January 20, 2011

P90X Part II: Dear Tony

Dear Tony,

Forgive me for I have sinned. It has been over three months since my last workout. I completed P90X and thought surely I would move on to another workout program. This didn't happen. I have no excuse, it just didn't happen. I even thought about calling you up one more time to start over but to be honest I was tired of your jokes and the repetition of the routine. I am sorry to say that. Now that I have been away for so long, I have decided to pull out my P90X DVDs, Meal Plan and Workout Schedules and give it another run. On Monday you will be happy to know that I started P90X strong, and I intend to keep going strong until the final day.

My first run at the program last year was hard. Not only was I overweight but I was truly out of shape. I shouldn't have stayed away for as long as I did. I was so happy to lose the weight I had lost, even though I wished it would have been more. Once I finished my first 90 days, I tried to stay active using my elliptical but let's face it, that machine can be SO boring. I had the best intentions to go ahead and start P90X again right after Halloween. If you're wondering why it's because I had hoped to look 100 times better in my Halloween costume than I actually did. I was determined after that, but apparently not determined enough. The first week of November came and it went, and the second week came, and it went as well, and before I knew it Thanksgiving was upon me. On the plus side, I did get a few compliments from my boyfriend's sister who was in town. She commented on how both Mike and I looked slimmer than we did the year before. This meant a lot to me since she only sees me once a year. My ultimate goal is to blow her away this year when she's in town. But I don't want to get ahead of myself.

After going home for the New Years holiday I discovered two things. I have worked hard and people do notice my drop in weight, but I realize I can't stop here, I have to continue and really hit my goals. I'm still not as confident as I want to be with myself and I still feel like I'm shrinking into the background because of this. That's where you come in. I am crawling back to you and begging you to give me another chance to BRING IT, as you say.

Thankfully even though it's been over three months since my last workout I'm happy to say I've kept the weight off. I fear my muscle mass has suffered from the lack of weight training but I'm happy that I haven't tipped the scales and completely set myself back to the beginning.

Monday was my day 1, as I said. I'm not going to lie, it wasn't easy, but it wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be either. I feel stronger than I did the first time, which is the way it should be but I was happy to feel good in the workout, not defeated. Tuesday was hard, I've never been a true fan of Plyo. It hurst my knees, even if I modify my moves, but I pushed through and even worked on the bonus round. My legs hurt, my arms hurt, my chests hurts and at the risk of sounding silly, Tony, my boobs hurt! I want to yell at you and ask you what you're doing to me but in the end it's for my own good. Yesterday was awesome - I'm a huge fan of the arm workouts, you could bring them all day long. What made me even more happy was that I was able to start with a heavier weight this time. I'm not up to the weight I was using when I finished the program last year. It's still a little too heavy, but I can use the second weight I went to after beginning my first round and that makes me excited. I hope to see better results this time around since I can not only push myself a bit harder and lift more but also have the knowledge on how to do all the moves properly and often times without watching the video.

Bottom line is I'm back Tony. I'm back to fight another 90 days in this program and I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me of my sins. I'll still have my once a week cheat meal and I'll still bitch to you as loud as I can while I'm doing Ab Ripper, but in the end I know you'll have my back.

So thank you for your time Tony. I promise to BRING IT!

Sincerely, Kelly [the girl with the "sprained" boob]

So there it is ladies n' gents... I'm on day 4 of my second round of P90X. I'm really looking forward to Yoga tonight, because I know in the next few weeks it will probably get on my nerves, but for now it will be exciting and enjoyable. I am hoping that I will be able to do better, push further and do more than I did with my first round of this program. I know I didn't share my final images with you when I completed my first 90 days, and I am sorry about that. To be honest, I wasn't impressed with them, or myself and I was a bit disappointed and slightly embarrassed. Later I realized I just need to give it another try and do the best I can. So I'll be documenting it all here again to hold myself accountable for my actions. I hope the rest of you working on your New Years Goals and Resolutions are doing well and together we can all make it happen for ourselves!!!

