About Goals

I’ve maintained the 10 pounds off I’ve lost since I’ve started to try and shed some pounds. I went on a 2 mile run and 2 mile walk today after about a 2 month hiatus from REALLY working out. 

My savings goals have been met and I just keep thinking about how much my credit card sucks. I just haven’t had the strength, boundary setting, or whatever to stop spending on it. I can pay it off every month, but I can’t help but think if I stopped spending on it I could just pay myself that every month. I am saving $25 a month on a new phone plan which is actually better and $30 on a health membership. I’m think about canceling some of my subscriptions in media, but that still doesn’t fix the problem of spending on my credit card. That’s not even money I have. It’s money I borrow and pay back.

How are goals achieved? We make them a priority and I haven’t. Paying attention to me is like gaining a new muscle. I guess I will search the Internet about motivation to NOT use my credit card. 

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Focus

I never did work out and this week because of continued jet lag. This week felt really long and I thought to just take it easy. This weekend I feel somewhat back to normal except my eating habits could be better. All part of rest and recuperation. Now that I’m writing, I realize I haven’t eaten fast food in so long! Well, consistently I mean. I stopped by Taco Bell on the way home from my trip because I was REALLY tired then.

I somehow have lost 10 pounds. My goal is to lose another 5 in this next month (end of May) to make a total of 15 pounds! Friends have commented that I look like I have lost weight. I honestly attribute this to the lack of drinking. When I drank, I felt heavy and would not eat the best. I also felt lazy and depressed. I feel great now!

Since I’m just back from a 10 day vacation, I really want to save save save! I have a baseline savings and really want that to grow. I feel like I still do a lot of right now as opposed to future me. I’m trying so hard to not spend on my credit card and want to make that my goal for the month of May. Don’t spend on the credit card. I get gas on it because of the return, but I don’t think I’ll do that this month. A monthly credit card cleanse! I really think I charge too much on it without deducting from my earnings. I also pay it off every month (no matter the damage) and then think, “Hmm could have paid myself.” Then I get a little…A LOT disgusted with myself because I did that cycle over again.

I am enjoying losing weight, saving, and traveling. All of these things I have to remember that I am doing slowly to learn and grow in each department. I can’t build it in a day and I think the slow process is helping me realize more fully some of the mistakes I’m making along the way. I’d rather be consciously aware of my spending habits and really thinking about the way I can change them as opposed to mindless spending…trying to move away from that!

How I Packed for 10 Days

So, before my trip overseas, I searched the web for packing tips for 10 days. Much to my surprise, the “advice” wasn’t catering to me. Weather, work outs, engagements, etc. all played factors into packing.

Working Out: Work out clothes were easy to pack. I doubled my shoes with some outfits on days I didn’t have to dress more appropriate. Travel = walking a lot to sight see. I packed four outfits for working out because I knew I’d probably only have time for a few work outs. Early mornings, late nights, and jet lag all threw me off and I ended up working out a record one time. However, I walked a lot throughout the days. Next time, I’ll probably pack two or three pairs of work out gear. I made sure all of the workout clothes fit in the smallest packing cube to keep me in check about over packing.

Business Casual: Easy enough. What I can get away with wearing at work is pretty much what I packed. I brought two jackets which actually weren’t warm enough – kind of a fail. I packed about six shirts, but could have gotten away with four. I brought three dresses and could have gotten away with one or none. I brought three pairs of pants and bought one pair there (and damn, that was a good buy) to wear while there. I packed two scarves, but mostly wore one. I brought three four pairs of shoes (athletic, casual, and two chunk wedges) and could have gotten away with two. Moral of the story = no one cares what you wear because you are travelling!! I think I packed too much, but packed lighter than I usually do for domestic travel, lol.

Money Belt: Money, money, money. I usually wear a travel/money belt. I personally just feel safer this way on long flights where people generally pass out throughout the flight and the plane is dark. Better to be safe than sorry. I also kept within my budget and probably could have done better. I bought a pair of shoes while overseas, which weren’t a good buy and ended up giving them away to a friend upon return. Glad they got put to good use though. Given my meals, etc. were paid for, I only took $300. I exchanged currency when necessary. I probably could have saved about $50 on some impromptu purchases (shoes) but I’ve spent far more on dumb stuff. $300 was enough to just shop and I actually didn’t even spend that much. Something like $260 and that was mostly on gifts for people.

Now it’s back to working out and saving more money. I feel a bit more refreshed and want to plan my next adventure. Who knows where? But I have a feeling summer is going to be great. I’m still a bit jet lagged, but plan on at least going on a couple of walks this Easter weekend. Happy Easter to all who take time to read this.

