Posts Tagged ‘Lent’

bilbl_shoppingFriday Five

1.  I took today off to get myself organized around the house.  I’ve had busy weekends for the past month, and I feel like my house is in need of a deep cleaning.  For example, the other day I had to use a beach towel because I was in desperate need of doing laundry. Plus, as part of my Lenten Sacrifice, I need to spend some more time going through my closet and compiling clothes to donate.

2.  Speaking of clothes, I’ve been having a great time buying some clothes for Hawaii.  I wanted to buy a few sundresses, and found some great ones:

caprihalter hilowdress roseleopard They’re all really light and will be perfect for Hawaii’s temps.  The maxi dress will definitely be too long for me, but I found a great tailor who hems dresses for really cheap, and since the dress itself was on clearance at $17, paying for the tailoring is worth it.  I’m a bit worried that the hi-low dress might be a bit too short in front, but hopefully it will hit me lower because I’m short.

Remember those bikini tops I bought from VS?  Well they arrived the other day, and they were a bit too small. (I am very happy to say that the bottoms I bought fit well). They fit, but they were cut really sexily, and I just didn’t think I’d feel very comfortable wearing them, and would be worried that I’d “pop out.” So I returned those and got these “perfect coverage” tops instead:

black polkadots stripes&aqua I think I’ll feel a lot more secure in these.  That third one was on sale at Kohl’s and I like that it has a tiny bit of aqua detail.  Plenty of tops for the beach for a week. I also finally bought the board shorts that I’d planned on:

boardshorts  I haven’t received these yet,but I’m really hopeful that they’ll be long enough and fit well. A few comments on the site that I bought them from said that they wore them out and about on vacation, as well as on the beach, which I think is a great idea.  I don’t have any pants suitable for Hawaii (I think jeans will be too heavy), so I also bought a few pairs of capris:

vsfleececrop tekgearcapris skimmerpants The first ones are fleece crops from Victoria’s Secret, and because I really liked the fit of the boyfriend pants I bought from VS before, I thought I’d  give these a try.  The second are from Kohl’s and were only $15; they seem like good lounge pants.  And the last ones are also from Kohl’s – I really hope they fit well because I think they’re really cute.  The only things left to buy for the trip (and for my spring/summer wardrobe) are some tanks and a few tops.

3. I started this morning off with a great spin class!  I’d bought some new padded bicycle capri pants that worked really well; I didn’t feel any of that pelvic bone pain that I’d had the first time.  I definitely need to fit more spin classes into my normal routine, because I love how powerful I feel when I’m in the class, and I really like the huge calorie burn that comes with the 60 minute session.

4. 20140314-145221.jpg I thought I’d share a lunch that I’ve been loving.  I first saw it on Pinterest, and I’ve seen it a lot on Instagram, too.  It’s a twist on egg salad – instead of using mayonnaise I substitute guacamole.  It might look a little strange and green, but it’s really delicious and adds a nice kick. Today because I’d burned so many calories with spin class, my TIU workouts, and taking Sofi for a walk in the neighborhood, I put the egg salad on two slices of Dave’s Good Seed Thin-Sliced Bread.  But this egg salad is also great on spinach to keep it more low carb.  I know it seems odd, but just give it a try.

5. This weekend I have some fun plans! Tomorrow afternoon I’m heading to SF to meet up with VSGTanya, whose videos on YouTube and posts on FB have really helped me learn so much about this journey.  Plus, she’s just a cool lady! She lives near New Orleans, but will be here in my area for work, so I couldn’t pass up the chance to meet her while she’s here. I can’t wait to meet her after following her story on YT and FB for over a year and a half.  There will be quite a few other WLS -ers there, so it will be fun to meet new people.  Then on Sunday my friend Di and I are volunteering for 3 hours doing a cleanup day at a local lake county park.

2013-09-27 12.14.29Happy Friday! I hope you have a wonderful weekend, full of fun and exciting adventures.

