Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Gym Yet Again

So today I again went to the gym with the Man. I was determined to get another good jog in on the treadmill. However, that was not in the cards.

I skimped on the stretching before hoping on the treadmill after waiting outside in the cold for him. This was a poor idea. After about a 10 minute warm-up in which my knee felt a little tight I decided to go for a light jog. This did not help my knee. I went back to walking at a comfortable pace. After twenty minutes on the treadmill, I went  to go check out space on a mat to stretch. I was very upset to find out that there were teenage girls camped out on the mats playing with their phones. I decided to stretch my leg and knee in a quiet corner instead. After my knee started to feel better, I hoped on the elliptical to get in a little sweating. Now, in college I was first exposed to the elliptical. I saw all these skinny girls on them for an hour at a time. I decided I had to be able to handle it if they could..... I was proven wrong when I crawled off of it in five minutes. Since then I have had a real aversion to it. However, since my knee was sore, I wanted a lower impact option to get my heart rate up a bit. For having a sore knee, I was rather proud of my elliptical workout. It was less time than I spent on the treadmill but it was still impressive given how out of shape I feel. Then I went to those weight machines. I decided to skip the leg machines since my knee was hurting already.  But I still put in time on some arm and ab machines.

This taught me something important. There will be days when I do not want to go to the gym and I have always been quick to say I wasn't up to the gym. I need to stop thinking like that and just go to the gym. Even if all I can do is walk slowly on the treadmill for twenty minutes. It is still exercise and I am still moving.

Also, the gym is planned for tomorrow as well. I hope to have a little more luck than. Although I have nothing to be ashamed of. I went to the gym and burned some calories. I also got some weight work in so I can work on getting definition and strength. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Gym???

So today was the first day that I went to the gym in pursuit of one of my New Year's Resolutions. The Man got a membership to Planet fitness and can bring guests in for free. So we went to the gym together.

I noticed a couple of things right away. First, this was significantly larger than the gyms at my university and grad school (the only gyms I had ever been in before). Secondly, I actually had to give thought to bringing stuff to the gym since my home was not a less than 10 minute walk away. Thirdly, it was still intimidating and a place where I felt instantaneously out-of-place. Fourthly, as much as it claims to be a "Judgement Free Zone" I saw plenty of tiny little females running endlessly on the elliptical and well-muscled males lifting large amounts of weight.

So, I knew that I had to be careful because I did not want to over do it. My plan was to spend about half hour walking on the treadmill with a few minutes of jogging mixed in. However, after I accomplished that, the Man suggested we do some weight work. Now the weight machines are these giant things which have always intimidated me. The gym had them painted purple and yellow (which made them no less intimidating). I was VERY hesitant but somehow with his gentle (irritatingly persistent) prodding, I decided to attack these machines. I am very glad that I got to use them. I think I am a little too small height-wise for some of them so that made things interesting. And I lifted a depressingly small amount of weight. However, I tried out eight machines and did at least 10 on each one. I counted that as a success.

I have to say I am hoping to enjoy the gym eventually. I have never in my life enjoyed working out. I have never been one to go for a morning run, or for a evening stroll. I have never been able to do a complete sit-up in my entire life. I want to change that.

I know I need inspiration for this journey. The first is that I want to be healthier. I have been out-of-shape most of my life and that is not good. I will become a gym and exercise devotee this year. I have a year to catch this bug. I am confident I will.

Also I know people who I have watched go from overweight and lazy to the picture of health. An example is my younger brother. He went from always being the last to finish a race or physical activity to one of two freshmen rowing on a college varsity rowing team. (Yes, I am beyond proud of him).

I plan to go to the gym or do some other type of physical activity three times a week. I know that is not ambitious or zealous but it will be a goal that I will have to work hard to achieve.

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year's Day

So for New Year's Day, the Man was over and so was a friend of ours from Connecticut. She has a major gluten sensitivity so when we were deciding what we wanted to have for dinner the Man said he wanted potatoes and pot roast. I have never made pot roast so I went to and found this recipe for apple flavored pot roast. I like red meat and so does the Man so he went off to the store to get what we needed while I did the hostess thing and entertained our guest. 

