Archive for December, 2013

jump on the bandwagon: 2013, a look back

December 31, 2013

Like you haven’t heard all this before…

2013, the year I lost 38 pounds, quit smoking, and found out I liked running…

What else did I do this year?  Well, I learned more about sewing with knits, making swing jackets for a coworker, dresses for myself, and most recently the fancy pants…

I also sewed some coffee cozies and mug rugs.  Oh, and finished the quilt I started years ago:

quilt

And now, it is time to look forward to what will be…

Welcome 2014.

what to add for 2014?

December 30, 2013

It is time to make a new change, to add something in to my health and fitness life.

See, back at the beginning of 2013 I began counting calories.  In August I added in exercise (cardio) and quit smoking but quit counting calories.  Then, at the end of November I added back in counting calories.

Now, I think it is time to add in some strength training!  Way back in the day, 1994-ish, I lifted.  I didn’t do cardio if I could avoid it but weights?  Loved it!  Time to re-embrace that feeling of power.  Back then I belonged to a great gym, even worked there for a while.  Currently a gym won’t be an option so I am starting to research bodyweight exercises.

Not giving up my cardio though, turns out I enjoy it.

Biggest loser update:  our team for the big challenge is at 6 people and our local competition group is 10 people.  People have until Friday to join and then weigh-in is by the end of the day on Monday.   I’m excited and plan on kicking ass again this year.  I maintained everything I lost in last year’s competition so I have happy hopes for this year’s!!!

sewing for exercise

December 28, 2013

Oh, if only sewing really counted as exercise… I would easily be svelte!

So this morning I achieved my plan of making new exercise gear.  Two new pairs of fancy pants:

pants-dotspants-redblue

Sadly, I didn’t have enough of the dots fabric to make a matching top.  I did have enough of the red/blue fabric on the right to do so.   And hair wraps as well from both though I only photographed the one.

top-redbluehairwrap

I wore the red/blue pants to walk this evening and had to change out of them after a mile and a half…  They are warm!  So, I can see them working well for those early cold mornings when the back room where the treadmill resides is chilly but today wasn’t a very cold day so they were a bit much.

In between my sewing this morning and walking this evening we went and ate at the Chinese buffet then came home and napped.  All in all, a relaxing Saturday!  (With a bit of sadness in the day as well as I watched my motorcycle go off to its new home. We sold it yesterday and they came to get it today.  Maybe someday I will get another…)

Sewing plans for the weekend

December 27, 2013

Fancy pants!  I am going to make some stretchy leggings for my treadmill walks.  Mid-calf length.  I have been picking up some wild knit prints.  My original plan for the fabric was tank dresses but I really don’t need more for around the house but fancy exercise pants? Need.

Imitation Buffs!  Today I took the Buff I got at REI, pulled it over my wet hair, and twisted it into a bun that was kind of cool.  So, I’m going to seam up some tubes from leftovers from the pants and see if I can’t make hair accessories to match my new fancy pants.

Bonus:  If I can figure out how to lay out the pattern to get enough leftover fabric on some… matching tank tops.

I love starting the weekend with a plan!

Christmas Eve Ramblings

December 24, 2013

I thought it was a better title than Tuesday night ramblings…  So let’s start off with some cuteness:

IMG_20131224_182415

Exercise continues.  I am actually pretty proud that I have pretty diligently been exercising for about five months now… I’d be more impressed with myself if I was regularly running 2+ miles but I am regularly walking 2+ miles so it’s better than sitting on the couch.

Diet continues.  I am back to counting calories religiously and it works for me! And yes, I’m counting today and tomorrow… even if I go over, it is better to be consistent.  Funny though, I’m actually a little under today.  It likely helps my goals that we don’t really do anything special for Christmas, I’m rather a grinch and getting grinchier every year.  The other thing that helped was dinner ending up not so good and getting fed to the outdoor cats…

Getting really excited about “The Biggest Loser” competition starting up at work.  I sent out the email for the competitions today and our team is getting off to a great start.  I plan on kicking ass at the competition again this year… money motivates me.  I maintained the loss that I ended last year’s with and ready to go for more!!!  Also considering doing DietBet as well, they have a 4 week, 4% competition and a 6 month, 10% one…

That brings up another motivator for me:  technology!  As I mentioned before, my Fitbit is like crack.  And it feeds into MyFitnessPal.  That alone is motivating.  Add in technology based earnings with the Fitbit feeding into Earndit, Everymove, Achievemint, Walgreens, and the Weightloss Project as well… more crack.

