Posts Tagged ‘lists’

As you guys know, I’ve been loving the ToneItUp‘s workouts since mid-January.  I’ve done them 5 days a week, every week since I began, only missing while I was on vacation in Hawaii.  (If you haven’t checked them out, I highly recommend you do.  It’s completely free, and they have a fun community, full of supportive, motivating people who cheer on every workout you post about).

They’re about to launch their new #bikiniseries this coming Monday, which will run for 8 weeks, until the official start of summer.  Karena and Katrina put so much into the daily workouts they design, and the best part is, the whole thing is free.  All you need to do is sign up for the #bikiniseries and you’ll get reminder emails, weekly workouts, fun giveaways, yummy recipes, contests, etc.

I like the approach that Tone It Up takes toward living a healthy lifestyle.  Not only do they include workouts and nutrition, but they also concentrate on mindset.  Take yesterday’s challenge, for example:

The challenge asked participants to create their own summer must-do list.  Beyond workouts and eating right, what were things that we wanted to make sure to fit in this summer? I loved this! Any time I can make a list and get creative with my summer plans, I’m all for it!  As a teacher, lots of people ask me, what do you do all summer long?  My answer is always the same – anything I want to!  🙂  This summer, I really want to concentrate on enjoying each and every day.  I didn’t include all of my plans on my list, but I did include most of the things I’m hoping to do:



The photo I used is one that was taken for me by a Danish tourist while I was riding my bike at Kailua Beach on Oahu.  She worried that I would be upset that so much of it was in the shadows, but I assured her that I actually liked the way it turned out.  It was the perfect photo to use for this assignment because it has an artsy feel right off the bat.  I like the way I’m in silhouette with the bike, but the ocean and the beach are in the bright sun in the background.

I thought I’d elaborate a bit on each of these summer plans…

Mid-morning swims: One of my favorite parts of summer is being able to swim at the pool at my parents’ townhouse complex.  More often than not, if I get there by 10:30 or 11, I have the entire place to myself, and I’m free to swim laps to my heart’s content.  Sometimes my dad and I meet there and swim together, and it’s a nice way for us to connect with each other as we update each other on the latest family happenings while we’re drying off in the sun.  It’s also a great time for me to be alone with my thoughts and just let go of all worries and stress.  Swimming really soothes me, and I can’t wait to start my almost-daily swims.

Daily doses of laughter: Whether it’s retelling a funny story, joking with my nieces, or watching Sofi do something goofy, I want to appreciate all the little moments of laughter that are part of my daily life this summer.  Laughter is good for the soul and the spirit, and I want to make sure I’m enjoying it all the time.

Hawaii-themed party: Since I had such a fun time in Hawaii, I figured it would be fun to have a party with a Hawaiian theme.  I’m still deciding if I’ll combine it with a Silpada party that I’m planning to have, or if it will be more of a traditional party.  Either way, I have plenty of fun outfits to choose from.

Coffee chats: I live really close to Starbucks (doesn’t everyone?!), so close in fact, that I can walk there with ease.  It’s become a habit with three or four of my friends that we meet up there and catch up about all that’s going on in our lives.  It’s the perfect place to get together because I can get a calorie-free passion iced tea, or a caffeine kick with an iced cinnamon dolce misto.  As far as I’m concerned, coffee is the perfect drink any time of day, so it fits well with a more carefree summer schedule.

SF (and SJ) Giants games: I love supporting my Giants, and plan to go to as many games as I can afford to this summer.  One that I know I’ll go to is the Italian Night at the Giants, where a really large group of family and friends all get together.  It’s so much fun!  The tickets at AT&T Park are expensive, so lately my friends and I have been opting to go to the SJ Giants games.  Not only are they ridiculously inexpensive (less than $10 per game), but they’re a lot of fun.  Very family-friendly, with lots of activities for the kids to participate in between innings.  My friend Di and I are even signing up to do the Giant 5K, which gets us into the game the evening of the race.  I’m actually going to an SJ Giants game this Friday with my sister and nieces, which will be tons of fun.  Bring on the baseball!!

Going on dates!: I’m actually really looking forward to this one.  Assuming of  course there are men to go on dates with.  I was only on Match.com for about 2 months back in November/December, and I have to say, I was pretty underwhelmed.  I got lots of winks, emails, and nudges, but when it came time for the guys to just make the move and ask for my number so we could move it to the next level of texting/talking on the phone and then hopefully soon afterward meeting up, they never pulled the trigger.  Even when I directly said, “here’s my number, I’d love to figure out a time for us to meet up for coffee or something.”  They disappeared quick.  I’m not one to go into a long and drawn out relationship online via email, or text, for that matter.  If you’re interested, you think I’m cute, you want to get to know me better, then let’s do that – let’s meet up and see if we hit it off.  Because we can have all the chemistry in the world online, we won’t know if we’re really going to be attracted to each other until we meet up.  I’m hoping that this time of year will be easier to connect than it was around the holidays.  One of the major takeaways I had from my trip to Hawaii was that I’m really ready to be in a relationship, even a more casual one.  Hopefully I have a bit of romance in store this summer.

