Living Outside the Stacks

Navigating through life away from the library

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Mamavation Monday

A new week and a new month full of new beginnings, but first let’s reflect on last week’s challenges and successes…

I ended last week on bad note exercise wise, I didn’t do a full workout for 2 days, instead I did 15 minutes on the Weider Step Machine and I walked around my neighborhood (which is mostly up hill). I don’t count these as full workouts because they weren’t regimented or formal type deals like with the EA Sports Active or a DVD. But I will go back to following the 30 Day Challenge (high intensity) this week.

As far as eating goes, I used a meal plan and cooked just about everything from scratch. My family loved it because they got to eat wholesome meals every night that were both nutritious and delicious and I liked it because I knew what we were going to eat every day. I’ll be making another meal plan later tonight (have to take inventory and see what I have).

My challenges for this week were:

~ getting in 10,000 steps (It seems like no matter how much walking I do, I can only hit a certain point over 5000, incredibly frustrating)
~ drinking water (I hit the over 64 oz per day only twice this week, so I definitely need to work on that)
~ eating slowly (maybe if I weren’t multi-tasking, I’d be able to enjoy my meals but I’m usually working on several different things at once while eating)
~ eating vegetables (this is a big bone of contention in this household – I love fresh, the family loves canned)

My goals for this week are to start training for a 5K. I haven’t found a race in my area or anything so this may end up just being my own personal goal which is fine with me. However, having something to look forward to would make things more fun. I will also work on water intake (especially since I plan to start running, have to stay hydrated). Pete Cohen suggested setting down the fork or spoon as we chew in order to slow things down when we eat, so I’m going to give that a try. I’m also going to focus on getting the right amount of sleep. I’m a bit of an insomniac (vicious cycle of sleepiness, coffee, sleeplessness).

If you’re looking to lose weight or make some healthy lifestyle changes, I would recommend that you find a support system of like-minded people. Trying to do this on your own can get frustrating and lead to feelings of failure. Having people send you emails or tweet out support helps a lot.

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Gold Star for Daenel

If you can’t acknowledge your own accomplishments, how can you expect others to do so? I think that’s probably the biggest lesson that I took away from Pete Cohen’s session today. He asked us if we’re proud of ourselves for making it as far into the program as we have and I have to say, yes, I am pretty darned proud of me. The last 30 days have been so full of win that I can barely stand it!

So far these are my accomplishments:

~ Started an exercise program and stuck with it for longer than a couple of days
~ Lost a total of 8 lbs (gained back 2 lbs)
~ Adjusted my cooking and my eating habits
~ Formed a circle of friends who share my goals and concerns
~ Learned to accept that I will have bad days but that doesn’t make me a bad person

I’ve also learned a few things:

~ I really do enjoy working out
~ I’m capable of doing more than I thought
~ My family is much more supportive than I ever thought they’d be
~ Having a network of people with the same goals is incredibly important

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Mom, We Love What’s for Dinner

I am happy to report that my experiment with menu planning went really well! For the most part, I stuck to the menu as stated (you can see pictures of the meals here). The only two times I veered off course were Monday (forgot to make the steamed broccoli but no one even noticed, they were so busy sucking down the shrimp piccata) and Friday (ended up not cooking because I had a large lunch with my husband and the kids were perfectly happy making sandwiches).

I was incredibly surprised that things went so well. I thought it’d be a chore to make a full meal every day but it wasn’t. In fact, it was nice knowing at the beginning of each day what that night’s dinner was going to be. And the fact that I had done the grocery shopping based on the week’s meals meant that I wasn’t running to the grocery store to pick up missing supplies (no wasted gas and no money spent on useless items ~ I can never bypass the trail mix without picking some up). Furthermore, it meant no mindless snacking at night because I was hungry (incredibly helpful since my goal is to lose weight and become healthier). It also felt good knowing that my family was eating a healthy meal made, for the most part, from unprocessed foods.

Another exciting benefit was that I tried foods I have never had before (lamb, anyone?) and recipes that challenged me (yes, I substituted red wine for white wine!). I’ll definitely continue with menu planning and shopping according to the meal plan (Saturdays and Sundays will be free days). Overall, it simply made life easier and tastier. I’ll also try to incorporate something new and different into the menu so that we can expand our culinary horizons. Naturally, I’ll be posting my menus here, so be on the look out.

What about you? Do you plan your meals ahead of time? Tell me your family faves. And please, please, please share some recipes with me, I love trying new things.

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