Sunday, July 29, 2012

Here I Go Again…

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve really lost sight of my goals.  I’ve been using the excuse of a sick husband to justify my poor choices, and, even though he’s been pretty much back to normal for the last week or so, I’ve continued to let myself walk all over myself.

That stops today.

As of now, I’m back to logging my food, tracking my water, getting some exercise at least five times a week, and doing my hypno and meditation on a daily basis.  I’m also putting a different spin on things (yet again!), based on a concept I picked up at work.

For the past month and a half, I’ve been working in the IT department of a major hospital in the Bay Area.  For the first time, I’ve been exposed to the security requirements of HIPAA – the governmental regulations regarding the protection of patient health information and privacy.  The IT team even has a team that is solely dedicated to security, in order to ensure compliance with respect to all of our computer systems.  Part of my job is to resolve any issues that come up in that area.

One aspect of this plan is the concept of a “focus vulnerability”.  This is where a single software or hardware component has been identified as having the potential to be a serious risk to information security.  We then focus on that component to ensure it meets all standards in order to minimize that potential.  Once it’s been addressed and proven stable, the next likely risk is identified, and the cycle starts again.  Of course, we also continue to focus on other aspects of information security, such as making sure antivirus and security patches are as up-to-date as possible.

I plan to approach my move toward a healthy lifestyle using this methodology.  To that end, I believe that my sleep patterns are a big factor in my failure to achieve success.  I don’t sleep enough, and my sleep schedule is extremely inconsistent.  Therefore, I feel tired for the full day.

For instance, my husband and I were up until 3 am last night.  No, we weren’t out partying – we picked up a new aquarium yesterday, and it took that long after supper to get an area cleared for it and get it set up to where the live plants could go in.  We ended up not getting out of bed until 2 pm today.

This sort of sleep habit sure makes it difficult come Monday morning, when I have to get up at 5:15 am for work, too.  And even though I’m up that early during the week, I still procrastinate going to bed at night until midnight or 1 am.  I know that this is not a healthy way of life, and I’m feeling the negative results.

I’ve decided to make my sleeping habits my current focus vulnerability.  I’m going to start “patching” my sleep habits.  When I have to work the next morning, I’m going to go to bed at 10 pm.  Initially, I’ll allow myself to read for up to an hour, followed by a hypno session.  I’ll gradually reduce the amount of reading time to ten minutes, as I become more accustomed to going to sleep earlier.  On weekend nights when I don’t have an early event, I’ll set my bedtime for 11 pm.

Of course, there may be occasions when it just won’t be possible to adhere to this plan – I expect, for instance, to be having some late evenings at Fitbloggin’, getting to know in person some of the folks I’ve been sharing with online.  I’m not going to beat myself up over it when there is a valid reason for it, but I also need to learn that getting caught up in a movie or TV show is not a valid reason.

As with our information security program at work, my own healthy living efforts will also continue in other areas, too.

I’ll keep you posted on the results.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Plague Strikes

I know I promised you all a video…  Unfortunately, my most beloved hubby has come down sick, so I’ve got some other things on my mind instead of being creative.

In the meantime, I’d like to mention our dinner out the other night.  We went to Applebee’s for the first time in quite some time, and I have to say that I was rather impressed.  Not only does their menu now offer a selection of Weight Watchers-friendly items, but they also clearly identify their lower-calorie options, with a special section listing items that are 550 calories or less – and the food is good!

I enjoyed a roasted garlic-marinated sirloin, with herb-steamed red-skinned potatoes and a really tasty stuffed portabella mushroom, topped with a creamed spinach that was mostly freshly wilted spinach topped with a quality parmesan cheese.

The steak, although a thinner cut, was tender and flavorful.  The potatoes were delicately flavored and quite enjoyable.  The mushroom was nicely done, and the spinach still had a bit of crispiness and loads of flavor.

Portion sizes were just enough to hit the spot, costing me just 450 calories all inclusive.  I felt that the meal was definitely worth the price tag, too.  My only issue was (as always) the amount of sodium in the meal – nearly a full days’ allotment for one person.

I will certainly consider a return visit – and would be even more likely to do so if the sodium content were to be reduced.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Such A Blast!!

Today’s running event, while not quite a full 5K, was a total blast!

As I type this, the video is downloading from my camera, so that I can build a montage of the experience.  The Color Run is so much more than a running event; that’s the best word for it – an experience.

If you have an opportunity to participate in one of these, I highly recommend it.  You can find out where they are taking place at  If one is not offered near you, then start asking for one – that’s how they decide where to add them!

This is not an event for the sake of competition – it’s about having fun, and bringing your “inner child” back to life.  It’s about pure joy!

I hope to have the video ready for tomorrow’s post…

Friday, July 13, 2012

Just A Quickie…

Forgive me for being so brief this evening – I’ll reward you with some awesome video tomorrow night.  I have to head out at about five am tomorrow morning, for a very cool 5K in San Francisco.  I’m actually going to go to bed early tonight, although I’m not sure I’ll be able to sleep for the excitement.

I’ve been waiting for this one for a while!  Be sure and check back tomorrow for a full recap.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Habits I Need To Get Back Into, Episode 1

I’ve really slacked off on menu planning while I was on hiatus, and I need to get back to doing it as quickly as possible.

Over the past few months, there have been far too many impulse buys on my shopping trips, as well as a plethora of sins when dining out and ordering in.  I’ve also been slacking on cooking healthy meals, and the results have not been pleasant.

It’s been a while, so I guess I need to start by taking a new fridge and freezer inventory, then figure out what we’re eating for the next week.  From there, I can build a shopping list for tomorrow’s after-work stops.

What’s your process for keeping dietary indulgences at bay?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Middle Age And An Aging Middle

OK, it’s been far too long since I’ve been here.

Life’s had some major ups and downs – my job was burying me inside my black hole until I got a different one.  However, that most awesome event caused me to go crazy in the other direction – I was so ecstatic that I sort of decided (without really deciding) that I deserved to celebrate every day.  I really really LOVE the new gig, and am now getting settled in, and settled down.  I get to do so many interesting things!

It’s a good thing that I’m coming back to earth – I’m heading for a major milestone bigthday in just 30 days.  I am doing my best to avoid letting that little event – what is often considered the entry into “middle age” – send me into another tailspin.  It’s far too close to being old to suit me.

To that end, I’m really doing everything I can to focus on getting rid of my aging middle!  In the next 30 days, I’m promising myself that I will lose at least five pounds.  That strikes me as a good achievable goal that will encourage me to keep on going when I achieve it (notice – I said “when” instead of “if”!).

I’m also going to shoot for 30 blog entries in that time – I really really need to get back in this habit, as it helps me to really see things clearly, even if I’m the only one that ever reads these thoughts.  Also, I need to get my blogger vibe back before Fitbloggin’ in September, right?

I’ve just realized – I guess I need to revamp my point of view here.  I missed the booking window for my Hawaii 5-0, but have scheduled the trip for the second half of April.  Not a bad thing, as I’m nowhere near bikini-ready.  With the trip pushed out to April, I still have hopes of being able to wear a non-fat-lady swimsuit, at least.  OK – I can either write an entry or work on reworking the site each day.  That seems like a reasonable plan.

So – there’s the goal:  5 pounds and 30 days of blog updates.  Very doable, right?  Now – to figure out a good reward/birthday present for myself!  I’m open to suggestions…