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(I’ve been meaning to write this post since Ash Wednesday last week, but the time just got away from me).

Lent_40days_blback In thinking about my Lenten sacrifice this year, I decided that rather than giving something up, I’m going to do something.  As my mom put it, “adults don’t give things up, children do.”  And since I feel like my diet and exercise are already on point, and I don’t have many other things I’m willing to forgo for 40 days, doing something positive that would impact someone else’s life seemed like a much better option.

So this year, I’m giving of myself – donating clothes and volunteering.  Each week I’m going to give back in some way:

  • Last week: I barely conceived of this idea.
  • This week: Going through my closet and donating all of the clothes that have gotten too big.  I already have 4 trash bags full, but I know there will be several more.
  • 3/16: 3 hours volunteering at a county park lake cleanup
  • 3/22: 6 hours volunteering with alumnae from my high school at Sacred Heart Community Service
  • 3/26: 2 hours volunteering doing food sorting at the warehouse of Second Harvest Food Bank
  • 3/29: 4 hours volunteering at Furry Friends dog adoption
  • TBD: volunteering for a local Relay for Life chapter
  • TBD: volunteering at a local small garden
  • Donating a baby blanket that I crochet to the Linus Project

My goal is to do at least 20 hours of volunteer work during the season of Lent, and I think I’ll more than cover that with these things.

Do you do a Lenten sacrifice?  If so, what’s yours for this year?

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13in13 Let’s see, it’s February 12th… more than a month has passed since my first 13 in 13 post, and I figured it was time (well past time) for me to give a little update on how things are going. I really like taking a look at how I’ve been doing with these goals, because it puts them at the forefront of my mind and makes me more aware of my priorities.

I’m going to take a page out of Rebecca’s book and organize this post into what’s going well, what’s mediocre/unstarted, and what I need to work on.

smiley-faceWhat’s going well… 

#1 – I’m 7 lbs away from my WLS goal, which means I’m going to be way ahead of my original goal, which was to qualify for WLS by mid-March.  If all goes as I am striving for, I will make my goal by mid-February.  Woot, woot!!

#3 & #4 – I haven’t had tons of grading to do, so I haven’t really needed to stay at school until 4pm on B days, but that’s going to change tomorrow, when book reports come pouring in. (And then again at the end end of February when two sets of Realism essays come my way).  I have been excellent on A days – I’ve hit the gym every single time (unless it was deemed a rest day).  I’ve come to really enjoy those early days at the gym.

#5, #6, & #9 – I’ve made it to Zumba and Lululemon yoga most weekends.  I’m so glad that my plantar fasciitis has subsided enough that I can go resume Zumba and yoga.  It’s nice to be able to keep the workouts full of fun and variety.  I’ve also made it a point to bring friends to both Zumba and the Lululemon yoga, which helps with #9, because we usually spend time afterward catching up over coffee.  As for the second part of #6, as I said above, I haven’t needed to spend any time grading yet, but that’s going to change at the end of the month.  In an odd way, I’m looking forward to spending time at Starbucks grading, because it’s a good way to get out of the house and possibly meet new people.

#12 – My sister has been kind enough to take monthly photos of me in January and February, so this one is going well. Once I have three months’ worth of photos, I’ll post them here.


yellow-neutral-face-mdWhat I haven’t started yet, or what’s been mediocre…

#7 – I haven’t started any Pinterest crafts yet, but I have two that I’m planning on working on next week, while I have the week off.  More on those as I complete them.

#8 – I haven’t kept up with my Google reader on a daily basis, but I do try to keep up on the weekends.  I also comment on as many blogs as I can think of things to write.

#9 – I’ve done some fun things with friends, but not often enough.  Some of that is because of not having extra money go out, but I have made an effort to incorporate coffee dates or workout buddy dates as much as I can.

#11 – I’m not planning on doing any research on health education until the summer.

