Thursday, January 29, 2015

21 Days of Exercise - Eww

My back is so sore this morning and I LOVE it. It's because I've worked out for the last three days in a row, and I'm determined to continue this streak for the next 18 days. This is my second 21 day fix, but I'm starting out a little differently. Last fix I started strong but the exercise fell off quickly, so I focused on food and getting the plan right. Now, I have the food part down pretty solid and I'm beginning a second week with a big focus in exercising every day.

Post workout shot with Jordy - she keeps me honest.
Most people (including me) might say that going from exercising very little, or not at all, to an everyday plan isn't a great idea. Burn out is REAL in both the mental and physical realms. That is totally true. I know from experience. Running everyday when you're just starting out is a horrible idea. However, this idea is different. Obviously, the people who created 21 Day Fix planted some "active rest days" into the exercise DVDs with the likelihood of burnout in mind. They know exercise every day can include active rest days and still count. They basically put that fact right in my face, but for whatever reason, it was actually this article that changed my perspective.

They brought a new idea to the table, which was actually something I had wondered before: if they say doing something everyday for X number of days straight will form a habit (questionable logic, but good to making something that appears to be impossible seem manageable), how am I going to form a habit out of something I only do 3 or 4 days a week? Well the answer is, if you're having trouble, don't do it 3-4 days a week, dummy. Do it every day.

Here's my preschool-style exercise chart! I keep it at work and get a sparkly star sticker for every exercise day.
You can see I filed my taxes on the 20th. Financial independence turns me on.

So with the idea of burnout still in mind, you can imagine that deciding to go to the gym everyday might not be a great plan. If you're like me, going to the gym (even if its on the way home) isn't something you'd want to do for 10 minutes. If I'm going to the gym I have to feel like there is some kind of time based return on my efforts to get there. If I changed my clothes and hauled my ass to the gym, I need to be there for probably an hour to make it "worth it." I know the logic isn't sound, because I could spend an hour in the steam room vs 10 minutes doing Tabata intervals and obviously the latter is a better option in terms of getting a workout. Anyway, the point is, sometimes (in the dead of winter) DVDs are a great option.

The other point is:
Do what works for you. Your lazy half is a stubborn fool and sometimes you have to trick her into getting work done.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

21 Day Fix Report

I'm coming to the end of week three of the 21 Day Fix eating plan I'm on. I will admit, my daily exercise routine fell off at the end of week one. Although, that week I did work out 5 days in a row, which is pretty huge for me. Also, I have been successful with the eating plan. To sum up the plan without gaining a lawsuit (for giving away trade secrets), I have basically gotten myself into a clean eating, portion control program. I knew about the portions - there are colored containers - but I didn't necessarily pick up on the clean eating part right away.

Before getting into details of the plan I want to add that I have not adhered to the plan 100%. Before starting I knew I had a dinner party the first weekend and a family get together the second weekend. I was able to eat clean all week and I did indulge for ONE meal at each party. That's one of the important things. They weren't "cheat days" they were "cheat meals." Big difference.

I am pretty excited about how I've been eating. Although... I am always excited about food - hence the reason I am even worrying about this. I'm excited for two reasons:

One, I feel like I have finally found a sustainable "eating right" plan that I could really apply to the rest of my life.

Two, I have FINALLY, FINALLY found a way to combat my biggest diet/commitment problem. It's called decision fatigue, and I didn't have a name for it until the first week in January. I was talking to a friend on gchat about my past inability to commit to a diet and she sent me the article I just linked about willpower. I didn't even end up reading the entire article right away because I was just too excited about the paragraph about decision fatigue. Now that I've been able to identify my biggest hurdle I can manage it so much better. When I wake up every day knowing what I'm going to be eating that day, the exhausting process of trying-to-find-something-healthy-to-eat-while-you're-ravenous becomes a non-issue.