Stay tuned for my updates, my bitching and my ups and downs on this program!

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January 17, 2011

dare to dream.

I don't want to talk about football today [although I'm extremely excited about it], I want to talk about something more important. An important man is celebrated today and I really don't think I could put it any better than I did last year. So at the risk of seeming a bit lazy this morning, I want to give a link to my post on this topic last year. Martin Luther King, Jr. will always be a huge role model to me. He was an amazing man. Remember him today for all he was, all he did and all he remains to be to each of us that live with a dream in our hearts and love in our souls.

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January 14, 2011

stuck in a rut.

I know we've all been here... I don't know if rut is the right word or if it's just the best one right now. I'm not feeling negative, just like I'm standing still. The holidays are over, and the resolutions and goals have been made. Progress is taking place but since it's so slow it's hard to get overly excited. I have started to knock a few of my goals off my list in the week since I made it so that is progress. I have to remember to update that on my Project 52 page.

That being said, I still feel a bit rut like. Every day it's the same thing. Schedule after schedule. Day after day. Monday - Friday it all stays the same. Wake-up, take a shower, put in my contacts, moisturize my face, brush my teeth, brush my hair, do my hair, do my make-up, wake up Mike if he is still sleeping, take turns feeding the pets, letting the dog outside, let the dog inside, try to find something to wear, get dressed, fixing my usual morning protein shake, say good-bye to the pets, drop Mike off at work, drive to my office and put in a full day at my desk. Not much changes, most things stay the same. Everyday at 5:00 pm I clock out, drive to get Mike, we drive home, unless it's Wednesday, that's payday and we are forced to run to the grocery store [aka Wally World Hell] to get supplies for meals and anything else we need. Once home it's the same song and dance there are always dirty dishes that need to be cleaned, a full dishwasher that needs to be emptied - how the hell do two people make so many dirty freaking dishes? It's mind boggling! If the dishes aren't dirty and the kitchen is actually clean, there's usually a huge pile of clothing that needs to be washed, again I ask how do two people always make at least three loads of laundry per week? We don't have children - I don't know how the hell you full time working moms and dads do it. I applaud you. Some nights I take time to sit down, relax, it's rare, and will be even more rare starting next week - I plan on doing my second trial of P90X and I always workout right after returning home. This may help my rut feeling, since it's something different in the routine of our lives.

After "chores" We make dinner, we eat dinner, we watch a few of our favorite shows, and by 10:30 pm I'm hopefully in bed and sleeping after watching Chelsea Lately... every.... single... night. The only time we deter from this seamless routine is if we have something to do with his family, or when the weekend comes.  I look forward to Saturday mornings, to sleep in, to not have to leap out of bed and shower, get ready or be forced into a time table but lately, Saturday mornings don't seem like enough.

My entire life feels routine. Even walking into the office each morning I do the same things, in the same order, to open the shop. Turn on all the computers, the lights, the darkroom, make the coffee, answer the phone if it rings and check my email. It rarely changes - if I'm late for work, people here worry that the worst has happened. An accident, or something of that nature. I'm rarely ever late, I'm usually early. I'm dependable, but at the same time that might make me a bit predictable and at risk of saying it, boring.

Like I said I am not negative about my life, but something in me is feeling like I need to break the cycle even just a little bit. Do many of you stop and feel like you've been living on auto pilot? Lately I feel like someone else is at the wheel and I'm just floating through my responsibilities like a  mindless zombie. I'm not sure if this is just what adulthood is all about or if I really do need to shake it up a bit.

Do any of you feel this way? Have similar feelings? And if so what are you doing to switch it up in your life? Maybe we can all help each other.

All this being said - I tend to like to get to bed early, I hate being run down the next day for work, but I also realize I'm only 34, not 84 and it's time to probably stop treating my life like an Early Bird Special and just do something different for a change.