#13 – As stated in the goal itself, this one won’t be happening until late October 2013, at the earliest.


smiley-face-sticking-out-tongueWhat’s not going well/what I need to put more effort into…

#2 – I haven’t made great progress on my goal of reading 35 books in a year.  In fact, I’ve read 1 book and I have two others started.  For someone who loves reading as much as I do, I’m surprised that I’m not doing better at this goal.  It will be easy enough to pick this up beginning now.  I just need to set aside the time, especially on the weekends.

#10 – I think I made it to bed by 10pm for about a week or so.  Since this is not a part of my nature, it’s something I’ve got to put more of an effort into.  So, I’ve decided to make this my Lenten goal:

Lent_40days_blback Beginning tomorrow, Ash Wednesday, I’m going to get to bed by 10pm every non-vacation weeknight for the next 40 days.  To give myself more accountability, I’m going to check in on this Lenten goal every Wednesday.

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Yesterday was a blur, actually this week has been, but I just wanted to check in quickly on my Lent Goals of No Excuses. Things are plugging along, and I’m proud of my consistency, for example:


Every single meal, snack, and movement tracked in MyFitnessPal. Not too shabby.

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For this week’s update, I have an anecdote to let you know just how well I’m doing.

Imagine it. Monday. It’s a Monday, so it’s already got something going against it, right? And to top it off, it’s the first workday after the time change, where we lost an hour. Strike two.

I woke up feeling really bloated and gas-y, which I later determined was due to the Medifast shakes, drinks, and bars I ate on Sunday, so you can bet that I’ve thrown all of that out. Sure, I’m wasting food/money, but it’s simply not worth putting my system through it. I’m still feeling the effects, and I stopped eating the Medifast products on Sunday. Not good, and oh yes, that’s strike three.

I went about my workday on Monday without much consequence, although I was feeling really fat and uncomfortable due to said bloating, but the day went by quickly, and I was looking forward to heading to the gym right after work.

So, I’m at the gym, about to change, when I notice several things that made me do a double-take on my iCal, wondering if it was really the 13th instead of the 12th (because now we’re up to too many strikes to count):

  1. oh look, I only have one athletic sock
  2. hmmm, I forgot the key for my locker lock
  3. that tshirt I brought with me had just come straight from the dryer, and was tight

But did I let that deter me? No! Here’s how I worked it out:

  1. I put my shoes on without any socks
  2. I didn’t have anything too valuable to put in the locker anyway, so I put my trust in my fellow gym-goers
  3. I went into the bathroom stall and stretched the shirt out as much as I could.

Did I still feel fat and bloated, even more so now that I was wearing a too-small tee? Yes! Did I workout anyway? Yes!

I didn’t get on the elliptical as I’d planned, because I knew the shirt would bug me the entire time, but I did jump on the recumbent bike and work as hard as I could, given the circumstances:

20120313-183718.jpg I actually burned 815 calories, according to MyFitnessPal. Granted, it’s just an approximation, but I’ll take every single one of those, since I earned them after all that I went through just getting to that bike.

The moral of this story? I’m doing great, despite not feeling tip top. I’m keeping it moving and finding the motivation where I can. If that’s not not letting excuses get in the way, don’t know what is.

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It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for a quick update about how I’m doing on my Lenten goal about giving up excuses.

This week past week I had a couple tests of my resolve:

  1. The scale was up, which is always super frustrating.
  2. I had several really busy days at work, which makes it easier to give up working out.

I’m happy to report that I didn’t let either of these things stop me.  I quickly realized that the weight gain was my body’s reaction to the strength training, so I ceased and desisted ASAP.  I used the afternoon cardio workouts as a way to release the stress of the workday.

And you know what?  I feel great.  I feel a sense of accomplishment that I’m sticking with my goals and not getting dragged down by excuses.  I’m feeling even better that  the scale is finally moving in the right direction again.  I’ve lost 3.6 lbs in the last two days, and if I keep up this pace, I may just get to my goal by mid April. No matter what, I’m not going to let excuses hold me back.