Leash-free beach trips: Last summer I had a blast taking Sofi to a lesser-known beach where she could run off leash.  We have the best time when we go – she loves running along the shore, but is afraid to get too close to the water, so I don’t have to worry much about the waves taking her.  We both get in a great walk, we get some sunshine, and I get to read and relax.  What could be better?  Besides just that particular dog-friendly beach, I also hope to hit the other local beaches often this summer.

Long walks w/ Sofi: I take Sofi on walks almost every single day, but in the summer it’s so nice to be able to wake up and take a nice, long walk before the temperature heats up too much.  I love exploring all the different streets around my neighborhood with Sofi.  She loves when I find new places for our walks, so that’s definitely on my to-do summer list.

Reading: I’m not off to the best start so far this year in terms of my reading goal on Goodreads, but I did get quite a bit of reading time in when I was on vacation in Hawaii.  My goal for the summer is to fit in at least an hour a day of reading time.  I enjoy reading so much, and I want to make it a priority during the time of year when I have so few responsibilities pulling my focus from the things I enjoy.

Riding roller coasters: This is a huge one for me! It will definitely be its own blog post when it happens because it will be a major NSV.  I love going on roller coasters – the wilder and faster the better.  I haven’t been on one in I can’t even remember how long because of the time that I got on one and almost had to get off because the safety bar wasn’t going to close.  I pleaded with the kid running the ride to let me stay on it, and he did.  After that I only got bigger and knew that roller coaster were way out of reach.  I didn’t ever want to risk the embarrassment of being asked to get off before I was able to ride the ride.  So, this summer I plan on going to Great America and the Santa Cruz Boardwalk to ride as many roller coasters as I can.  Can’t wait!!

Family BBQs: I love grilling any day of the week, but getting together with my family and friends and sharing a meal as easy as BBQing is something really look forward to.  Sometimes it’s as simple as bringing my meat over to their house for an impromptu BBQ; other times it’s a more planned affair, like for Father’s Day or 4th of July.  Either way, I can’t wait to fire up the grill and get cooking!

Cocktails: Summertime is a great time to relax and let go a bit.  While I usually only drink on special occasions because the alcohol has empty calories, there is something to be said for enjoying a nice glass of white wine or a Swirl (local peeps will know what time talking about) with friends. Any afternoon or evening becomes more of a celebration when you add a cocktail.

Bike rides: I love riding my cruiser around, and now that more of my friends have bikes, too, I hope to get out and go on rides all summer long.  Half Moon Bay, Morgan Hill, and everywhere in between.  I love the freedom I feel when I’m riding my bike, the sun shining on my face, the wind in my hair.  There’s nothing in the world like it.

Backyard lounging: I have this great Adirondack chair that I bought a few years ago that’s nicely weathered now.  I adore sitting in it and enjoying the peace and serenity of my backyard.  Looking at the garden and seeing the flowers and trees.  Watching Sofi cavorting in the grass.  Reading, listening to music, or just trying to keep cool on a warm night.  Sounds perfect to me.

There are a lot more things I could add to my list, but I’ll save those up until I have enough to create an entirely new one.  This was such a fun exercise, and I’m really glad the Tone It Up girls gave this assignment.  It put me in a great mood and gave me some inspiration to get through these last weeks of my school year.

Now that you’ve read my list of how I’m going to create my summer, I’d like to challenge you to write your own list.  Either in the comments or by joining the TIU challenge.  Post a pic on Instagram with your list.  Tweet about it.  Write your own blog post.  It was a fun activity that really put me in the mindset to enjoy myself this summer, and I can’t wait to read about your plans.

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Friday was a teacher workday at my school, and the nice thing was, several people came up to me and told me how great I looked. It’s so nice when people notice my weight loss, especially those who didn’t know I was doing anything. It really validates all the hard work and effort I’ve put into this.

For the first time in years, I’m looking forward to taking my school picture. I’m excited to see the difference between last year’s picture, which was so horrid that I made my yearbook students take a different picture of me for the yearbook, and this year’s. I feel this way about pictures in general. While not every picture I take shows me at my best angles, most of them are bearable, which is so different from the past, when I had to manipulate the way I posed so that my fat wouldn’t show up as much. As if.

