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New Job, New Routine

As you can probably tell from my last post, on a professional and personal level, my life is going great. Today marks the start of week two at my new job, and it honestly feels almost too good to be true because it’s going so well. I’m sure part of that has to do with the honeymoon phase of it being new, but being in the education field feels so good, and the organization truly values work/life balance and its very evident.

That said, I’ve been in a really rough place healthy-living wise. I thrive on routine and do best when I have a plan of action in place, and for the last few weeks I haven’t had that at all. Between leaving my last job, taking a little over a week off, traveling a bunch, and starting a new job, everything has just felt up in the air. I’ve been slacking majorly on the exercise front and have been eating like crap, too.

When I was thinking about how hectic things have been lately, I realized that last week I ate every single meal out, with the exception of breakfast on Monday morning. I normally eat 2-3 meals out a week at most, so that is really out of the ordinary for me. That said, I did try to focus on eating healthy breakfast and lunches most days, but dinners were all over the place and usually involved (too much) booze. I also didn’t focus on eating fruits and veggies enough since I wasn’t bringing food with me, and it’s time for that to change.

With the new job, I do have a gym in the lobby with showers and locker rooms, which is something I’ve never had before so will take a little getting used to. I get an hour for lunch most days, so if I have too much going on before or after work, I should be able to workout over lunch. I’m actually thinking about getting a second pair of sneakers that I can leave at my office, so I have less to bring with me if I’m going to use that gym.

Along with establishing a workout routine, I have to get back into menu planning and stocking up my desk with healthy options. Since my birthday is Friday, my office sent me a fruit basket!

Birthday Basket

It has pears and oranges, so that’s a good start. Minus the chocolate. And the cheese. Winking smile

I went grocery shopping yesterday to stock up my kitchen, and here’s what I came up with for a meal plan this week:

Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Monday Greek Yogurt w/Berries + Uncle Sam’s Cereal Salad w/leftover chicken + super simple tzatziki Soft boiled eggs w/toasted English muffin
Tuesday English Muffin w/Cottage Cheese, Banana Salad w/leftover chicken + tzatziki Chickpea Burgers w/Watermelon + Feta Salad
Wednesday Greek Yogurt w/fruit + granola Leftover Chickpea burgers and watermelon salad Soba Noodles + Peanut Sauce w/Tofu
Thursday Oatmeal w/pb + banana Leftover Soba Noodles + Peanut Sauce w/Tofu Out
Friday English Muffin w/cottage cheese + berries Leftover Chickpea burgers and watermelon salad Birthday happy hour!

 

It feels so good to have a plan in place!

This week I vow to:

  • Bring my breakfast and lunch to work every single day.
  • Workout at least 3 times Monday – Friday.
  • Drink at least 64 oz. of water during the work day.

What’s one goal you have for this week?

Life Lately

I didn’t intend for it to be quite so long since my last post… but things got crazy! The next day, I left for St. Louis for my very last business trip, and the city itself was pretty fun! We were right downtown by the Arch, and the rooftop bar at my hotel had a 360º view of the city, which was pretty breathtaking. Check out this picture from when I wandered out to get lunch one day.

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Incredible, right?

Work-wise, the trip was great. They made the announcement at the Board of Directors meeting that I was leaving, so I got to say a lot of goodbyes and get well-wishes from some of the key players at my old organization. After getting back to DC, I trained my replacement for three days, which were my last ones in the office. Late that last day, I was given a goodbye party with champagne and cheese, and was presented with a plaque from the President of my company on behalf of the board.

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It was really the perfect goodbye, and bittersweet at best.

The next day, I flew up to Boston for one of my best friend from college’s weddings. Check out the background of her wedding:

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How beautiful is that!? It was so fun to be with my best friends from college.

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After the ceremony, the reception was held in the most amazing tent I’ve ever seen for a wedding.

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It was hard to believe it was a tent! We got TONS of pictures, of course.

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But I’ll spare you too many. Since the wedding was in Boston, we got a full New England style dinner.

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Lobster!! How awesome.

Oh, and one more thing about the wedding – I did my own hair and was really happy with how it came out!

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It stayed up the whole night and it felt so good to have it off my face!

After leaving Boston, I headed to NYC for a few days to hang out with my sister and her kids, before taking the bus back to DC for another few days. I took the whole week off last week, which was necessary I think before starting the new job. It felt so good to just lay low and do everything I needed to get done to get ready for the new job.

And today marks the first day of my new life as a director!

