January 2010 - Status Update

I'm ecstatic to report that I lost 10 POUNDS in January, which means I'm already half way to the 20 lb weight loss goal I set for myself. B and I are planning a trip to Vegas with my sister and her husband in celebration of my 30th birthday at the end of April, and I was really hoping to drop the weight before then --I guess I just need to keep up the good work and I'll achieve my goal ahead of schedule (pat on the back for me, and a little toot toot! beep beep!)

For those who may be curious about how I managed to shed 10 lbs in a month, I'm taking a casual, yet very focused approach to my weight loss in terms of eating. I'm not counting calories, I'm not keeping a food journal -- none of that tiresome and time consuming tracking BS. I've tracked my food intake to a T in the past (and hated doing it), so I already have a pretty good sense of my weaknesses and what I need to work on. Instead, I'm paying more attention to labels and portion sizes, I'm eating more fresh foods, and I'm cooking more/eating out less -- and trying to prepare meals for the week on Sundays if I can (so I don't gorge when I get home from late during the week -- which is most nights). This month, I tried out 2 new recipes, including a low fat beef stroganoff and a Mexican chicken salad from "The Busy People's Low Fat Cookbook" that my mom got me last year for Christmas (thanks, Mom!) I love this cookbook because all the recipes are super easy -- 7 ingredients or less! I made the stroganoff twice this past month (probably won't make the chicken salad again though...).

In terms of working out, my new year's resolution to run 500 miles has been a big motivator. In January, I managed to fit in 10 runs averaging about 3.4 miles each, for a total of 34.2 miles. Only 465.8 miles to go - heh! I need to run an average of about 42 miles/month to achieve my goal, and although I was a bit short this month, I'm still very pleased. For starters, I had a killer sinus infection earlier this month, which kept me cooped up and not working out for about a week (and hello! I still managed 10 runs!). And more importantly, I expect my monthly running numbers to resemble a bell curve when all is said and done -- much heavier mileage in the spring/summer months when I'm training for longer races and feel more comfortable running outside, and lighter mileage in the winter/late fall months when I'm treadmilling it. That said, I think I'm actually ahead of schedule!

On top of running, I've reinvested my efforts in boxing class on Saturday mornings. It's exhausting and demanding, and on multiple occasions, I've felt nauseous and faint (sounds fun, right?). But I'm definitely getting better and stronger. Oh, it hurts so goooood!

Basically, in January I focused on kickstarting the health/fitness, alongside all the other new year's lemmings. The difference, however, is that I've been pretty successful and am sticking with it! Let's see, other than working out, it was pretty low key in Jan. Brian and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary with a classic date night of dinner and a movie (which was actually spread out over 2 different nights b/c after our dinner at Select Cut, I was tired and not feeling much like a late movie, so we rented a movie instead and went to see "Up in the Air" at the theater the following weekend). Brian also sent me some beautiful flowers on our anniversary. Of course, I photographed them, and eventually I'll post pictures to show them off (for those that don't know, I have a fascination with taking photos of flowers). I also saw "Dream Girls" as a part of Broadway in Chicago with my girlfriends, and it's definitely in the top 10 faves in terms of musical I've seen. And, I finished off an uplifting memoir -- "Highest Duty" by Captain Sully Sullenberger. It was a timely read because it was one year ago this past January that Captain Sullenburger and hist crew safely landed the plane in the Hudson with 100% survival rate. If you want a quick, easy read that boosts your spirits and restores your faith in humanity, then I recommend you check out that book.

So, that's Jan 2010. In many ways, 2010 is off to a good start. I've been feeling blah lately (I blame it in part on the soul-crushing Chicago winter), but reflecting on the past month has reminded me that life is actually pretty good. So...I believe thanks to my man JC are in order, and I'll try to appreciate what I have instead of lamenting what I haven't. Amen to that!