Okay, so, February is now done and over with. We're already done with two months of this new year. Where is the time going? Geez.
Let's talk about the things that happened this month.
Fitness: Well, I definitely was able to make my fitness goals! Yay! I ended February with 1,112 fitness minutes. I'm no mathematician, but I believe that means I exceeded my goal of 1,000 minutes. I successfully got 250 minimum fitness minutes each week as well. I've got 61 more minutes left this week to make sure I've hit the 250 minimum, which, fingers crossed, I will get in tomorrow. The beginning of this month had me building on my speed intervals, which I was doing at a walking/brisk walking pace. By mid-month, it was time for me to get to my focus of walking/jogging, as my routine became too easy. I started SparkPeople's 5k Your Way walk/jog program. I'm not training for a 5k, so that's not really my focus. My focus is the jogging part, as eventually I'd like to start running, so the last half of the month had me aimed on that. I should be doing cross-training on the between days, but I struggled to do this. I don't really have an answer as to why. Something to work on.
I also wanted to work on muscle toning. Nothing major, just starting on some basics. I dug out my SparkPeople Fit, Firm, and Fired Up DVD as a starting point. I'm enjoying it so far. I usually do the 20 minute combo workout for each individual target body region. So, one day will be arms, another core, and yet another legs... It works for me for now. I like focusing on individual areas like that so I'm not all-over sore the next day. I only have to whine about being sore in one part of my body at a time. Ha! I also have a Pilates routine that I like to do and that one is a total body workout. I have a few others, also, but haven't gotten to them yet. I'm going to continue this in March and see if I can get to a point where I need to increase my weights. That would be cool.
The beginning of the month, and several other times punctuated throughout, my fitness has been a challenge to schedule thanks to other obligations. I'm the sole driver in my family, so I am often called to taxi folks around to doctor's appointment, grocery runs, vet visits for the pets, and other various errands. That oftentimes means something in my own life has to be sacrificed. Frequently it was my exercise or my ability to exercise at a reasonable hour. It really sucks to have to get on the treadmill at 10pm, when all I want to do is go to bed at that hour. If it wasn't exercise, then, sadly, it was time I'd planned to set aside for studying.
Food: Well, nutrition was quite a struggle for me this month. I stopped tracking for a while because, and I know I sound like a broken record, I really, REALLY hate tracking. I find the process tedious and time consuming. I rarely eat the same things over and over, so it feels like tracking something brand new every time. Its so hard to take the shortcuts that way (forming a food grouping, looking up a recipe I have in the database, going to my “recent foods” list...) My family loves cooking new things and experimenting in the kitchen and that pretty much happens on a daily basis. But, for the last week of February, I sucked it up and tracked! I b*tched about it the whole time, but I did it. Every day of the week. I did pretty well, too. Only had a wacky day, Thursday, due to some stressful news. More on that later, too. Anyway, I need to adjust my attitude about tracking, I know, but I don't think it's going to happen. I'll just miserably track and grumble.
Weight: Well, if you've been following my weekly blogs where I sum up the previous week, you'll know I've hit a rather frustrating plateau. I did not lose not one single pound in the month of February. At all. I stayed the same. I tried to stay positive about it because at least I didn't gain! But, really, half the damn point of this is to see that scale go down! I have such wonderful supporters making sure I try to keep positive about it and to keep supporting and encouraging me. I thank you all for that! But, really, it's super frustrating. I'm overweight and I don't want to be anymore. I can't even claim any NSV's in this department either. I don't measure myself because I find that tedious as well. Also, I don't think I do it right- I think I can't keep track of where I measured so that I measure that spot again. So, not a worthwhile thing for me to do. And, my clothes all fit the same, so I don't think I've actually lost any inches or anything like that, anyway. Lame. And I'm sure this was in part due to my not tracking my food. I like to think I'm keeping in ranges and stuff, but really... I don't truly know unless I track it. So, we'll see if tracking (and keeping in ranges) AND exercising makes the difference to bust through this plateau.
As for the rest of my goals, I've done some modifications. I do not feel like I need counseling at this time. Not only do I not have the time in my busy schedule, but I am feeling pretty great these days! I'm much happier with what I'm doing, where I'm headed, and all the fab jazz. I am grateful for what counseling did for me when I was going, but right now I think I'll be fine on my own. If I ever get to feeling like I need it again, I know who to call and can get going on it. I also have a list of other counseling resources should the need arise. I also decided I'm not going to journal. I barely have time to get my homework done and write my Spark blogs. Journaling just sounds like an added stress at this point, so I'm not going to do it. Everything else is going great, though. I've been making friends at church and even hanging out with them to do fun stuff. I've been attending church, attending bi-monthly women's Bible study, and reading my Bible nightly. I'm still praying about starting the nutrition ministry, but I keep getting encouragement from my friends/Bible study ladies. I did a nutrition assessment and plan for my cousin and she's been very happy with the results so far. So, I think I'm headed in the right direction.
As for food, I'm still cooking Tu/Thu/Sat, but am also picking up slack other days of the week (like I don't have a million other things to do.) It's been frustrating on that front as well. I was excited to be having some help in the kitchen, and that happened at first, but now not so much. It's back to only me cleaning up after 4 grown adults, doing dishes, scrubbing counters, organizing cabinets... Sometimes I sacrifice my study time to do these chores also. If I'm lucky, I can tape worksheets or diagrams or pictures or whatever to the kitchen window so I can study while I'm stuck standing in front of the sink scrubbing dishes, but that doesn't happen very often.
And, my beloved grey striped cat, Louis, has a kidney stone and needs surgery. The vet has given us an estimate of $1,500 for that. So, we're trying to brainstorm how to raise that amount of funding in the next few weeks. Luckily, he's not in a life or death situation at the moment, so we have a little bit of time to gather that cash, but still... It's a lot. Especially for us, since only my dad is working regularly. I'm thinking of starting a PayPal or youcaring.com campaign for small donations from anyone that would like to help out. I'm not sure what else I can do... a carwash? Sell my cooking services? Advertise that I'm a notary? Yard sale? It feels like a huge mountain of money to raise in a short amount of time.
So, yes, I've got several things in my life that are stressful, but exercise seems to be what's keeping me from going apesh*t. I've got my March plans in place. I'm going to do what I do best and “keep on truckin'!”
Poor Louie is high as a kite after the first vet visit thanks to the sedation and pain meds.