Once he got back, I gathered up what it said I needed. 

Then it was time to start following the recipe a bit. I pre-heated the oven to 325 F. And I started to prep the food. It said to put half an inch of water into the pan and then add the thawed apple juice concentrate. The soy sauce is drizzled over the pot roast. It called for slicing slits in the pot roast and pushing garlic into them. It was a 3 pound pot roast. I did not have fresh garlic so used the minced garlic in water that I use in most things I cook. 

The next step was to season it with the contents of package of dry onion soup mix. I rubbed this on the pot roast as well as added some oregano, white pepper and black pepper. These are standard spices for me.

The next step is to cover it with aluminum foil and place it in the preheated oven. You are supposed to let it cook for two hours at this point. After two hours you are supposed to take it out and add potatoes and carrots. 

And then it goes back into the oven for another two hours. And then it is all done. The end result was a bit too well-done for my liking. Next time I make it I think I will cut the cooking time by a bit (maybe 45 minutes). I am also thinking it would taste really good with wine or apple cider as the liquid. 

It was a very good dinner all in all. I made mashed potatoes and gravy to go with it. It was a lovely way to ring in the New Year.

And yes, the date function on the camera has the wrong date on it.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

So it is 2011. It has started off on a great note so far. I rang in the New Year with the Man and a number of good friends. I made my first pot roast (more to come on that later) on New Year’s Day. I had yummy sushi on day two of the new year. And I have been with close friends and/or the Man for the past three days. It really reminded how many good things are in my life. 

1.       Get a job.
I am unemployed currently and it is hurting me financially since I have been fighting for unemployment due to a variety of circumstances. Thus, a job is a priority at this point in my life.

2.       Get a job I love and that challenges me.
My previous job allowed me a lot of chances to help others and really provide some comfort and concern to people in desperate need of it. However, I want a job that is much more challenging intellectually.  I want a job where I can use my intellect and skills in a way that engages me and challenges me. A job where I do not mind long hours and stress.

3.       Get in shape.
I have always been pudgy. I have always had these curves that were a little bit too thick for me. I have always been told that I was too fat or too chubby. I tried crazy diets in my teenage years.  Then I grew up a bit. I started to love my curves. And most days I wake up feeling good in my skin. However, I also have moments where I wish my thighs were not so large and my stomach not so curvy. I am done with fad diets and gimmicks. I want to be healthier. I want to enjoy going to the gym. I want to do all this for me. I also have always obsessed over a number on a scale. And after watching my sister struggle with an eating disorder, I realize how damaging those numbers can be. I want a body that is stronger, more flexible and more toned, not one that just weighs less.

4.       Write more.
I am hoping this blog helps with that. When I was a child, I wanted to be an author. I wanted people to spend hours in worlds I created for them, like I did with my favorite authors. However, that has gotten away from me. I miss that creative outlet. It is also one of the few creative outlets I have always loved.

5.       Photograph more.
Growing up, I was fascinated with my father’s photography equipment. He had all these wonderful cameras and lenses, these wonderfully mysterious things that I was not usually allowed to touch unless it was a special circumstance. Now I am grown up and have my own camera (At the moment it is a simple point-and-shoot digital camera but I cannot wait to upgrade to a DSLR).

6.       Try something new every month.
I am not always the most adventurous person in the world; I do not like new things or trying them usually. I think this is a personality flaw for me in many ways. It encourages me to be too cautious in everything I do. I want to try something new every month this year. I am not going to do anything too adventurous.  It can be as simple as trying to bake or cook something very challenging or trying a new genre of book to read or a new type of food.

7.       Get back in school for my M.B.A.
I have very few classes left for this degree (five to be exact) and I have been out of school too long and I miss it. I also miss the opportunities it will afford me.  The time I spent in graduate school so far had been wonderful. However,  I was younger and rather naive about a great deal. I am looking forward to heading back to school having grown up quite a bit in the past two years.

So here is to a great year! It has started off wonderfully with great people and great times- hope it continues!