Week Four Goals Recap

After a fairly stressful Week Three, I was really hoping that things would be calmer last week and that I could shift my focus back to my goals. But apparently the universe had other plans.

Anyone who has read my blog for any length of time knows that I am something of a cat lady. Currently, Bill and I have a pretty normal number of two – a fifteen-year-old Maine Coon, Saturday (yes, like the day – there were seven kittens in his litter and each was named for a day of the week), and Ernie, the sweet rescue cat we adopted after we got married in 2017. I brought Saturday home as a foster kitten on Valentine’s Day in 2009, when he was just a few months old, and I ended up deciding to keep him. We don’t know exactly how old Ernie is, but we’re guessing he’s between nine and thirteen.

On Friday night, it was very apparent that something was wrong with Saturday. He couldn’t keep anything down, he wasn’t his usual snuggly self, and he walked as though he was in pain. We took him to an emergency vet and were up pretty much all night with him. By the next afternoon, the decision was made to hospitalize him, which was one of the most difficult things I’d ever done in my life. But as awful as it felt to leave him behind at the vet, it was the best thing for him, and happily he was able to come home early this morning. He seems to be feeling so much better! His eyes are bright again, his appetite is good, and he’s back to asking for hugs and purring loudly when he receives them.

Between worrying for Saturday and not getting a lot of sleep this weekend, the last thing I was focused on was trying to get to the gym for a workout. I think that some people can somehow function relatively well when they’re sleep-deprived, but I am not that kind of person at all. Fatigue makes my whole body feel awful. I didn’t make great food choices either. Bill and I were exhausted and didn’t feel like cooking, and even if we did feel like it we didn’t have any food in the house and we weren’t up to grocery shopping, so we got through the weekend on fast food. Last night we finally decided we needed to get back on track, so we went grocery shopping and picked up things we could use to make quick and easy dinners since we didn’t really know what the week would be like.

It’s been a stressful couple of weeks, but I’m just so grateful that everything worked out in the end. Our laundry room will be repaired at some point, and our water leak didn’t cause damage to anyone else’s home. It was terrible seeing Saturday so sick and having to make the decision to hospitalize him, but I’m just thankful that his recovery has gone so well and that now he’s comfortable and back at home. And above all of that, I feel so lucky to have my wonderful marriage to Bill. We really are each other’s biggest supporters and best friends, and having him by my side makes even the worst times so much easier.

Thankfully, my good food choices earlier in the week balanced out a lackluster weekend, and I ended up only 23 calories over my goal for the week. I’m honestly shocked that I was able to do that! I also managed to hit step goal (just barely, my average steps for the week were 7,541, but I’ll take it!). Although I missed my Saturday workout and didn’t strength train last week, I’m proud of the fact that even on an “off” week I was still able to work out four days out of seven. All of this translated to a minor weight loss of 0.1lbs, but a loss is a loss, and I’m happy about it.

So far I’m down 4.8lbs in January. I’m hoping that I can get that last 0.2lbs off so that I can celebrate a five pound loss for the month!

Week Three Goals Recap

Last week was anything but boring! After the prior weekend and the freezing pipe and flooding issues in our building, Bill and I were on high alert and feeling extra vigilant in making sure we didn’t have any issues with leaks in our home. But Wednesday night before I headed to bed, I went into the laundry room to clean litterboxes and found water all over the floor. We were able to mop up the water and found that it was seeping in through the wall, but we weren’t sure where it was coming from or why. So we called our HOA’s building maintenance and then spent a sleepless night worrying about where the leak was coming from and whether things might get worse before a plumber arrived.

Thankfully the plumbers came out first thing in the morning and they were wonderful. They cut open the wall and determined that the service line that was installed with our new washer and dryer last November was defective, and that there had been a slow leak ever since. They replaced the line and we’re able to do laundry, and assured me that another company would follow up with me to repair the wall. Because of the amount of water leaks and damage from last week’s frozen temperatures, I’m not expecting it to happen anytime soon, but that’s fine. I’m just so grateful the issue was relatively minor, and that our neighbors downstairs weren’t impacted. I have no idea how much this repair is going to ultimately cost, but I called the company that we purchased the washer and dryer from and I’m hopeful that I can be reimbursed by the installers.

Even though the week was stressful, I only went over my calories for the week by 317, so I averaged 1,545 per day. I was pretty happy with that, and even happier to be down 3lbs from the prior week! I’m down a total of 4.7lbs and that feels great. Bill assures me he’s starting to be able to see the difference, and I think I’m noticing changes too.