One thing I’m slightly worried about is the hectic nature of my school day mornings. Even though I was working over the summer, my schedule was flexible enough that if I happened to oversleep, I could still make sure I had time to whip up my shakes and other meal replacements. Now that school is about to begin, and I HAVE to be at school by a certain time, I have to make sure I have enough time to do all of my morning tasks before I leave for school at 7:30.

The bedtime/morning plan:

  • Go to bed earlier than normal. Usually I stay up until at least 11pm and then start my “getting ready for bed routine” of brushing teeth, washing face, moisturizing, etc. And of course I can’t go straight to bed – I usually read for at least half an hour. (All of this is in a “perfect world” scenario. 9 times out of 10 I fall asleep on the couch and wake up at 2am, hit the bed, and oversleep). To avoid this, I’m going to start my “getting ready for bed” routine at 10pm, which means that I will miss those great shows that are on at that time, but hey, that’s what TiVo is for, right?
  • Set up the coffee maker at night. For someone as addicted to coffee as me, this should be a no-brainer, but I never do this. I try to wake up and grind the beans and make the coffee, but on the mornings that I oversleep (which is most mornings), I barely have time to hit Starbucks on my way into school. By setting this up in my “getting ready for bed” routine, I’ll ensure that I don’t spend so much money on Starbucks, and save it for Fridays, when I like to treat myself. (The Friday Starbucks run is my way of celebrating the upcoming weekend).
  • Plan what I’m going to wear the night before. I know I’m not alone in this, but when I wake up and put on an outfit, I usually go through 3 or 4 “changes” before I settle on something that I like. Lots of time is wasted in this process. Now that I’ve lost weight and all of my clothes fit (or are roomy), this shouldn’t be as much of an issue. I’m going to start laying out what I want to wear the night before, saving myself time in the morning.
  • Setting an extra alarm. My clock radio is right near my bed, and I swear that half the time it doesn’t even go off. Of course it does, but I’m in such a stupor in the morning that I hit snooze or turn it off, and don’t wake up until the last possible minute, causing me to fly around the house to get ready. Not a good feeling. Now that I have my iPhone, I’ve gotten into the habit of setting an alarm on that, and because I leave it in the other room, I have to physically get out of bed to turn it off. This gets me up and moving, which is great.
  • Taking a shower the night before. I’ve never been great at this, but since I don’t wash my hair every day, it makes sense that some nights I should take my shower before bed so that this is one less thing to do in the morning. I’m not sure if I’ll stick to this one, but I want to try it out and see how it goes.

Another part of this new school year plan is adjusting my working out routine. Last year I tried to go in the mornings on my “A” days, since I had a 1st period prep, and didn’t have to be at school until 10am. This year my prep was moved to 6th period, which is in the middle of the day. It’s good because I’ll actually use my prep to grade papers (in theory), but it means I can’t workout in the mornings anymore.

The new workout plan:

  • On days when I don’t have my prep, I’ll leave school at 4pm, come home to change into workout clothes, and ride my bike. At least until the time change, and then I’ll head to the gym.
  • On days when I do have the prep, I’ll leave school at 3pm, go home to change into workout clothes, and go to the gym around 4pm. I want to try to incorporate more weight training on these afternoons.
  • At least once a week, I want to go to Bikram yoga with BFF, so on those nights, I won’t workout. She and I haven’t settled on a certain day of the week, so this will change, which is actually good, I think. That way my body won’t get into too much of a routine.
  • On the weekends, I want to ride my bike, swim, play tennis, and/or go to the gym. This will obviously depend on my mood, the weather, etc.

Since I’m only going to be cooking dinner (my “lean and green meal” for Medifast), this makes food preparation a lot easier. I love to cook, but the main obstacle I have is not having the ingredients for the meal already in the house.

The cooking/grocery shopping plan:

  • To combat this, I’m going to go to the grocery store on the weekends, most likely on Sunday, and get enough food for the week. I usually have a protein of some sort in the freezer, but the veggies will need to be purchased frequently. I can also make mid-week stops at the grocery store on my way home from work if I need to supplement what I purchased on the weekend.
  • I definitely don’t want to waste food because it goes bad before I can cook it, so I’ll see how often I need to go to the store for the veggies and adjust the schedule accordingly.

Just writing these lists out helps me feel a lot more prepared for the school year ahead. The hard part will be building the routine, but I hope that once I start on it and see how well it’s working, I’ll want to continue it. All of this planning and organizing my life is going to help me continue down this path of a more healthy me. I’ll check in after this week to let you know how I’ve been doing.

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