Cubicle to Fit-ish

How a wimp becomes fit(ish)

Fire Up for Fall #1!

I’m a wicked lurker.  I read a ton of blogs every day, but I keep quiet and don’t really say much.  It is like small talk at a party – so overwhelming.  I know I was a theater major and I teach community college classes at night – put me in front of a crowd and I am fine.  Put me in a one on one interaction and I am an anxious mess.

However, when I saw the Fire Up for Fall (FUFF) on Weight Wars, I thought it would be a good way to meet some bloggers and set some realistic, fun and focused goals.  On Mondays, I will be answering the questions they send me and posting a picture that inspires me.  Fall is my favorite time of year, so hopefully FUFF (that sounds a little dirty, doesn’t it?!) will make this one even better!

What are my goals for the Fall Challenge?

  1. Get my eating under control.  Between the hurricane, the bathroom remodel, major work stress, and many, many etc.’s, I’ve lost my healthy habits and gained a few pounds.  I’d like to get back to a place where I am.  Mini goals:
    • Have a protein based breakfast that includes a piece of fruit
    • Have small, protein and carb based snacks
    • Bring my lunch to work (as I tend to black out in the cafeteria and end up with a roll and a bowl of cereal) with a protein, a vegetable, and a one-serving carb (rather than a plate of stuffing – which is delicious, but not nutritious).
    • Plan yummy dinners for me and my guy that include new vegetables that we don’t usually have
  2. Find two days to do my cardio each week.  I am really into going to Boot Camp three days a week and that serves as my strength routines.  Although, we do some cardio there, I want to work on my endurance (especially as one of my 33 things I want to do this year is to run a 12 minute mile and I only have 2 months or so until I turn 34).  This would also have me working out 5 days a week, which is where I want to be.  Cardio doesn’t have to be crazy – it could be a nice walk with Remy and my guy at the state park, a bike ride (I REALLY want a bike), or a nice jog on these awesome fall mornings.
  3. Eat dinner at the table at least 2 times a week.  In the three years that we have owned our house, we’ve eaten dinner at the table twice – both times with guests over.  The table ends up being a catch-all for books, bags, and clutter.  I am trying to get control of my afternoons (see #4), but I also think I would eat more mindfully at the table, and Brian and I might actually talk – rather than zombie out to Family Guy, or whatever.
  4. Do not sit in front of the tv until 7PM on Monday and WednesdaysDon’t even turn it on.  I am a lazy, lazy girl.  I am also a girl severely affected by momentum.  If I leave work and go DO SOMETHING(be it make dinner, clean the bathroom, work in my garden, go for a walk), I’m good to go for an active afternoon.  If I leave work, get home, and sit on the couch because Food Network or Cooking Channel is on, I’m there until I go to bed.  I need to fight inertia – once I’ve sit, I’m sat.  Tuesday and Thursdays, I have boot camp and this doesn’t happen because I am out the door after I’ve run home to change and snack.  Fridays is a dinner/shopping date with my best friend.  There is so much I could get done on Monday and Wednesdays if I just didn’t get sucked in.  Mini goals:
    • Dust my bedroom and living room once a week
    • Clean my bathroom once a week
    • Clean my kitchen each night
    • Clean my kitchen floor once a week
    • Take Remy somewhere fun once a week

    These make me look like a slob (it’s not that I don’t clean, I just tend to get so overwhelmed by it that I start major cleaning initiatives at 11PM on a Sunday, which exhausts me).

  5. Get on a better sleep schedule.  I’ve been a mess the past few weeks between the hotels and stress.  I also try and stay up with my guy every night, which only leads to bickering and exhaustion.  With working out more, I need to be more concerned with getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night and less concerned with my shows (that is what the dvr is for).  So, I hope to be in bed around 10:30 Sunday-Thursday and up by 8:30/9 on the weekends.
  6. Track my progress.  I am in a constant battle with numbers.  I tend to make super-rigid goals that I have no chance at keeping and then feel like a failure when I don’t live up to my extreme expectations that I just wallow in my bad habits.  On the other hand, I love crossing items off lists and feeling like I accomplished something.  I read The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin, and it really spoke to me about how I look to others to validate my successes.  I can give myself a gold star – I don’t need to puppy dog eye my guy into doing it. Hopefully the goals I’ve made here aren’t so out of reach that I can’t see the good in trying.  So there may be a check list/spreadsheet in my future.

Why have I chosen these goals?

I tried to explain above, but, in general, I have such an opportunity right now during my semester away from teaching to start some awesome and healthy new habits.  I don’t want to look back at the past 6 months and be the same – I want to evolve into a happier and healthier person.  I did purposefully stay away from lbs lost goals as they tend to make me give up the moment the scale goes up.  I want to focus more on feeling better than actual weight lost.