As for the exercise part of my goals, I didn’t do all three of my strength training workouts since I was absolutely exhausted on Thursday after not sleeping, and on Friday I ended up slammed at work. But, I did get into my barre class on Saturday morning! I forgot how hard taking two hour-long workout classes back-to-back is. But thanks to Pilates, I noticed that my range of motion through the moves feels better.

Aside from health and fitness, I’ve also been doing a pretty good job keeping up with my weekly cleaning schedule. It did get thrown off a bit when I couldn’t wash sheets and towels on Thursday while the laundry room was being worked in, but I got back on track and this week I’m confident I can stick to my schedule. I’ve also been doing some great things with organizing! I bought a shoe rack for our bedroom closet and moved all of my shoes out of clear plastic bins, so now I can find them more easily and they’re neatly stored. Bill bought and installed pull-out spice racks for one of our cabinets which makes finding the spices we want a breeze. We also tackled our pantry, which is a narrow and deep cabinet that makes it really difficult to see what’s in there. We installed metal pull-out drawers onto the shelves, and now I can easily look at each shelf’s contents! Bill caught the organization bug and ordered new shelves and bins for storage under the sink in our hall bathroom, and it’s made a big difference.

The only goal I’m woefully behind on is my reading goal, as I’ve yet to finish a book this year. But this week I’m going to make a new rule for myself that I’m not allowed to play games on my phone at bedtime anymore, so if I want to lie in bed before I’m ready to go to sleep I’m only allowed to read. Hopefully that will help!

Week Two Goals Recap

Like most of the country, we’re experiencing a major cold snap here in Washington. Temperatures dropped dramatically on Thursday with the arrival of a light snow (which thankfully stopped before it could really accumulate), and we’ve seen overnight temps in the teens. I was really worried that the roads would be coated with ice and that I’d be stuck at home and unable to drive to the gym, but I’m happy that it never happened and I was able to follow my usual workout routine.

On Saturday, one of the fire sprinkler pipes in our building froze and then burst. Since the sprinklers are part of the fire system, it set off the fire alarm to the building. Bill and I were home, getting ready to head over to a friend’s house to play cards, and of course when it started my hair was still wet and I wasn’t dressed yet. Bill went out into the hall to investigate whether he could see any signs of fire, while I threw clothes on and pulled cat carriers out of the front closet to grab the boys. Even though Bill came back in and reported that he didn’t see or smell anything, the alarm continued to blare, and it was obvious something was very wrong. We gathered up the cats and headed outside, standing in the parking lot and watching while we waited for the fire department. I did retrieve my car from the parking garage and left it running outside, securing the cats in the backseat, so that they wouldn’t get too cold.

It took about half an hour for the fire department to get everything secured enough that we felt okay returning to our home. By talking to neighbors, we learned about the broken pipe and that at least one condo unit had been flooded. We felt awful for our neighbors, so we unloaded our cats in our place and then headed down the hall to see if we could help at all. There was a LOT of water in the unit below the broken pipe. Using a Shop Vac, Bill and I took turns sucking up water from the floors and helping our neighbors move furniture and valuables to their living room, which somehow was free from water. We helped as much as we could, and then returned home exhausted but very thankful that our own home had been spared and that we could at least make a bad situation a tiny bit better for others.

After the drama of the evacuation and flood, all we wanted was comfort food, so we went and got pizza and drinks so that we could relax a bit. I’d love to say that this was my only splurge in my second week in January, because that would have been totally fine, but I had already gone off the rails on Wednesday when I worked from the office. I ate out for all three meals, had drinks with dinner even though I’d pledged not to do that during the week, and skipped my Wednesday night workout. But I’m pleased that I did rally and on Thursday I did both a lunchtime walk and a strength training workout.

My other hiccup for the week was that when I tried to sign up for the Saturday morning barre class, it was already full. I forgot how fast classes fill up in January at the gym. I can book spots in classes beginning fifty hours ahead of the class start time, so I now have a new alarm and reminder for Thursday mornings to wake up early enough to get into barre. But even though I didn’t get booked into that class, I did complete three strength training workouts at home last week using the Peloton app.

This morning, I weighed myself and the number was exactly the same as it was last Monday, which was no surprise since I exceeded my weekly calories by so much. But, I’m happy that I didn’t gain anything back, and I’m happy with incorporating strength training workouts into my weekly routine. And I exceeded my step goal by about a thousand steps, showing that I did get movement in.