So, 2014 is getting close.  I can’t say as I am going to set resolutions… I just plan on continuing the path of improvement I’m on… lose weight, get fitter, continue not smoking…

On to a different topic… sewing.  Yesterday I had to drive to Harrisburg and since I was there, visited PA Fabric Outlet.  OMG!  I restrained myself and only spent $40!  Lots of really great fabrics.  I rank it below Fabric Mart though… not just for the fabrics but the people were a tad bit friendlier at Fabric Mart…  Last weekend I sewed two bags, because what I need is more bags, not.  That might be part of my Christmas day as well, sewing.

Oh, speaking of bags… I won a bag from Fitmark, specifically I won their Namaste bag.  Nice to win something, ‘specially a bag, but I really would have rather had their “The Box” or one of their messenger bags.  Oh well, beggars can’t be choosers… but I think I’m likely going to give it away as it’s really most useful if you are carting a yoga mat (and I can’t see me ever doing that!)

Okay, time for bed so that Santa can arrive.  No cookies in the house for him, well I do have some chocolate goldfish (35 goldfish = 140 calories!) but I prefer not to share (like I said, grinchier!)

Walking at a weird time.

December 16, 2013

I normally walk in the mornings on work days.  But, today didn’t work out like normal…

First, I had to be to work early today so I didn’t do my normal Monday morning run/walk. Then, instead of being at my office for the majority of the day where I walk around occasionally & often also walk to other buildings throughout the day I sat in a meeting for a few hours. Then my boss took two coworkers and I to Chipotle for a late lunch.

This is where the Fitbit and tracking my food on MFP really works to motivate me.  I’d only walked 3,000 steps today and would be way over on calories with my dinner added onto the lunch.

Unacceptable!

So I got my butt onto the treadmill and walked over 3 miles.  Now I am over 11,000 total steps for the day and while I’m still over on my calorie goal for the day it isn’t nearly as bad and dinner tasted that much better!

Yay me!

Yuck to winter!

December 14, 2013

One more week! I love the winter solstice because it means days start getting longer again!  I prefer to drive in the daylight and with shorter days it doesn’t often work out that way in the evenings.

Right now I’m sitting on the couch and looking out the window occasionally at the snow falling.  I will move to the treadmill soon, open up the curtains on the sliding glass door and walk and watch it accumulate.  If it does because it is seeming to change over to rain.  Oh well, watching rain out the door works too.

My weight is headed back down in the correct direction.  It amazes me how quickly I am seeing results again!  Why?  Nothing magic… Move more, eat less.  For me this means obsessively counting my calories, I use an app for that (MyFitnessPal.)  And then I have the Fitbit which like I said before is crack.  It gives me daily feedback on whether I’m getting off my ass enough and connects to MFP to give me more calories to eat if I exercise more.

I really haven’t been running so much as I’ve been walking.  But that’s okay.  My goals are not to run a marathon… Right now the primary focus is to get the weight down.  My next goal is 175.  On the way to that goal I will continue the walking with the occasional running that I am doing.

Come the new year I will up the running plan again in prep for my first real 5K at the end of March.

My other 2014 goal is to reach 150 by my birthday in July.  I totally see it as achievable.  Then I’ll reassess what I want to work on next, whether I set a new lower goal or work on strictly maintenance.

I’m really excited for the new year!  I’m the Wellness Ambassador at work now (me? who would have thought!)  Every year we do “The Biggest Loser” which is company wide.  I’m also going to run a local version for just our program since some of my coworkers have expressed that they’d join something local but don’t want to compete company-wide.

Last year I came in 3rd across all the women in the company and won $100.  Then our team got 4th place.  I’m aiming for 1st place this year!  It’s based on percentage lost for the individual, then the team winnings are based on maintaining the loss at the end of the individual challenge.