What have I done this week that’s made me feel fabulous?

The past week?!  Oh, gosh.  I went to boot camp three times in one week for the first time last week.  Thursday night, the instructor was my partner for the Muy Thai combinations and I pulled myself together after a horrid day at work to not accidentally punch him in the face or burst into tears (both a real danger that night).  On Saturday, there were only two of us there (TOO MUCH INDIVIDUAL ATTENTION – SOS – MAYDAY), but I was able to stick with the circuits we were doing and work at my own pace.  AND I did one handed rows while balancing on one foot.  YAY BOOT CAMP!

What do I think will be my biggest challenge in reaching my goals?

My biggest problem is always consistency.  I am really good the first day, and then life happens and I just give up.  I really want to commit and see some improvement.

Fun Question: Where in the world do I live?  What’s amazing about it?

I live in Rockland, Massachusetts on the east coast of the US.  I have never described it as “amazing” before, but I guess it is pretty nice to be so close to active and fun cities (Boston and Providence), but still have a somewhat neighborhood-ish feel to where our house is.  I like that I am not too far from a supermarket or movie theater, but not so close that I don’t see trees or stars.

Inspiring Picture:

I am trying to take better pictures.  I really like the light in it.  It is a tree near an old Fort on Nantasket Beach and is appropriately fall-ish!



September 19, 2011 Posted by | 33 Things to do While I'm 33, boot camp, Fire Up for Fall (FUFF), guilt, photography, Who am I? | , , | 10 Comments

A Better Outlook and Less Snakes for One, Please…

Last week was overwhelming.  Hence, radio (blog) silence.

There are major changes going on at my day job.  I still have a job, which is wonderful, but my role and boss and structure will be changing and we are currently in a month of limbo and I just hate it.  Not knowing is not fun.

And, then, my guy went to New Hampshire for the weekend (which is usually no biggie – I am not as hysterical being home alone anymore – bumps in the night are not my friend).  However, as we were saying goodbye with a rousing game of fetch (with the puppy, of course, not just the two of us as that would be super weird), he told me to back away into the house.  I should have listened to him (but don’t tell him I said that), but I stepped forward instead and there it was.  A snake.  A SNAKE!

…ok.  It was a tiny little garden snake.  But, it was a snake all the same.  Creepy, slimy little buggers.  When I went to take the puppy out later that night – in flip flops and my glasses – something wet and slimy touched my foot.  It was probably a lead, but, in my head, it was the SNAKE!  I tried to run, hit the edge of the deck with my poor big toe and sliced it down the side and basically fell into the house.

I have one of those dogs that always looks like he is smiling, but, I swear, this time he was laughing at me.

I didn’t totally give up on the week, though, which is a huge win for me.

  • I still went to boot camp (Thursday night for Muy Thai punches and kicks, Saturday for the circuit – which I probably should have skipped with my toe and all…  I spent the rest of the weekend icing that and my knee.  Turkish Get Ups are not my friend either).
  • I didn’t get fast food or movie popcorn while my guy was gone (I tend to use his absence as an excuse to go back to my secret single behaviors involving McDonalds and buttered popcorn as my only food sources).
  • I dyed my hair reddish and did a lot of thinking.  This is my first semester not teaching (as my second job) and I really want to use my time to be happier and have fun.

And, I still planned out my first week of easing into Eating Clean.  My kickass friend Jill (who is super inspiring!) has had a lot of success with it.  My goal is to work up to “eating clean” for 80% of the time, so I can enjoy my 20% without the guilt I have been feeling lately.  I feel like I am always thinking about food, which is not where I want to live my life.  I want to  stress less, eat better, move around, and SMILE MORE.  Life is not that bad.  I need to cheer up, ASAP!

For example, I get to work at 7:45 and have a bowl of cereal and a Nutri-Grain bar.  By 9AM, I’m hungry, so I have some fig newtons.  By 11AM, I am starving, so I have a roll and another Nutri-Grain bar for “lunch…”  And, on it goes.

I am hoping that my incorporating some of the Eating Clean principles into my diet, it will help me have the energy to do everything that I want to do…  I only have 3 months or so to finish my 33 Things to do While I am 33 list – I need to get moving!

This week’s Smile More Goals:

  • Have a protein, complex carb, and fruit/vegetable at every meal
  • Try three new recipes and write about them
  • Have an awesome anniversary dinner with my guy this weekend
  • Get some sleep
  • Take 4 walks
  • Stop taking everything so seriously

August 22, 2011 Posted by | 33 Things to do While I'm 33, a case of the Mondays, boot camp, eating clean, guilt, Remy, smile more goals, Who am I? | , , | Leave a comment

Big Hair and Fast Feet

I totally ran at 5 mph tonight!  It was awesome! 