The best way to combat decision fatigue is to meal plan. A step further than that is to plan for cravings. My biggest cravings are for sweets and dairy, so for this week I planned to eat these tacos with a big dollop of greek yogurt on them to replace the mounds of sour cream that I usually crave with tacos. It actually worked. Greek yogurt alone doesn't taste like sour cream (not even close) but paired with a corn tortilla and ground turkey made with low sodium taco seasoning, I didn't even have to pretend. It was great! I honestly didn't even need the cheese I used. For the rest of the week I had just the turkey and "sour cream."

Of course even with the taco and sour cream plan I still have cravings daily. I even crave things I normally wouldn't eat. For example, I was pumping gas the other day and this monster buffalo sandwich ad was staring me right in the face. Normally this wouldn't even be something I'd want, but since I couldn't have it... It was the best looking sandwich I'd ever seen.

Meal planning doesn't "fix" my problems; but it has definitely made the tough choices easier, and helped me tame the hangry beast inside of me (most of the time). Next post I'll show you some more of the great substitutions I made these last few weeks, and which ones made me want to puke.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Three Weeks is Too Long!

Hey! So I just checked, and it's been almost three weeks since my last post. You could say I really enjoyed my time off from work. Does it feel like two weeks since we've talked? It's felt like longer to me.

Even with how long it's been, I don't actually have a lot of maker-stuff to report. Actually, that's a lie. I made FOUR pies for Christmas, but I'll tell you about those later.

What I really want to talk about is how things are changing for me. Do you remember when I said that I like this blog because I can write about whatever I want? Basically it's an "anything blog" and I designed it that way because I knew at any moment my direction could, and would, change. I'm done with making (and the Etsy store) for a little while. Maybe it's for a few weeks or a month or even a few months (doubtful), but it's definitely for now.

What does that mean for The Hungry Hobbyist? Well, nothing. It really means not much will change except for the general content might be less tutorial-y and more of a narrative... although a lot of the content has been narrative already. Maybe I shouldn't have said anything? I'm just trying to be honest with you.

SO, what did I do with two blissful weeks off? Well, I got a lot of video game playing done. I caught up on my sleep, and cleaned my 7-year-old Ugg boots. I made the pies for Christmas. I spent time with my family. I spent a lot of time in pajamas, and I got the teeny tiny first steps of a homemade pottery wheel project started. You'll definitely hear about the pottery wheel thing later. Maybe there will be tutorials.

I also realized in the last 6 months that I've gained a lot of weight and was feeling kind of crappy about it. The pictures above (left: before, right: after) say it all. We took a Christmas picture of the family and the entire time I was trying to hold my head in such a way that I only had one chin. It was exhausting checking each photo to make sure my face didn't look fat. You can't suck in your whole face at once, that I know of, so I guess it's time for a change. Also, I did a lot of lounging, which is totally fine (and well deserved IMO). Lounging is for the gods. And me. Lounging is for me and the gods. Except this lounging felt a little less like godliness and more like... pudding. Maybe it's all the pies I've been making. Maybe its the brewery tours. Maybe it's lovers' bliss. It's probably all of those things plus the fact that I've only gone running three times since my half marathon in OCTOBER. Aka, no exercise, all busy all the time with Etsy stuff, and eating like a fool. So here's what I'm gonna do and what I'm not gonna do:

I'm not going to go into a huge plug for the exercise/eating system I'm using, but I have no problem telling you I'm doing a Beach Body program called 21 Day Fix and my coach's name is Kira Mostoller. In a nutshell, the fix is a three week thing of healthy eating and regular exercise. Revolutionary, really.

I have some high hopes for this plan, I'll tell ya, because I've seen success and failure many times in this realm, and I know what a good start looks like when I see one. I'm off to a good start y'all.

Stick around. I'll be giving you all the dirty deets of my beach body experience and I'll let you know what works and what doesn't. I'll also tell you how I made a pottery wheel from other people's trash.