Do you feel stuck in the rat race of life?

[note: this is probably just PMS talking for me, but even if it is I figured I'd get it all out and see what you all have to say... floor is all yours]

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January 10, 2011

hopping on the project 52 bandwagon!

I know, I just listed my 11+ goals for 2011, but after coming across this list generated by Karen on Hotpants' and Cathy's blogs I couldn't pass up making a list of my own. I love making lists, maybe not as much as Cathy [see her blog], but I do enjoy making them, and crossing them off. Not only does it keep my often scattered brain in check at work, the crossing off gives me such a great feeling of accomplishment. Often times I make lists at work and on particularly stressful and busy weeks I keep these lists in a box, in my desk drawer. Why you ask? I'm glad you did, I do this as a reminder of how far I've come in even the most stressful of weeks and how I'm still alive to tell tale.  I've always wanted to do one of these type of lists, and I have often imagined doing and completing many of the different ones around the web - truth is most of those overwhelmed me. While you got a ton of time to complete it, you also had a lot of tasks to accomplish. I think this one is a happy medium. A task for each week of the year. Feel free to join in and please let me know if you're participating I'd love to see your list and your progress as well! I will keep this list as a tab at the top of my blog for easy access if you're interested in knowing how well I'm keeping up with my end of the deal.

Here are my 52 goals/projects for 2011
  1. get a new haircut/style - I have had the same do forever.
  2. read 5 or more books
  3. find a doctor and make an appointment [it's been 8 years, bad, I know!]
  4. take more pictures [using my old manual camera and actual film]
  5. start a photo a day journal/blog
  6. take up a new hobby I've never done before
  7. visit my family in Pennsylvania
  8. make 1 new recipe per month [and blog about it]
  9. complete P90X in it's entirety - 1 more time
  10. take on Turbo Fire or a new workout routine immediately after completing P90X.
  11. get to my goal weight by September
  12. keep the weight off the rest of the year [rest of my life].
  13. find a signature cocktail
  14. save $1,000+ by Dec. 2011
  15. visit the Jack Daniels Distillery in Tennessee
  16. donate blood
  17. wear a bikini this summer, proudly and without shorts
  18. go to a Steelers game
  19. go to another Crimson Tide Game
  20. kayak on a new stretch of water
  21. travel somewhere new even if it's just for a day
  22. contact friends more often via email/phone/text
  23. become pen pals with my "niece" instead of text pals
  24. pay off 1 remaining personal credit card
  25. put a huge dent in/pay off our joint credit card debt together
  26. dress up twice a week [for work/social hours/no reason at all]
  27. purchase at least one impractical but classic item for my wardrobe as a reward for completing at least 2 items on this list, each season.
  28. go camping
  29. visit the beach - toes in the sand even if only for a day.
  30. get a bikini wax [waxing virgin over here]
  31. meet at least 1 blog friend
  32. get new glasses [it's been 2 years and 2 changes in sight]
  33. get tattoo: Memorial to my mother
  34. take the 30 Day Blog Challenge
  35. complete Christmas cards on time
  36. visit at least 3 museums
  37. purchase keyboard for dust collecting Mac [design time]
  38. create something using my new hobby and sell it on etsy
  39. freelance, for fun
  40. have date night once a month with Mike.
  41. donate to at least 2 charities
  42. take a yoga class
  43. take a fashion risk at least once a month [in line with #26]
  44. purchase REAL cowgirl boots in brown [I own black]
  45. visit our local library
  46. purchase 1 sensible item per month at a locally owned store
  47. purchase a pair of TOMS
  48. find 3 ways to live life more green in our home
  49. visit farmers market/homegrown market once a week all summer long
  50. run a mile
  51. visit Colorado for the holidays
  52. write a blog post about each item I complete on the list
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January 05, 2011

happy new year!