Usually I do intervals  at a #1 incline (run for 3 minutes at 4.5 mph, walk for three minutes at 3.5; run/walk for 4 minutes each; then 5; then back to 4 and 3).  With my warmup/cooldown, it winds up being 50 minutes or so.

One of my 33 Things… is to run a 12 minute mile – which winds up being a little faster than treadmill 5 mph for me.  I’ve been slowly working my way back to actually running (rather than walking and giving up) so I don’t burn out or hurt myself, but today I just went for it: a whole 4 minutes at 5 mph!

In my head, the difference between 4 and 5 was HUGE!  In reality, not that different.  My legs felt heavy towards the end, but I could have gone longer.  Maybe I’ll try my whole next session at 5 mph…  Hopefully, this energy will carry over to bootcamp on Thursday – I know I’m gonna be sore!

Progress (and proving myself wrong) is lovely – especially with this humidity.  Could my hair be bigger?  Good grief…

July 12, 2011 Posted by | 33 Things to do While I'm 33, boot camp, my hair, Running | Leave a comment

I’m Such a No Right Now

I read a lot of health-related magazines.  At first, I think I used them as an excuse to continue being lazy; I may not actually exercise or eat right, but I sure as hell read a lot about it!  The more I read, though, the more intrigued I became about this world of food as energy and sneakers made specifically for running and exercise gear…

Now that I am on my way to becoming fit (or, fit-ish, haha), I re-read a lot of the magazines I’ve kept for inspiration.  Yes, I have slightly hoarding tendencies, but that’s another blog in and of itself.  I was looking at an old Fitness magazine and one phrase keeps sticking out at me:

 Be a Yes

I’m a wicked negative person.  I did not realize it as much when I was younger, but I see it so much more now.  My first gut reaction is always “no.”  My mind goes to the worst possible scenario for anything.  It is not a fun way to live.  I’ve spent so much time being down or afraid, that I’ve missed out on so many opportunities.  This all hit me the most in 2009 when my grandfather died from Alzheimer’s and my uncle died suddenly a few months after.  I wish I could say that these losses spurred me into this rosy, carpe diem world where I just go for it and live, live, live…

That isn’t how life works, though.  I spent a year being scared and half-assedly trying to be healthier (I’ll only eat HALF of this bag of cheezits for breakfast…  I’ll only have 3 slices of garlic bread…  I’ll exercise once a month…).  Then, I got sick and couldn’t eat or function for 6 months.  BIG eye opener.

And, THEN, I turned 33 last November.  30 didn’t hit me badly – my 20’s were awful and I’m glad they’re gone – but, I was 33 and a shell of what I used to be.  I used to be a theater person.  I used to have fun clothes and shoes and dye my hair and go to the movies and read awesome books…  I used to be fun and exciting.  Now, I’m 33 and I just go through the motions.

It infuriated me.  And, I didn’t want to complain about all of this for another year and do nothing.  I’m sick of my complaining (and so is my boyfriend!)…  So, I made a list of 33 things I want to do while I’m 33.  And 80% of them involved things I’m scared of, things I think I’m allergic to, and exercise (the rest involved movies and vacations, because, why not?!!).


#2: Do 10 pushups in a row

#5: Try three types of seafood

#14: Be comfortable on the elliptical (it makes me SO dizzy!)

#33: Run a 12 minute mile


But, really, what I want to do is BE A YES.  I don’t want to be a no anymore.  I want to have adventures and not just watch people having them on tv (even though, I do love my tv).  That is what this year is about for me and why I am just throwing myself off the exercise cliff.  I have no choice – the time has to be now.

I am also all about not judging my failures as harshly, as well, as my entire healthy self should not be brought down by one bad meal or one missed workout.  I did not make it to the gym this weekend, but I did a lot of life thinking which needed to be done.  A girl I work with was murdered on Friday, and I think it instigated a lot of this drama going on in my head.  She was only a couple of years older than me and left kids and a family. Life is so short and anything can happen.

Also, I have to decide if I am going to teach the fall semester at the community college I’ve been at as a part-time adjunct for last few years.  Part of me loves it and part of me dreads it.  It is a lot of work on top of a full time day job, but I love talking about books.  BUT, I had a creepy stalker situation and the whole thing is a huge source of anxiety for me now.  How do I choose?

Healthy Plan for the Week:

  • Monday: Plan dinners for the week and go to bed early
  • Tuesday: GYM!
  • Wednesday: Medicine ball workout
  • Thursday: BOOTCAMP!
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: BOOTCAMP!
  • Sunday: Rest and plan dinners for the week

July 11, 2011 Posted by | 33 Things to do While I'm 33, Who am I?, wimpy-ness | Leave a comment