Well, off to watch it rain.  The snow that was accumulating when I started typing is now completely gone.

Race planning!

December 6, 2013

It’s December which means it’s almost 2014!  Only 15 more days until the solstice which is an awesome day since it means days will start getting longer again!!

So far I have only two races planned in 2014:

One in March, a local 5K.  I picked this one because it isn’t likely anyone I know will do it and I plan, at this point, for it to be my first real 5K…  It looks like, combined with runners and walkers, about 300 participants.

A commercial fun mud / obstacle run, the Dirty Girl run.  I’ll be doing this one with some friends / co-workers.  I expect this is like The Color Run with some crazy number of participants up into the many thousands.

I would like to find other 5Ks but nothing caught my eye for location when I looked through some of the sites I know of to find races.

How do you find local small 5Ks?

Crack.

December 3, 2013

The Fitbit is a little piece of electronic crack.  Seriously, instant addiction.

When you beat your goals the dashboard on the website puts up this little green smiley face and it says “Hooray!”  Sunday I went upstairs for no reason other than to push my stair count over my goal so that I would have green smileys all the way across my top row (steps, mileage, stairs).

In the few short days I’ve had it I have found myself taking extra steps to do things because I know I have it on and those extra steps are extra calories…

I’ve also been wearing it at night to track sleep and it confirms what I knew… I sleep like a rock.

And now, I must end this entry, time to go start the day with at least 3500 steps on the treadmill!  (I am currently mostly just walking…)

Tattoo… You?

December 1, 2013

Today, while wandering on WordPress, I found The Daily Post blog that gives ideas for daily posts and today’s was Tattoo… You? I decided to use the same title and share my tattoo and its story (which isn’t profound or exciting, just is.)

I always wanted at least one tattoo. I can remember being a teenager in the 80s and thinking about what I might want as a future tattoo.  For you younguns, note, this was not necessarily normal behavior as back then it wasn’t at all acceptable to have ink like it is nowadays.

Fast forward a few years, I became old enough for a tattoo but it wasn’t a priority to spend money on!  Then I met my husband.  He had a giant tattoo of an eagle, that was a cover-up for a well-endowed bull, that had been a cover-up of a woman’s name.  Whenever I would bring up wanting a tattoo he would be discouraging and point to his as an example of why I might not want to start down the tattoo path.

Fast forward a few more years.  We were at a motorcycle rally in June 2009 and I was outwardly admiring the many tattoos around when finally the husband said, “if you really want one, get one.”  Well, needless to say, the next stop that day was the tattoo guy.  Luckily it was a good one and I got my first tattoo, a crab with a goofy expression, on my upper right arm.

crab

Why a crab?  Since I was born in July, the crab is my zodiac symbol and I’ve always liked them (though I consider the zodiac a pile of hooey.)   The goofy expression is because I can be a little goofy at times and it just made me smile when I looked at the picture.

Then two months later we went to another motorcycle rally where Doby was set up again and I got a beach and such added to my crab.

crabwithbeach

The next year we went again to the rally in August and I had Doby add a dolphin into the water.

crabwithdolphin

Nothing got added in 2011 because that was the year I had a massive DVT in my leg and spent the entire summer on Warfarin.  Between my blood being thin and my leg being week, there was no motorcycle riding and no tattooing for me that year!

In June of 2012 we went back to the rally in Johnstown, PA.  It really isn’t my favorite one, spread across the town, open to the public, and commercialized (read: overpriced everything) but Doby is there so we drove up for the day just to get tattooing done.  I got a fish added.  Yes, it looks like Nemo.  No, that wasn’t my thought in picking it…

crabwithfish  I need to take a better picture then the one from the day it was done…

Since I’d skipped a year of inking, I got a second tattoo that day.  This is on my left inner wrist.

flower

That is it so far.  It is true, tattoos become addicting!  I absolutely want more… I have a few other ocean items I’d like to add to my right arm to finish it off.  Then I have a concept in mind for my left arm, grass, flowers, bees, trees, butterflies, and such.  Possibly an ankle tattoo… who knows.

The possibilities are almost endless.  I say “almost” because I prefer to keep them where I can see them and show them off if I want to and cover them when I don’t.


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