 

Music and Travel

Michael Kiwanuka – THANK YOU to whoever signed him and brought his music to the masses! 
It’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed music. I left living in the music capitol aka Los Angeles and somehow lost touch with good music, non-mainstream music, artists barely getting off the ground, etc. Thanks to Big Little Lies on HBO, I fell in love with Michael Kiwanuka – his track Cold Little Heart is the theme song.
I’m not a big itunes purchaser because it hogs space on my phone and I’m so lazy that I don’t delete it. Anyway, I like when music makes my ears really perk up and Michael Kiwanuka does that for me – as much as the stuff I’ve listened to thus far.
What does music have to do this blog? Music colludes with life’s emotions. Plus, I’m about to hop on a long flight. I know I’m going to be bored and uptight and it’s good to discover good music that helps me relax. This is not that pop music I might need for a run. This is clear my mind of all things stressful. It’s a little coffeeshop, but I think they pick certain music for a reason.
I like flights that are an hour. Anything more than three and I’m so annoyed and want to get on the ground as fast as possible. But that’s all out of my control, so I need cheap entertainment.
A Kindle was handed down to me and although it’s one of the first editions, I really enjoy reading off of it. The battery life is still great too! Taking too many books is a packing nightmare. Kindle with 3 books should do the trick. My mind tends to want to switch it up in flight. Plus, with the change in time, I don’t want to be that person who keeps the light on while my neighbor is trying to sleep.
Music: wrote enough about that earlier.
Movies: Long flights generally have great entertainment. I say generally because I was once on a 5 hour flight (beginning of the long flight zone, IMO) and they didnt have televisions. Myself and other passengers were rather shocked and disappointed.
Adult coloring book: Their name for it, not mine. I went to Costco and bought a 42 piece coloring pencil set for like $8 one day. Coloring is something to do when getting restless.
I fly coach or business. I may upgrade when I get to the airport, but I’m also trying to keep on my budget. As long as I get to my destination all should be well with coach!
I plan on writing a blog on how to pack light for travel in a separate blog coming up soon!

Small Goals of a Singleton

I used to be the type that would try to tackle everything at once and then got “bored” which was really a sign that I had no clue how to tackle all of those goals I had planned on tackling. Multitasking wasn’t necessarily the problem; more like not understanding how to achieve goals I’d never accomplished before. So, I became highly overwhelmed when I tried. 
My 2017 started with one big goal of not drinking alcohol for an entire year. I am doing well in that I don’t dwell on the goal and it’s now become quite natural to just say no when offered or skip the aisle at the store. With that set aside, I started focusing on three areas that I felt like improving over the course of the year: health, finance, and travel. God is already in the plan. 


Health: I hated who I had become. I grew up as an athlete and put that on the back burner around 2010. I had slowly let a lifestyle of partying become my priority and I got stuck there. Then I hit rock bottom and I saw the choices I made so clear. After that night, it was so easy to quit that lifestyle. I gave myself a month to work out any would be cravings for fun and then began my journey. It’s taken me almost three months to enjoy working out again and now I absolutely love it. Running and lifting weights has definitely replaced the party lifestyle. I’m so okay with that. I also have enjoyed paying attention to how my body feels when I fill it with healthy food.

Finance: I looked back at my life and wondered why I never got anywhere financially. The highs and the lows and the stupid financial mistakes. I’ll always remember a former co-worker who had parents who set her up for financial success. She followed those footsteps and made sound decisions too. She would always say, “I don’t have any money” and then one day she bought a house, got married, and had a couple of kids. NO MONEY MY ASS! She was smart and saved and saved and saved. The “no money” line was part of her budget. The truth came out about that later. People’s financial truths come out eventually. Even the ones who seem well off. So, I guess it’s best to budget for one’s own goals instead of keeping up appearances. 

Travel: Who doesn’t want to get away? Who doesn’t want to explore?   This can be packed in a budget. $100 per month at the end of the year is $1,200 for travel or whatever. Getting away for 3 days or more can really reset the mind, in my opinion. Being able to travel just to a neighboring town for the day or weekend and explore could be a jump start to resetting goals and values. I love to just take a drive sometimes so I can clear my thoughts and just to shake up a routine. 

