always afraid that we wouldn’t be able to do one for everybody and then someone would get offended and so on. Another one of my goals for 2012 is to care less about what people think or at least don’t invent what I think people will think because I’m probably wrong anyway. But I plan to send a few or some, as many as I can and to write thoughtful messages in them and not just sign my name to a stack of cards (not that there’s anything wrong with that, ha ha).
  5. See November’s goals – I want to keep up with what I started last month. They were all good goals that I believe can apply all year long.

So what about you? What do you want to accomplish in December and the final month of 2011?

It’s getting real

Since the end of April, Josh and I have been in a long, drawn out, emotionally frustrating process of buying our first home, a condo that we fell in love with near my parents. I will be writing more about all of that at a later date, because believe me I have a lot to say!

But for now, I just want to say that it is finally getting real. We are doing our final walk-through tomorrow afternoon and then we are closing on Friday! I can’t believe it is finally happening 🙂

Oh yeah, now we get to pack, eek!

Thanks to my aunt Leslie for donating all the boxes and my mom for transporting them over. We are so blessed with awesome family & friends! I have a feeling they are all going to come in handy over the next month, we are so very lucky to not be doing any of this alone 🙂

Guess who?


Thanks so much you lovely people who left comments on my last post. I’m so glad I took a break for myself because I really, really learned a lot about stress the past week or so. I feel like I’m breaking some new ground 🙂

I’m not back 100% yet but I had such a good night that I couldn’t help but want to share it with you guys. First, a new vino!

I picked up this Bubo Pinot Grigio at Whole Foods yesterday along with a red of another brand I will try at a later date. I love trying new wines and this one stood out to me because of the cute owl on the label.

Did you know that “Bubo” means “owl” in Latin? 😉

I tend to prefer reds over whites because I don’t like anything real sweet, but this one wasn’t at all. And it also wasn’t as “strong” like a chardonnay. I’m no wine expert so I hope my little “review” made sense!

For dinner, I made roasted chickpeas, mixed veggies and this whole wheat couscous. It does exist!!

I love couscous but one of the things that bothered me was the low fiber and not being a “whole grain” so I’m glad to have found this variety. It packs several grams of fiber and protein. Woo hoo!

Since I had a gift card to use at Whole Foods, I decided to try a new dessert as a celebration for finding my happy balance and a pre-celebration for the half marathon on Saturday!

When I still ate dairy, one of my favorite flavors of ice cream was coffee, so I was hoping this would be a good replacement!

And it was! 🙂

The best part about last night was that I felt totally in tune with my body. I waited to eat dinner until I was hungry (even though I hadn’t had anything in five hours), I only had one glass of wine and one serving of ice cream. It was all I needed and my full stomach and happy heart let me know.

It’s amazing how when I’m not incredibly stressed out, bored, tired, etc. I don’t “need” that second glass or cup. Instead, I treated myself to a nice hot bath with relaxing music.

Looking forward to more nights like this!

Getting out of my own head

Yesterday, I was ready to run. It had been five days since I had last and I wasn’t sure how it was going to go. You see, I’ve been pretty stressed out lately and not handling it so well. But I do love to run and always feel better after I do, if I can get myself out the door.

I decided to keep it simple. I would wear a watch but not look at it. No iPod. A 3 mile course I am familiar with. No plans to run intervals or not. Just go. Run.

  • Time: 29:05
  • Distance: 3 miles
  • Avg. pace: 9:42/mile

It was one of the best runs ever. At the start, my legs felt a little stiff so I said a few things to myself:

“What is good about this run? Well, I’m out here. The weather is perfect. I can breathe fine. I look good.”

“And what is bad? My legs feel weird. I’m doubting myself. And…Is that all? Well then, I GOT THIS!”

I managed to work through some stress and negativity on this run which made it that much better. I enjoyed working up a sweat and the long stretches I did afterwards. And I am going to enjoy this half marathon on Saturday, rain or shine.

Because I can 🙂

Thank you all for your sweet and supportive comments. I’m a work in progress but I have hope that I can get back to a more balanced life soon!

Pound for Pound: Week 5

I can’t believe we are five weeks into this challenge already! We still have a long way to go (ends June 30th) but I’m sure it will fly by.

If you’ve missed any of my weekly updates along the way, check out my Pound for Pound Challenge page.

Last week, I felt like I had finally overcome emotional eating and I still feel like I am in control of that. I don’t think it’s something you get over permanently but I’ve definitely made a step in the right direction.

I also wanted to focus more on what makes me happy and stress less. I feel like I worked on that this week but I’ve still got a ways to go. Going to a conference with my husband and some really great Christian friends definitely boosted my spirits though!

I also challenged myself to get in two days of weight training, which I am proud to say I managed to complete!

And I journaled every day but had to break the 9:00 rule a couple of times while I was out of town just due to scheduling. But I only ate if I was hungry, so I am proud of that.

Overall, even though I was out of town Thursday-Saturday, I felt like I did pretty good with my eating and exercise. I wrote down everything and exercised in the hotel gym Thursday (ran 2 miles) and Friday (morning-elliptical and weight training, evening-ran 3 miles).

I did not eat ONE thing that was not vegan the entire trip, even though keeping it this way was very challenging at times. So I had a clear conscience as well.

Let’s see how I did…

Last week’s weight: 147.8 lbs

This week’s weight: 147.5 lbs (-0.3)

Total pounds lost: 4.1 (5.9 to go)

I am so excited that 5 weeks in, I am getting close to halfway to my goal (of 10 lbs). I definitely feel like I have faced a few challenges along the way so far (like going out of town) and yet have been successful. This is a great feeling!

I’m telling you guys: journaling, exercise and attitude. That is what is working for me. I don’t “diet” or restrict my calories, I just eat when I’m hungry and portion control so I don’t go crazy. I average 1700-2000 per day depending on my activity (I eat more on long run days).

I exercise about 6 days a week, sometimes running, sometimes weight training and sometimes taking the dog for a nice walk. It doesn’t have to be a certain amount of time or a certain intensity to be effective. Every little bit counts, just make sure you do something!

My attitude has to be positive. Even if I had gained weight this week, I would’ve been okay with it. I also didn’t expect to lose a lot, so I didn’t set myself up for disappointment that way. Just do the best you can and go with the flow. Be happy and confident!

It felt so good to stock up my refrigerator and pantry yesterday and I’m looking forward to a good week of healthy eating and moving. With the exception of today, the weather should be lovely this week so I am really looking forward to that.

Thanks again to all the ladies who guest posted for me while I was gone. You all rock!

Checking in with Lent

Did you all give up anything for Lent? How’s it going? I gave up eating bars for Lent, which seems silly but it has been quite the challenge. Like any good or bad habit though, I feel like a few weeks was all it took to break myself of eating them. I really think I’ll go back to eating bars sometimes but mostly Larabars (which have few ingredients) or making them myself.


I would like to get in 2 more days of weight training this week and make that a regular thing. I’ve been doing my own Body Pump style workout but I think I might change it up and try some heavier weights with less reps this week. Gotta keep the body guessing!

I also want to get outside as much as possible. Spring is finally here and after the long cold winter we had, I must take full advantage 🙂

What are your goals for this week?