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The job is going REALLY well. I am so thrilled to be there and am really hitting the gruond running. Everyone is so nice and welcoming – – I even had a welcome gift from my boss on day 1!

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(It had a moleskin, a fancy pen, a candle, and a sweet card.)

Anyway, life has been hectic, but great. I am in such a good place and am so content. My birthday is one week from today and I can FEEL that it’s going to be a good year!

Friday Five

Five Goals for June

    1. Lose 4 lbs (average of 1/week)
    2. Consistently strength train 2x a week
    3. Go through my closet and get rid of things to donate that I don’t wear
    4. Try to be in bed by 11pm most nights
    5. Finish reading Born to Run

Four Bands I’ve Been Listening to a Lot Lately

    1. Mumford & Sons
    2. Bright Eyes
    3. The National
    4. Wilco

Three places I travel this month:

    1. St. Louis for a conference for work
    2. Boston for a wedding
    3. NYC for a week!

Two Hysterical Websites

    1. Go Away – This is David Thorne’s website, and I have literally been laughing so hard I cry when I read some of his stuff. My personal favs: Justin’s Floodlight, Formal Complaints, and Missing Missy.
    2. Don’t Even Reply – This guy basically responds to classified ads and really screws around with the people. I can’t even articulate how funny they are, but check out My New Jogging Partner.

One Chobani Giveaway Winner:

#217 – Nina Wassel – Congratulations!! Her favorite way to eat Greek yogurt?

“I love my greek yogurt frappuccino!!! 1/2 cup greek yogurt, 1/2 cup protein powder, 1/2 cup water, 2 t decaf coffee powder, 1 T cocoa powder, 2 pks splenda and lots of ice in my magic bullet. Sooooo yummy!!!! only 4 WW+ pts!”

Please email me at bethsjourneyblog at gmail dot com so I can pass your info along to the Chobani folks! Thanks to everyone for entering!

Share a funny/amusing website in the comments if you have one you love!

Other Weight Loss Bloggers

In light of the fact that I haven’t been posting quite as much lately because I’ve been spread so thin with my day job, being a Leader for Weight Watchers, traveling every weekend, and life in general, I’d love to open the comments section up for referrals to other weight loss bloggers that you guys love.

Don’t worry – I’m not going anywhere – I just will only be posting when I can until things slow down, which hopefully will be soon because I miss it! And, I’ll be back tomorrow with a weigh in result post. I didn’t weigh in last week because I was out of town for a staff retreat, but will be weighing in at my meeting today so will be back with a full report, but it’s not looking good.

This week’s topic is Outsmarting the Grocery Store – and as you probably know – grocery shopping is one of my favorite things to do, so I LOVE the topic! Last night’s meeting was so awesome, even though we ended up talking about cheese the whole time – another one of my favorite things. Smile

So… please leave a comment below and list one or a few of your favorite weight loss bloggers that isn’t me! Give a little background about what they write about/why you love them and we should all be able to find a few new great blogs to read!

Be back soon!

Five Fact Friday

1.) The weather has been gorgeous this whole week and I’ve eaten lunch outside every single day. Cross your fingers (and toes) that it holds up for tomorrow!

beautful

2.) It’s day six in a row of clean eating, zero alcohol and extra sleep, and I am feeling great and very well rested! I should probably do this more often…

3.) This week, I booked a vacation to St. Maarten with my sister, her husband, and my nephew, and the best part is that I leave 3 weeks from Sunday!!! It’s just a quick trip (4 nights) but it will be SO nice to get away and get some sun, some Harper, and the Caribbean Sea!

harper

4.) I feel SKINNY for the first time in a long, long time. I’ve been really diligent about eating well (and working out) and I can notice a big difference in the mirror and in my clothes. It feels soooo good!

5.) The half marathon is… TOMORROW! It’s really happening and now I am feeling both excited and nervous!!

RnR

Share a fun fact about you with me!

Move for Mobility

Today’s guest post is from Amber, one of my closest friends and one I’ve mentioned more than a few times here on Beth’s Journey. She is the one who I scheduled “healthy dates” with when I first started to lose weight where we would go for a run or a swim and then do healthy dinner together, and we actually have one of those dates tonight! She has always been one of my fitness inspirations, and I hope you enjoy what she has to share with you all today!