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Growing up, Lent meant giving up things I liked. I can't imagine what it would be like these days!

If you want to understand more about why Catholics (among others) give up things for Lent, click here. As difficult as it used to be to sacrifice something for Lent when I was younger, I actually really like the concept as an adult.

This year, the things I’m giving up aren’t a sacrifice at all, they’re my excuses.

  • I don’t have time to workout because I have to…
  • I was so tired because of ____ that I just didn’t feel like cooking dinner (rare)
  • I got home from work late, and I need to walk Sofi, so I can’t workout.
  • I stayed up late grading/watching tv/blogging and I couldn’t get enough sleep last night.
  • I can have this (indulgence that I shouldn’t be eating) because I did a great workout today.
  • I just don’t feel like going to the gym tonight.
  • I can’t fit in all my water because I don’t get much chance to use the bathroom while I’m at work (true, but this can be worked around).
  • I’ll start back on my plan after the weekend.

You get the idea. You’ve read plenty of my justifications and excuses over the years, and for the next 40 days (and hopefully forever), I’m banishing them from my vocabulary. Because for every stupid excuse/justification/reason there is a counterpart as to why I should just go ahead and do the healthier option. So that’s what I’m going to do.

I’m going to check in every Wednesday of Lent to see how I’m doing. The scale will be an indicator, as will my food and exercise diaries on MyFitnessPal.

Do you give up anything for Lent? What’s your plan this year (if you are)?

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Wow, it’s amazing that 7 weeks have already gone by.  I feel like that time has really flown by, and I’m sure that’s mostly because I expected my weight loss to be a lot faster (within moderation) than it has been.  Let’s face it, this hasn’t been my best 7 weeks.  My weight loss has come in dribs and drabs, and the overall totals?  Well, they’re still not pretty.

So let’s get to that scale shot:

Which means that I lost 0.4 lb this week, for an overall gain of 2.1 pounds in 2010. That’s the part that kills me.  The “overall gain” in 2010.  I know that it will eventually be an “overall loss,” but when it hasn’t happened 7 weeks in, it’s discouraging.

Still, I’m keeping my spirits up because I did lose 1/2 a pound while I have my period.  That’s amazing for me.  I usually gain weight when I have it, and in my daily weigh-ins all week, I’ve been up.  This weight is actually down over a pound from what the scale showed me yesterday.

I’ve been thinking a lot about why this weight isn’t coming off.  I’ve wondered if maybe WW isn’t the right program for me.  I even considered, for a desperate moment, joining Jenny Craig again.  Just to “jumpstart” things.  But I know that JC doesn’t work for me long term.  I’ve done it twice before, and had huge short-term scale success, but because it’s not a lifestyle change, the weight loss never lasts, for me at least.

Then I started thinking about why I’m usually so successful with diet programs (Medifast, Jenny Craig, etc) at the beginning.  For the first 4-7 weeks I’m on it.  I’m eating the prescribed meals, I’m not complaining about how bad things taste, I’m actually happy to be on a program, and I give it all of my efforts.  I think this is because I’m paying a lot of money for the program, so I tell myself that I’d better be a “good little dieter” and get everything out of it that I can.  It’s the whole perfectionist/A student thing.  It doesn’t last too long, because eventually I tire of the awful food, inadequate shakes, etc. and just crave “real food.”  And so it goes.

So last night I had a bit of an epiphany.  This isn’t a “diet program,” this is for life. This is a lifestyle.  But I can still put that A student effort into this, to jump start my weight loss for a little bit. Which means weighing and measuring EVERYTHING (I’m pretty good with this now, but not perfect).  It means getting in all my water, and then some.  It means earning those Activity Points.  I’ve got that covered this week, but once school starts back again, I need to keep up with it.  And it means finding new recipes and cooking them, so I always have something healthy and satisfying on hand at home so I’m not tempted to get fast food.

