Friday, November 16, 2012

A Valiant Attempt...

I was having lunch with a friend the other day, when the topic of my new diet came up. We were eating some chicken caesar salad when he asked what I planned to accomplish by going on South Beach. I told him that I wanted to get healthier overall and hopefully lose some weight in the process. I started to tell him about how I went on South Beach about two years ago and lost a crap-ton of weight, when he, being the type to love word-play, jokingly asked, "Oh? Did you find it?"

And yes, yes I had. In fact, that was the problem and my entire reason behind going on it again! Two years ago, right after I graduated from college, I started a new health regimen that involved the South Beach Diet, Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred, and my first pass at my Couch-to-5k program. I got addicted to fitness magazines and spent most of my time obsessing over workouts and meal planning... and it totally paid off. Within four months, I lost about 30 pounds, dropped two clothes sizes, and for the first time ever, was able to go into the dressing rooms of Forever 21 without crying (just kidding, I didn't always cry, sometimes I just complained loudly and obnoxiously). More than that, though, I finally felt strong and confident.

After a while, however, I grew complacent and started to fall out of my healthy habits. Where I had grown accustomed to eating some delicious apple salad or baked chicken for dinner, I gradually, then predominantly, started turning back to fast food. Where I had been working out and running nightly, I started playing more video games and going out to movies or bars. Now, over a year and a half later, I've completely undone my progress from before. I've found all the weight I lost.

All thanks to Nancy Drew and the Case of the Missing Cheeseburger

And so, having decided that it was definitely time to act, I started the South Beach Diet again on Monday. When I tried this in February, it only lasted a few days before I thought I was going to die. I had been drinking a lot of soda, so I kind of forgot to eat (like, legitimately forgot - not an eating disorder thing). By the time I realized I was ravenously hungry, I couldn't eat anything comfortably because my stomach was so full of Diet Coke. I was so nauseated and terrified that I quit the program that day. This time, I'm already on day 5 and haven't felt like vomiting even once! Improvement!

I think the big difference is that I'm trying to be more realistic this time around. I know that I'm going to screw up (heck, I already have a couple times thanks to freaking dinner meetings and Thanksgiving potlucks at work), but I keep reminding myself that one mistake doesn't mean I should give up, nor should it be an excuse to splurge too much. I also know that if I never indulge in anything, I'll make myself miserable and end up binging on junk sooner or later. Going in with the mindset that I don't have to be perfect but that I do need to make a valiant effort is proving to be very helpful and has kept me motivated.

In addition to South Beach, I'm planning on really stepping up my game in the activity department. I've signed up for a race in January that I'll start training for here shortly. Also, a friend from my kickboxing class and I both decided to get Groupons for Jazzercise, which I'm pretty pumped about.

Although, I'd really prefer to do Jazz Kwon Do

Now, if I can just start getting up early to run or do yoga before work, I'd be set!

Does anyone else ever feel so hungry they want to vomit? It doesn't make sense to me, but that's how I feel sometimes. Do you have any tips on how I can start getting up earlier that don't involve me going to bed earlier? Anyone have any leotards and leg warmers that I can borrow for Jazzercise?

Friday, November 9, 2012

"I'm majoring in Mechanical Engineering and getting a minor in Robin Hood."

I'll be honest. Over the past month, I have not been keeping up with my fitness regimen. This is due to a number of factors including laziness, injury, Halloween-themed events throughout the month, and a lot of time spent crafting. I made a Daisy Duck Halloween costume for myself and a Jane Jetson one for my friend. They're pretty awesome. Read all about it, here!

But in between stabbing myself with pins, watching horror movies, and carving pumpkins, I did manage to pick up a new hobby, archery!

I used to be so jealous of my friend, Caitlin, who took archery lessons while we were in high school. I thought that was the coolest thing ever. A couple years later, when I was perusing the catalog of available physical education classes I could take to satisfy my kinesiology credits in college, I saw that archery was an option and got super excited. When I told my sister about it, she relayed to me a tale of a former classmate of hers. He had arranged it so that all of his electives were Robin Hood themed (Archery, Fencing, Medieval History, English Folklore, etc.). Whenever someone asked him what he was studying, he would say, "I'm majoring in Mechanical Engineering and getting a minor in Robin Hood."

Anyway, that must have been the best semester of my life, at least from a P.E. standpoint (badminton, speed-walking, and self-defense had nothing on archery). I think one of my favorite parts of that class was that my friend Daniel was taking it at the same time. Because he was left-handed and I was right-handed, sometimes we would shoot back-to-back and pretend we were in a movie. Hannah and I had even planned out what the movie poster would look like - Daniel and I would be shooting arrows from a canoe that was being driven by a crazed looking Chase (who was in a canoeing class at the time), while Josh, the villain, hang-glided in wearing steam punk goggles. In the background, we'd see Hannah drying glasses behind the bar at her saloon. Without realizing it until now, I think we were going for a Wild Wild West feel (also, this reminds me that Hannah and I haven't talked to Daniel, Chase, or Josh in forever... we should get on that).

After that semester ended, I had no idea how to keep up with archery, and I kind of forgot about it intermittently. Every year or so, I would go to one of those sporting goods stores and check out their bows, arrows, targets, and hay bales, but I'm pretty sure my parents would be upset if I started bringing large eye-sores to their house, and apartment complexes usually frown on  openly wielding weapons. Weird, right?

Enter Groupon.

When I least suspected it, there was a Groupon available for archery lessons and range shooting. Hannah and I redeemed the offer only a couple weeks after it expired, which sadly, was earlier than usual!

Not too shabby for my first day!
She didn't change clothes halfway through the outing,
these two pictures were taken on different days.
We had such a blast that we both ended up getting one-year memberships that include equipment! I've already been back a few times. It's very close to my parent's house, which is across town from my apartment, so sometimes I'll go shoot until my fingers hurt then spend the afternoon with my family.

Have you ever done archery? Has Groupon come through for you like that? What kinds of movie posters or album covers did you and your friends pretend to be a part of?