My mom has always been my biggest inspiration for health and fitness. Some of my earliest memories of my mom include her coming back from runs early in the morning, sweaty and energetically preparing breakfast. She started me in athletic activities from a very young age, carting me from dance lessons to gymnastics, and later to swim team and soccer practice. In fact, there is not a time I can remember her not participating in some sort of physical activity — which is why it was particularly alarming that winter in 2002 when, while standing on a ski slope coaching my high school ski team, she noticed an issue with her right leg. She was having trouble turning in her skis… something she had been doing with ease for decades.

Several months and many opinions later we received a frightening diagnosis. My mom had Parkinson’s Disease at the early age of 46. It is no surprise that she has faced many challenges since then. Physical limitations, sure. But worse have been the emotional stresses and feelings of loss that come from not being able to do the things you really love to do.

I have chosen to deal with the emotions my own way — by continuing to do the things WE love to do in honor of my amazing mother. I have gained the wisdom not to take these abilities for granted, understanding now that I might not have them forever. I think of her often when I’ve hit a "wall" on a run, or just don’t feel like trying in yoga. It allows me to dig deep and gives me an innate sense of strength and helps me finish strong.

This came in particularly handy while running my first half marathon in October 2010. At the time I had never run more than 10 miles, and during training I only reached 8. You can imagine the "wall" was pretty intense — made worse by the fact that I had chosen the hardest course imaginable in the hills of West Virginia. I’m not sure I would have finished if not for the inspiration and motivation I gained while thinking of my Mom at mile 10, 11, and 12. I finished alright… and as my 3 family members cheered me on I had a great sense of accomplishment. But as the runner’s high passed and the soreness set in, I remember wishing I had truly run the race in her honor. Perhaps raising money for Parkinson’s… or at the very least had worn a t-shirt with her name on it.

It was then I made up my mind. I had to do something for the cause. However I felt a bit overwhelmed, not knowing exactly where to start. Should I organize a team for a run? Or organize a race? Do I need to start a non-profit? Who do I donate the money to? Then one day while running a small race with Beth last May I met John Brathwaite with the DC Running Club, and he proved to be an incredible resource. We decided to partner and begin planning a Run for Parkinson’s. Now the dream is coming into fruition, and the event is just over a month away! Here are the details:

    • Move4Mobility: Run for Parkinson’s
    • April 14, 2012
    • Hains Point, Washington DC
    • 8AM Start Time
    • 5K & 5 Miler – Run, walk (skip, jump… however you want to move it!)

My mom will be there on April 14th — I hope you can join us too! Register and donate at http://www.Move4Mobility.org.

What do you do to give back to causes that are close to your heart?

Time for a Favor

Happy Tuesday everyone! I mentioned last week that Tuesdays have really turned around for me, and today is no exception.

I am so excited to let you know that Beth’s Journey was nominated as a Best Weight Loss Blog for FitnessMagazine.com’s Fitterati Blogger Awards !

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I would be honored, humbled, and grateful if you could click over and vote, and am honestly pretty excited just to be on the list considering some of the other bloggers that are up there!! It does require you to register on the site, which takes an extra minute, but I would love to have your vote!

And as always, thank you so much for reading.

Ode to Tuesdays

Tuesdays used to be my least favorite day of the week by far. Mondays are a fresh start, Wednesdays mean you are half way through the work week, Thursday is Friday-eve/happy hour day, and Friday is the start of the weekend. So Tuesdays really left nothing to be desired for me, until the last few weeks.

i-hate-mondays-tuesdays-garfield

When I first was asked to lead the Tuesday morning Weight Watchers meeting, I was a bit hesitant. Since it starts at 7:45am (7:30am starting next week and going forward), that means I have to be at the meeting at 7am and get up at 6am to be there on time. Because of that, there’s no way for me to squeeze in a morning workout on Tuesday, so I felt like I had a lot piled against me.

But, over the last several weeks, Tuesday has quickly become one of my favorite days of the week. Starting my day off with a Weight Watchers meeting leaves me feeling almost as energized as a morning workout does, and really helps me to focus. I mentioned this yesterday, but sometimes I feel like the meetings are more for me than the members, and I am really loving the Tuesday morning group.

This week’s topic is Moving More – and thinking about all the ways that we can work exercise into our lives. I opened up the meeting with people giving excuses why they can’t exercise, and then we talked about what would be on the list if we made a list of reasons why we SHOULD exercise. After that, we came up with some ideas to combat all the excuses we brainstormed, and overall, it was an awesome meeting.

It’s funny, because as a total coincidence, yesterday I didn’t have time for a legit workout. Monday mornings are never really an option for me because no matter how hard I try, I can’t get up to get in a workout before work. And last night, I had a 3 hour Weight Watchers training session, so I decided to do what I could. I walked to work, which is about 22 minutes, took a 20 minute walk over lunch, and then walked 20 minutes home, for a total of one hour of walking.

