2012 resolutions//to do list

Happy New Year, everyone!

Wishing you all the very best for this upcoming year. We ended our year right with a fun party, bubbly drinks, and lots of laughing.

I recapped 2011 and all the resolutions I made for it yesterday. I am so excited to work on my 2012 goals!

And here they are:

  1. Finish the half-marathon & the Dirty Dash
  2. Fit in fitness 4 days a week {I already do this – just a goal to keep it up!}
  3. Get my goal weight and stay there {I have been doing Weight Watchers and I am getting there!}
  4. Take 4 classes for my MBA
  5. Pay down $6,000 on my student loans
  6. Save $ for a trip to NYC for my 30th birthday {June 2013}
  7. Write 2 blog posts every week
  8. Live super frugally! Scrimp on the unnecessary to pay off student loan debt and save for trip. Some ideas:
  • Limit “extras” to $100/month. Includes clothes, shoes, books, alcohol, coffee runs, household items like décor, kitchen stuff, gym stuff including passes
  • Make my own dishsoap, laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, etc.
  • Start a garden
  • Eat $1 dinners twice a week (pasta+sauce, veggie+rice, grilled cheese sandwiches, baked potatoes, pancakes…)
  • Make menus every week
  • Be a better couponer
  • Come up with a free or VERY cheap date once a month
  • Buy or make Christmas gifts months ahead
  • Reuse//revamp
  • More DIY//craftiness!
  • Blog about this monthly!

9. Lastly, some house projects that are our highest priority in 2012*:

  • Build a shed
  • Put in a vegetable garden and an herb garden
  • Paint interior doors and trim
  • SUPER organize the garage
  • Re-caulk shower, and get new or fix up old shower door {maybe frost it?} in master bathroom
  • Hang curtains in the office and spare bedroom and figure out something for the bay windows in the kitchen
  • Get outdoor lighting
  • Replace kitchen faucet
  • Make the laundry room also a functional mud room

*PS: It might seem like a lot to take on with all those penny-pinching plans, but it’s how we roll. If there’s one thing we do well in our household, it’s save on the little things so we can pay cash for the things we really want to do. The last two months of 2011 I fell out of the mindset and went rather crazy on the spending {compared to my norm} and it’s time to get back on track!

What are your resolutions and plans for 2012?

quick & easy breakfast

I’ve made it a new goal to actually eat breakfast daily. Most of the time that means oatmeal with dried fruit and nuts in it. But this is my favorite new breakfast – a tofu scramble!! This will give you energy to last til lunch and it’s super fast and tasty!

Ingredients:

  • Extra firm tofu (1/5 of a block, water pressed out)
  • Vegetables of your choice (in this one I used yellow peppers, tomato and spinach)
  • Salt & pepper (I used garlic salt, too)
  • Hot sauce or salsa

Steps:

1. Chop chop chop.

2. Saute (if using spinach, put it in right before serving).

3. Serve!

(For anyone who cares, this entire meal pictured is 2 points on Weight Watchers Points Plus). For a little more substance, you could wrap in a tortilla. Totally loving this meal right now!

some thoughts on weight loss/maintenance and motivation

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar

Today I hit my Saturday Weight Watchers meeting planning to just weigh and go, but saw the quote above on the board. I am a sucker for motivational talk, goal-making, and inspiration gathering. It made me think for a moment about my week. It was a successful one, health-wise. I got 6 workouts in, lost a couple pounds, tried some great new vegan recipes, and took some time for myself because my husband was out of town. I was motivated by my week’s freedom, to take advantage of my time better. It was lovely! Not to say I wanted my husband to never come back- ha! But I certainly needed some re-focus time.

Next week’s going to be particularly busy. My little brother is getting married Friday! I am throwing a party for them at my house Friday evening, which I am absolutely looking forward to, but that also means the week will be super-busy with cleaning, party prep, shopping, food assembly and cooking, etc! Work’s gonna be super-insane, too, and husband and I are going to a concert Tuesday night! Phew!