I'm only five days late into the new year. That isn't too bad right? Besides it's not like I forgot to send out Christmas cards [totally did], or was late to the New Years Eve party I went to [totally was]... rather than talk about all the things I didn't complete in the year 2010 I figured it might be better to focus on what I'd like to improve upon for 2011.

First off can you believe it's 2011 already? Where did 2010 go? The 20Dias wasn't too hard on me I will admit. I seemed to sail by in no time. I made new friends, kept the old traveled and had as much fun as I could in the time given.

I have tons of things to be thankful for, my small but strong family, Mike's huge and loving family, Mike, my friends, my pets, a job that while at times might stress me out, it's a job and I'm doing what I love so that's a bonus and a roof over my head. I could make this list last forever but I've already said it all.

I'm hoping that my 2011 is nothing short of amazing and better than 2010 was for me. I can't just sit and hope though, I have to do something about it. I have to make it happen and the best way to ensure making the year better for you is to start by improving yourself, right?

I love me - I'm a cool girl and if I met me I'd want to hang out and have a beer, or maybe 8 just to see how crazy this new friend of mine would be after drinking all that... answer being very, especially if I didn't have food that night. I might also be messy so Me meeting Me be warned... I could get sick and you might want to take Me to dinner first.... While I love who I am and what I've become while growing up I also have flaws that I would like to improve upon and like any other red blooded human I have insecurities that I know won't change unless I do something about it. So I present to you, my goals for 2010. A wise dancer once said it's getter to call them goals instead of resolutions and I agree completely.

Goal #1
Get Healthy! Feel better about myself mentally and physically

2011 [with lots of determination] will mark the year I start taking better care of myself. Not just physically but mentally and emotionally as well. I have an amazing support system of friends and loved ones surrounding me but in the end I have to believe all the great things they tell me or it doesn't mean all that it could.  2010 marked the year I tried something new in the fitness world for the first time... P90X. I figured after watching the infommercial a million times during bouts of insomnia I should stop watching and just try it out. I was shocked. I knew it would be hard, but I was floored that after the first month how much better I was doing with it. I will admit, that while I "finished" the program I let my loyal readers down by not posting my final images - here is my reason, it's not a great one but it's the truth. I got bored during the final month of the program. I was sick of hearing Tony tell the same jokes and I was tired of doing the same moves... I slacked... I would miss a day or two and not make it up... and then I felt guilty... I took my final pictures and there really was no difference between 60 days and 90 days. While I didn't feel defeated, I just didn't feel great about it and didn't want to brag that I finished the program when I really just skated by until the end. 2011 Marks my chance to try it again, but I may wait until after trying a NEW workout program first. I think Tony and I might need a break for a while.

After taking some time off, time I should have spent still working it and eating well, I realized how bad my old habits were. I haven't worked out since November. Right before Thanksgiving I was avidly using my elliptical trainer. During the holidays and extended work days and all the food I just decided that I would start over in January. I know many of us make this choice, and while it has put me further behind than I would be I'm honestly OK with this, really I am. Through the P90X program I dropped 12 lbs. I am proud to say that I have kept all but 2 lbs of that loss off. I know it won't last forever and if I want to lose more, I have to work for it.  My old workout habits aren't the only thing that was an issue - my diet. After having all the holiday food and fast food and horrible things I had gotten out of my system months before - I realized how bad my diet was/is.  It's rough to be on the road, celebrating holidays and birthdays and to eat healthy food. It's not hard for me to prepare it for myself, that's simple. It's being out in the world where health food is the minority. There are only so many times you can eat a salad, and even then half the fast food salads aren't really good for you.

Now that I am back home, holidays are over and it's back to the daily grind and routine I hope to have an easier go at eating well. The most important element left out of my diet on the run - vegetables! I don't eat enough and when you're out to dinner I don't care how many times it says STEAMED at a place, they still taste like they are covered in butter.