For week three, my goals are to attend all four of my dance classes and my Pilates class, and to complete at least three strength-training workouts. I also have some tweaks I’m going to make to my diet to try and trim some calories while maximizing nutrients. For breakfast, I’ve been having two eggs scrambled with veggies and a whole wheat English muffin with butter. This week I’m going to ditch the English muffin, but add an apple as a mid-morning snack. It’s going to be another really cold week, so Bill is planning to make a big pot of chili that we can have for dinners. I feel like I have a solid plan, so hopefully this will be a good week for weight loss.

Week One Goals Recap

We’re officially beginning the second week of January, and it’s promising to be cold, wet, and possibly snowy. I’m a person who always initially gets excited at the prospect of snow, because pretty, but who then ultimately loathes it because it makes it impossible to drive anywhere and it interrupts my normal routine. Fingers crossed that if it does indeed snow, that it won’t be enough to keep me from the gym.

I’m happy to be able to report that I stuck to all of my goals for the first week of January, and was rewarded with a 1.7lb weight loss. That might not sound like a lot, but I believe that slow and sustainable is the way to go. I could easily cut my calories more, increase my exercise goals, and lose the weight faster – that is, if I didn’t get frustrated by the deprivation and give up or injure myself first. Accepting that this is going to take time and being patient will be my key to success.

Yesterday I went to the grocery store and then meal-prepped for the coming week. Since the weather is forecasted to be so cold, I wanted to plan something nice and warm for dinners. Bill and I decided that we’d make a big batch of spaghetti that we could reheat each night and have that along with a side salad. Years ago, Bill did a ton of research to find a jar marinara sauce that wasn’t ridiculously high in sodium and artificial junk, and he landed on Dave’s Gourmet Pasta Sauce. Recently, the grocery stores in our area have stopped carrying it, so I’ve started making my own marinara sauce and I’m pretty happy with it. I made a huge pot of it yesterday afternoon, letting it simmer while I chopped vegetables and put together our salad as well as the veggies that I scramble with my eggs in the morning for breakfasts. Having all the vegetables and sauce pre-ready makes preparing meals a lot faster. Bill will make the spaghetti tonight while I’m at the gym, and then it’ll be nice not to have to cook for the rest of the week. Although we both enjoy cooking and being in the kitchen, it does start to feel like a chore after working all day.

This week, I want to focus on my monthly goals but also add in a challenge to myself to do three strength-training workouts this week. They don’t have to be long, but I know I do need to incorporate more strength training into my exercise routine. Last week, I went to dance fitness classes four days and Pilates once, and I love all of those classes so I don’t want to change it up this week. Instead, I’m going to try and do some weight lifting before my evening dance classes on Monday and Wednesday, and sign up for Barre on Saturday morning before my dance class.

I’m feeling really good going into the second week and I’m excited to see more progress.

My Goals for January

Happy New Year and welcome 2024! Bill and I had a quiet night in for NYE. Usually we get together with friends to celebrate, but this year most of them had Covid so we stayed home this year. I made steaks for dinner, and we spent the evening playing cards and Dominos. All in all it was a really nice evening.

Today I got up and went to a dance fitness class at my gym, which felt like the perfect way to kick off a new year focusing on health and fitness. This afternoon Bill and I watched the Seattle Kraken win their first Winter Classic, and then we took down the Christmas decorations. Now it feels like the holidays are truly over.

I also spent some time journaling, doing my daily gratitude as well as making a schedule for housework for January. My first goal for the month is to stick to that cleaning schedule. I’m hoping it’ll reduce my anxiety as well as making our home comfortable all month long.

I did weigh myself this morning, and while I’m not comfortable sharing the exact number I’ll just say that I’m starting 2024 the heaviest I’ve ever been. I’m not dwelling on that, choosing instead to focus my energy on creating new habits that will help to change it. I’ve made four weight loss and fitness-oriented goals for January to get myself started.

Average 7,500 steps per day. Walking is a really underrated exercise and I know that having a step goal will encourage me to get out for walks.

Exercise at least five days per week. I have a gym membership and can supplement with at-home workouts. Being active is really important to me going into the new year.

Average 1,500 calories per day. I’ve picked calorie counting as a way to start being more aware of how much I’m eating and to work on portion control. It’s the only weight loss method that’s ever consistently worked for me in the past. I like it because nothing is off limits; I just have to budget for the foods I want. Well, nothing is off limits in January except for one thing….