It’s weeks like the upcoming one that I find myself making excuses for not staying on track. So I decided to make myself a little list of things that motivate me (short and long term) for weeks like this, when I need a little push to make the smart choices {fully aware some of these are so ridiculous, but whatever works!}:

  • That next goal. I’m almost to my 5% weight loss goal! This week should get me there if I only stay with it. GREAT motivation.
  • That little “carrot.” For all my planning ahead, squeezing in gym time, foregoing the cocktails, munching on actual carrots – a girl deserves some reward carrots! This week my eyes will be on a super-awesome prize… cashing in my manicure gift certificate next weekend!
  • A new season. Time to embrace healthy soups, skinny jeans, running outdoors, hiking… there are healthy things about every season, even the ones that encourage you to wear MORE layers.
  • That one picture. You know the one. It’s either that one you want to burn forever or that one you want to use as your FB profile pic because you’re kind of under the delusion that’s still the real you? Whichever motivates you! For me it’s a picture I self-took in the mirror in 2008 of a t-shirt reconstruction project. I had dieted and ran my ass off to get to a (small for me but healthy/realistic) 115lbs. Keeping it off is the hardest part but I sometimes just need a reminder I got there once and I can get there again. THEN it will be time for the before picture magneted to the fridge.
  • That one walking cautionary tale. This sounds horrible, but sometimes the best motivation in the world for me is seeing someone who’s a what-not-to-do billboard. I have one in my office. Don’t want to be requiring surgeries and multiple meds in 15 years? Don’t do what this person does. Do the opposite. This stuff matters over the long haul and it’s easy to “forget” when it’s inconvenient.
  • Blogs. I check my faves often but really I should make time to do so every single day for the motivation factor.
  • Those silly mini-goals. I try to give myself a couple little healthy mini-goals and just incorporate them into my to-do list each week. I am pretty diligent about my to-do lists, and seeing those each day makes me take them seriously and work them in. These aren’t lifestyle changers – more like, try a new recipe, or stretch ever day, or walk at lunch 3 days. No matter what this tends to get me at least one or two wins for my week!
  • Planning ahead. It’s easy to be motivated to do things that take less effort. Duh. So that’s where planning ahead comes in, which is something I struggle with at times. Since I know my week will be busy, tomorrow I will spend some time cooking for the week ahead, planning meals, pre-chopping, etc. No excuses!
  • Blog about it. This is for me here because it works when I reiterate what I know and hold myself accountable. It’s powerful stuff! I am seriously considering starting my own food/fitness blog (would anyone read?) for my own motivational purposes!

How about you guys? How do you get/stay motivated? What’s on your to-do list to make you healthier and happier?

foodie

I kind of have a weird relationship with food. I am kind of obsessed with it. I love to look at it. I like certain food colors together, like green and red. I have a real thing for green and red food together. It’s nonsensical. I also love food that is small. Gummy bears. Bento boxes. Tiny desserts.

I am in two cooking clubs.

I plan my meals for the week ahead every weekend.

I read cooking blogs and obsess over well-styled food photography.

I’m very conscious of the food I have in my fridge and pantry at a given time.

If I know I’m going out to eat somewhere I already know I like, I get anxiety over wanting to have the same, safe choice. I feel guilty if I don’t love (and try) everything. I do love almost everything. Except: chunks of beef in soup, hot dogs, mayonnaise, thousand island dressing, pork chops, bacon on a burger, coconut.

I read about veganism and food sources and processing, and different diets, and nutrition and why French women don’t get fat.

Pretty much, I am weird.

Two weekends ago, I re-joined Weight Watchers. I won’t get into the entire thought process behind it. I have issues of many varieties, and Weight Watchers helps conquer many: the meetings serve as therapy, I’m accountable for all my food/fitness choices when someone else weighs me every week, and counting up those points? You know I love a challenge.

Plus, I get to think about food ALL THE TIME. Because point-counting takes so much pre-planning, I get to obsess over food. I look at recipes all the time and find ways to skinny-fy it. I measure, weigh, count. Make lists and menus. And my obsessive-compulsive tendencies are quenched. Really! When painstakingly planning my outfits AND my meals, I barely feel the need to alphabetize everything.

I don’t actually have a concrete goal in mind. I am at a healthy weight. My goal weight, which I get to choose next Saturday probably, won’t be too much lower than where I am, but did you know, once you reach your goal weight, you can keep being a member without paying anything, so long as you maintain your weight? I am very motivated by the cost savings as much as the weight loss.

And did I mention I will be going to Hawaii next winter? HELLO, BIKINI.

Down 3lbs :p

This is a warning for the possibly MANY food/nutrition related posts coming in the future!