I posted it on my Facebook page, and someone commented (Hi Barbara!) saying that that’s exactly what they talked about this week at Weight Watchers, and I hadn’t even made the connection! You can guess which story I shared about myself today.

After leaving the meeting to walk to my desk job, I had a bounce in my step, and I’m sure you can hear it from the tone of this post – I am in a much better place than yesterday. I feel refreshed, reenergized, and refocused. And, excited about tonight’s 5 mile run home!

What is your favorite day of the work week?

True Story: I’ve Been Slacking

I’ve hesitated writing this post for a little while now because I honestly feel like a broken record. I’ve been struggling with the same few pounds for several months and keep vowing to recommit and restart, and just haven’t. The past two weeks have been particularly bad because not only have I been eating pretty poorly and far too much like has been the case for several months, but I’ve also been really inconsistent about exercising. And now, 3/4 of the way through my half marathon training, is not the time to start slacking.

I think the bottom line is no matter where you are into your journey, you have to fight for it. Every day. There’s a part of me that will always choose sleeping in over getting up to workout, french fries over a side salad, and eating to the point of being uncomfortable instead of satisfaction. Lately, I feel like I’ve let that part of me take over way too much of my decision making.

Last week, I didn’t go to the gym or run outside ONCE. I did my 10 mile run last Saturday, and then didn’t do any form of physical activity (besides walk or bike to work) for the entire week until yesterday. I’ve been having a lot of trouble getting up to workout before work, and I know that’s what i need to do to be consistent because I have so much going on at night and it’s too easy to make excuses for other things I need to do.

So yesterday morning when I woke up, rather than sit in bed watching Gossip Girl for a few hours like I did on Saturday (I know), I got right up and headed to the gym. Even though I had 9.3 miles on my training schedule, I just could not convince myself to want to do it. Rather than avoid activity all together like I’d been doing the last two weeks when that has happened, I decided to walk to the gym and do SOMETHING.

I got on the treadmill and ended up running 2.5 miles before having to stop because I got a nasty blister on my right foot. I think my feet were starting to forget what running shoes felt like… After I had to stop running, I went on the stairmaster for 20 minutes, and then I did some stretching, ab work, and pushups. One hour and almost 700 calories later, I remembered why my body loves exercise.

And, I’m not sure if it’s a coincidence or not, but the meeting topic this week for Weight Watchers is “Move More, No Excuses.” Lately, I’ve felt like the meetings I’ve been leading have been more for me than for the members!

After getting home yesterday, I made myself a healthy breakfast of scrambled eggs on an english muffin with salsa and grapes, and then spent a little time working on a menu plan for the week.

Here’s what I came up with:

Breakfast Lunch Snack Dinner
Monday Savory Oatmeal w/Spinach + Cheese Tempeh Chili Verde Grapefruit + Cottage Cheese WW Pasta w/chicken sausage + sauce
Tuesday Pumpkin Oats w/cottage cheese Tempeh Chili Verde Egg drop soup, pear Spicy Lentil Tacos
Wednesday English Muffin w/PB + Banana Spicy Lentil Taco Salad Grapes + Greek Yogurt Scrambled Eggs w/Black Beans, Cheese, Salsa + Corn Tortillas
Thursday Savory Oats Tempeh Chili Verde Banana mashed w/ Greek Yogurt + Stevia
Friday WW Waffles w/PB + Banana Spicy Lentil Taco Salad Grapefruit + Greek Yogurt TBD

 

Just having a plan in place makes me feel a lot better, and my goal is to use this week to really transition my body back into workout out consistently in the mornings. When I do, I set each day up for success and make better eating decisions because I think twice about reaching for a (third) cookie in the office, or going out for lunch rather than eating what I have packed.

My goals for today:

    1. Drink 2 bottles of water while at work.
    2. Get outside for a 10 minute walk mid-day.
    3. Get into bed by 10:30pm.

What’s one thing you want to focus on today or this week?

Let’s do this!

Attune Foods: Grocery Staples

As part of being an ambassador for Attune Foods, my second monthly post in the “Weight Loss Wednesdays” column went live yesterday. The theme of the month is “Real Food” so click the real food you see in the photo below to check out my approach to grocery shopping.

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And don’t worry, that photo was not taken in an actual grocery store, so I wasn’t kicked out or anything.

Leave some love over on the Attune Foods Blog!

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