Needless to say my goal in 2011 isn't just to simply DROP WEIGHT - it's to become more healthy. Being small isn't my goal, it's being smaller but with stronger legs, lungs, arms etc. I want a lower BMI, I want to be out of the zone of being obese - yes I'm in the zone believe it or not. I want to have lower weight to combat health issues like cancer, breast cancer and all the other issues excess weight causes. I want to feel good about me inside and out and the only way that will happen is through hard work and a good diet.

I haven't fallen off the wagon, I just hit a bump and got dragged through most of the holiday season.

Goal #2
Stay in better touch with friends and family.
This seems like an easy one right? Especially with modern technology! Even with all these resources though I still feel like I'm missing out on vital information from friends and family. I am not much of a phone person but at the same time a simple email while not as personal is just as effective. Most of my friends have children so an email helps them sit down when they have time and write me and catch up. I didn't do Christmas cards this year and I feel like such a slouch - but in the end I did make it home to see most of my best friends so that in itself is a great thing but my family would have appreciated a card, that I'm sure of. NEXT YEAR NOT GETTING AROUND TO IT IS NO AN OPTION. I hate that every year I miss more and more of my best friend's children growing up as well as girl time with my besties and guy time with my best guy friends. Living far from home is hard, while I'm happy here I do miss out on a great deal. I hate not being there for all the milestones and I'll hate even more that my friends will miss milestones with my children [you know when I'm brave enough to have them].

Goal #3
Pay of Debt & Start Saving Money!
I think I say this EVERY year but this year I'm serious. Before the new year rung in I actually paid off not one but two of my credit cards and it felt amazing!!! I can't wait for tax return season to drop more money on my last credit card. Or add more to my savings account. I fell all adult n' junk, ya'll!  Mike and I have joint debt and that I feel better about, since it's 2 people not just one carrying all the burden. Our plan this year is to simplify as much as possible and diminish our debt as soon as possible.

Goal #4
Live by the rule: If you don't have cash to pay for it, you don't need it.  As much as possible
This goal goes in line with #3. There is no excuse to have so much debt - if you asked me yesterday what I purchased with those cards I'd have a hard time telling you. I'm sure there is still debt from vacations Mike and I took years ago on there. SO sad. I've paid for everything I own twice since I haven't paid these off and I've had enough of that. This being said - there are some obvious NEEDS that a credit card might come in handy for... I mean shoes and handbags a girl needs those right? TOTALLY KIDDING! I'm thinking more along the lines of food, gas, tires for the jeep, something that needs to be replaced in the home. NEEDS not wants, desires, or foolish purchases.  It's sad that it took three credit cards all the way to the limit, forcing me to use only cash for me to see the light. But I did and now I'm thankful for it. Mike and I stuck to this rule while Christmas Shopping. The only items I purchased on credit were for my father at the end of the season and will be paid for by next week. It's an amazing feeling to have NO Christmas debt!

Goal #5
Stick to your budget!
I've started a budget for myself and while I had been trying to adhere to it last year - I am making an serious effort to stick to it this year. With the whole "Cash only" rule it makes this easier. Mike and I don't go out a lot. We spend most of our weekends entertaining friends at our home or going to someone else's home to hang. This has helped our pockets more than I can say. When we go out to the movies we make sure to hit up an afternoon showing - it's cheaper and less people to deal with means perfect movie viewing to me. We also take time to budget our money for a fun night out on the town as well. It's been ages since we went out for dinner or had a "date night" something I would like to change this year, if it is within our budget - bottom line we have some great friends that have been amazing to us that own a bar and have shown us quite a few fun nights on the house. We will never expect a free ride but we are always happy and grateful when we get a drink on the house. In return we are always sure to invite said friends to the house for dinner, our way of repaying the favor.