I need NEED NEED to see a significant loss on the scale.  I want to get down 10 pounds to start with.  No, not in a week, don’t panic.  But within the next 7 weeks, at least.  At my current weight, it is safe for me to lose between 2-3 pounds per week, and I’ve fallen short of that every single week.  I’m tired of seeing the numbers on the scale and having to talk myself into having a good attitude about it.

So before all of you and to myself (mostly to myself), I’m committing to giving WW my all and then some for the next 7 weeks.  Which takes us to April 7.  I’m not going to say exactly how much weight I want to lose by then, but I will say that I hope it’s at least 10 pounds, which seems both realistic and doable, given my currently weight.  I’d love to hit my 5%, which would be 14 lbs, within this time, but I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself.  I’m just going to be the best WWer I can be and see what happens.

I’m actually excited to get started, and I’m so glad that I have a few more days off to get things kicked off.


Lenten Goal

It’s Ash Wednesday, which means we’re at the beginning of the Lenten season.  What kind of former Catholic school girl (12 years in a plaid skirt means I’m hardcore!) would I be if I didn’t do something for Lent?  I’m hardly what anyone would consider a good Catholic, although  each year during Lent I do try to avoid meat on Fridays and do something for Lent each year.

Rather than giving something up for Lent, which seems so negative to me, I’ve decided to accomplish something for the next 40 days.

One of the biggest things I struggle with is getting enough sleep during the week. I’m a night owl, yet I have to wake up early in the morning to make it to work on time, so I just don’t get much sleep.  Most nights, I’m lucky if I get 6 hours.  Often it’s less than that.

There have been tons of studies that indicate the connection between getting enough sleep and weight loss success.  Not to mention the fact that it’s just so much easier to wake up at 5:45am when I’ve gone to bed at a decent time.  I feel refreshed, invigorated, and ready to take on the day.

So…for the next 40 days I will get at least 7 hours of sleep.   Since weeknights are the problem, here’s the plan:

  1. After dinner each evening, clean up the dishes & pots and pans.
  2. Get the next day’s breakfast and lunch sorted out and ready to throw into my lunch bag.
  3. Turn off the t.v. and step away from the computer by 10pm.
  4. Hit the bathroom for the nightly brushing teeth, washing face, etc.
  5. Get in bed and relax with a book.
  6. Lights off by 10:30.

Each Wednesday I’ll do my Lent Goal update after my weigh-in update, so you guys can check in.  Sweet Dreams!

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Growing up I hated Lent because it meant that we had to eat fish on Fridays — petrale sole, halibut, cod, calamari steaks, salmon, etc. etc. . I didn’t like many types of fish when I was younger — shellfish was about it. Unless it was crab or shrimp and maybe mussels or clams, I wasn’t a fan.

You see, we didn’t eat grilled cheese sandwiches or mac ‘n’ cheese in my house. That food was too “American” for my Italian family. Plus, my mom is such a great cook that I think she would consider that type of food too boring. I also think my dad would’ve scoffed and said that that type of food was something that poor college kids eat when they have no other choice. As a result, grilled cheese has to be one of my top 10 foods of all time now. I love it! I haven’t made it in a while since beginning SBD, but I know I could if I bought some good whole grain bread and lower fat cheese.

But I digress…

As I’ve gotten older I’ve come to love every type of fish, although I’m not as confident cooking it as I am meat or chicken for some reason. I’m hoping that changes this Lent.

This year I’ve decided to stick to the “no meat on Fridays” rule for the first time in years. I’m not really sure why I decided to to do it this year. It’s not like I’m going to Mass every Sunday or have suddenly become a good Catholic girl again. For some reason I just thought it would be a nice thing to do, and a great way for me to experiment with cooking more fish.

So far so good. If you know of any easy and interesting ways to prepare fish that aren’t high in calories (i.e. no fish ‘n chips), please let me know in the comments.

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