Lastly, I speak as a single person. I have time and freedom to achieve the above goals of improvement. It’s taken some time to embrace the singlehood. I used to be caught up in trying to be un-single. All of my energy went there. Whether it be from the stress of people telling me to find someone, get on a dating site, etc. or societal norms of starting a family. I am just going to focus on my goals because it feels good to do that. It feels good to be happy with me for once. It feels good to not be held accountable for people’s expectations of me. Besides, they say “love finds you when you least expect it.” Whoever wrote that quote, I don’t know. But, I’d rather have someone find me when I’m happy and enjoying life! 

Five Pounds Down!

My first 5 pounds is shed off! I feel really good! I’ve also made working out my priority! I don’t text in the middle of my workouts or waiver on the time I’ve dedicated to do them. I’ve been doing runs on the weekend and alternating days of HIIT during the week – they are short yet powerful, make me feel good, and work with my schedule. I started this way because I’m a former athlete and enjoy active routine. I’m trying to build myself up to 6 miles like I used to do, but I’ve only been able to achieve 4 miles at a time. It’s all a process. I forget that I haven’t exercised and consumed healthy food in quite some time so I’m forgiving myself and starting fresh. I’ll probably incorporate some p90x moves next month – decided to not do p90x as a starting point! One month at a time = one step at a time. March will be dedicated to just running, HIIT exercises, and continuing to eat healthy (and saving money of course!). 


Above from left to right: egg whites, baby kale, salsa, shredded cheese, and ground beef; corn tortillas, baby kale, ground beef, salsa, and shredded cheese; kidney beans, baby kale, salsa, and cheese; cucumbers with a balsamic vinaigrette.

Let’s taco ’bout it! Don’t ever take away my Taco Tuesdays, Taco Twednesdays, or Taco Thursdays, etc! I count calories and YEEEEES tacos are still doable! However!, I noticed a pretty big difference in how my body felt after eating tortillas after not having eaten them for a while. Not that I felt entirely sluggish, but more like I’d eaten a brick. 
I just ate: 2 eggs, ground beef, kidney beans, and salsa for breakfast while writing a portion of this blog. 590 calories feels so full. I wanted a substantial breakfast because I’m running today and need fuel!
I’m thinking I’m going to lessen my meat intake and do more tofu and fish. I already have a lot of that in my fridge and freezer.
My go to lunch has been: 2 cups of baby kale with some sort of protein (meat, fish, tofu) with a balsamic vinaigrette AND a 1/2 cup of oatmeal with 210 calories of nuts = 395 to 555 calories depending on the source of protein. This is hands down the most powerful lunch I’ve ever eaten (and cheeeaaaap!). I feel ZERO burn out after this type of lunch. I feel so good, my mood is elevated. I cannot go back to greasy food for lunch especially because I just feel SO good eating this way! It’s an amazing feeling! Part of packing on the 40 pounds I gained back at the end of grad school was a terrible feeling. However, I like feeling good now, so why not. 
I’ve got a goal to lose 2 pounds this week and an overall 10 by the start of April. The overall 40 by July and maintaining/setting new fitness goals then.
My goal is to be at a genuine strength.
Oh yeaaaah…almost forgot about stretching! I dedicated a day (and plan on continuing this) to stretching and only stretching. I’m talking 30ish minutes of making my body feel recovered. Fitness Blender has a good one! I love their videos!!
Until next week, roughly!

Nom Nom

Above: egg whites, kale, onion, cheese, and a bell pepper variety for breakfast; a can of tune with arugula topped with a balsamic vinaigrette and 1/2 cup of oatmeal with an individual package of nuts for lunch; a green apple, banana, and almond butter for snack (usually eat an orange and maybe another banana if hungry), prawns with sautéed arugula, minced garlic, and a bell pepper variety for dinner. 

Lessons Learned –
I got a little overzealous this week and so had to take a break from exercising. I’m back on board, but will work my way up to double days. Today I endulged in a HIIT exercise which was amazing. It’s from Fitness Blender – “HIIT the Ground Running”, which I found on YouTube. I personally found that I feel amazing after. 
I also ate processed chips, a frozen burrito, and a candy bar one day for lunch and it ripped my stomach to shreds! I will NEVER do that again. I could barely walk. After eating clean and healthy, my body doesn’t like it.
I’m going to try to eat like this 90% of the time while continuing to exercise because it feels good. I used to work out regularly and then fell off about two and a half years ago. I have nothing to lose though by going back to that routine of working out and eating healthy. Somewhere in-between I lost all that. Somewhere in-between someone told me I wasn’t good enough and I believe it. I have to get back to and used to the feeling of feeling good and paying attention to what doesn’t feel good. Right now, I’m back to that same feeling of way back when, when I ran and ate healthy and did things for me.