Goal #6
Take better care of myself/pamper myself.
This goes with #1 - along with working out and eating better I need to start doing a better job of taking my vitamins, deep conditioning my hair, pampering myself. Most of this stuff falls by the wayside in the rush of weekly living. I figured if I could carve out at least 1 hour each weekend, or even every other to do such things - paint my nails, deep condition my hair, soak in a bath - just chill. It will not only help my over all appearance but also my mental well being. Instead of reading a magazine on the couch or wasting away online while Mike kills zombies/army men/stalks the DC universe on his PS3, I could be in the bathroom chilling out, reading my magazine and taking a bubble bath. A little me time goes a long way. I think in today's world as adults, we often get so caught up in all that HAS to be done that we neglect the our own personal needs and desires. Now is the perfect time for me to take advantage of this free time - I don't have kids and after the house is clean have little responsibility, so why not spoil myself, even if it is just a full body scrub or a soak in the tub.

Goal #7
Take time to truly enjoy the little things in life.
Mike and I used to have so many rituals when we first moved in together. Every Sunday morning we'd go to the local bookstore, grab some coffee, buy a paper and snag some books - sit, relax and read the sale papers and just enjoy each others company. Sure it seemed a bit like a scene from Singles with Mr. Sensitive Ponytail Guy [damn I love that movie] but at the same time it was a great way to spend a Sunday morning together. We still have mini things that we do all the time but I really miss times like these. I can see it only enhancing our time together to make some new rituals and enjoy the weekends we have together when we aren't stressed at work. Add to this taking more stock and time to soak up all the other little things in life you're thankful for - it's a great way to stay positive and not get down for all that you don't have when you take inventory of all that you do.

Goal #8
Wash my face before going to bed.
It seems simple right? Yeah, I NEVER do this. Unless I work out and get sweaty. During my P90X time I washed my face every night. Seriously, I sleep in my make-up every. single. night! Gross, I know! I want to start taking better care of myself all around and this is right up there with #6 and pampering myself. It's easy, it takes 2 seconds, and I bet my skin would look 100 times better if I took this step each night. If I can take time to brush and floss before bed why can't I do this after I take out my contacts right? Not to mention this will lend it self to putting on anti-aging lotion before I go to bed. I gotta fight the wrinkles somehow!

Goal #9
Get outside as much as possible!
I'm happy to say that our dog, June has dropped a lot of weight. We switched her food and amazingly the weight started to melt off - I wish I had that happen to me!!! That being said she has more energy and lately I have less. Getting outdoors might be the best thing for both of us. Walking, going to the park etc. I want to make a serious effort not just now but during the whole year to spend more time outdoors. Allergies be damned, I have medication and I will travel!!! I can't wait for kayaking season again - it made me sad to see them covered in snow on Christmas day [FYI we had a white Christmas here in my little part of Alabama, first in ever, I think? No I didn't get pictures... because I suck at that!]

Goal #10
Start taking more pictures!
I slack at this all the time - I take a camera with me everywhere and NEVER snap a single shot. Most of it I will admit is due to not wanting face time right now in front of the camera - I'm still insecure. I want to start documenting more. Mike and I always took pictures in the first 4 years we lived together... we've been slacking lately. I don't just want images of us though - I want more of everything. I've been toying with the thought of getting a new camera - but I first think I need to get some more time in with my point and shoot and maybe even get back in tune with my 35MM manual camera that I used in college. She's old but she's mighty and I might as well have fun with her before even thinking of purchasing a nice digital manual camera. I also own a Holga camera and it has yet to come out of the package. I need to get film for it, then I'll be in business. Do you want to talk about me being late to the party as alwasy... I've had the holga camera for a year... A YEAR!!! #epicfail

Goal #11 The FINAL GOAL
When I put it like that it seems so HUGE but it's not that huge. It's simple. Live each day as if it's my last. Really take time to enjoy every day - deal with the downs and celebrate the ups. You only have one life to live, and one chance to make it count. So why not make it worth it.

Other wishes for the new year include: Supporting local businesses more and more, visiting all the farmers markets we can, traveling when we can afford it, possibly taking up running - it's been a dream/wish I've always wanted to do... and taking more time together just Mike and I.

Now that I've blabbed, tell me....
What are your New Year Goals?

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