Graduated Learning: Life after College

I got my degree, I got a job…now what?

Last Weekend in January 2013 January 31, 2013

Filed under: Boston,Fitness,Food — Stephanie @ 7:36 pm
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After reading Elizabeth’s post about her weekend, I figured I might as well update about my weekend.  You’ll have to tell me what you think.  It’s a bit different from my typical blog posts, so let me know if I should keep doing them!  And feel free to comment about any of the stuff I talk about!

Friday:

We started out Friday night by going out to dinner at Yak and Yeti in Ball Square in Somerville.  It’s a Nepali and Indian restaurant we’ve been to a few times before.  Super tasty!  We  had a restaurant.com gift certificate to use there, so we got a pretty good deal.

Afterward, we went to meet up with some friends at Daddy Jones.  We used to go to the restaurant that was there before (huge plates of delicious Italian food!) so we were curious what the new place was like.  It definitely had a hipster vibe to it, but wasn’t super crowded.  We might check it out again.

Saturday:

After taking things easy when it comes to working out, I was ready to slowly wean myself back on the workout wagon.  I did a workout using the Nike+ Kinect Training program on our Xbox.  Some of the activities were a little tough, but it was still fun.  I’ll try to have a bigger review of Nike+ Kinect Training later on (after a few more workouts).  Or maybe have my boyfriend write a guest post on it, because he’s been using it a lot more than I have!

Then I headed out to get a haircut.  And I got my hair dyed, too.   I was long overdue for a haircut, and my sisters have been hounding me to get my hair colored to cover up the grey hair I’ve been gaining.  I had been debating for awhile whether it was worth it to pay for a hair coloring at a salon versus just using a boxed hair color.  I realized it made more sense (for me) to go out to get it done, since a hairdresser has more skill and experience than me.  Plus I’m a bit lazy.  And was ready to get mildly pampered by letting someone do stuff for me.  And I was already going to be getting a hair cut.  So why not?  And an added bonus:  It was the birthday of 3 of the hairdressers working at the salon that day, so I got some free birthday cake!  Grey gone, hair cut, and cake eaten!

That night we went to a game night at our friends’ house.  We played quite a few games of Dominion.  It’s a super fun card game, even if some people think it’s nerdy 🙂  And then I gained more nerd cred by finally playing Settlers of Catan.  Have you ever played either of these games?  I’m hooked on Dominion but I’m not quite a convert when it comes to Settlers.

Sunday:

Sunday morning started the way I like it, going to church with a friend, then chatting with some more friends afterward.  Heard news from one couple that they’re expecting!  I thought I spotted a baby bump, but I didn’t want to make the extreme faux pas of jumping to a conclusion on that!  So, good news there!

The rest of Sunday was pretty lazy.  And since I really wanted to get some rest, I took a nice long nap.  I’m committed to kicking this cold to the curb!

How was your weekend?  Do anything fun?  Finally take care of the things you’ve been putting off for months?

And are you ready for February?  Where did January go?

 

My newest obsession: Getting in shape January 22, 2012

Filed under: Fitness — Stephanie @ 9:15 pm
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A lot of people made new years resolutions.  Many centered around getting healthier.  And I’ve decided that I’m going to jump on the bandwagon.

I guess the other big resolution a lot of people focus on is getting a handle of their finances, paying off debt, etc.  I’d like to think I have the money thing under control.

So, getting fit.  Getting in shape.  Losing weight.  Eliminating muffintops.  Whatever you want to call it.  I’d like to think I’m ready to tackle this.

I’ve set some goals.  There’s a weight goal.  I’d like to be closer to 125lbs.  I also want to go to the gym at least twice a week (to start).  I want to be stronger.  I want to be able to jog/run a 5k and finish in the top half of the results (the times I’ve done 5ks have been jog/walks where my time is on one of the last pages).  I want to eliminate the chubbiness around my middle.

Okay, I have a lot of goals.  Maybe too many all at once.  I’ve gotten all excited about getting into shape before, only to burn out and end up wasting having a gym membership (a scandal for the personal finance world and the fitness world alike!  Luckily I don’t have a horribly high membership fee…but still!)

But as you know, there’s one thing I love when it comes to personal finance:  tracking websites.  And the same holds true for my new fitness goals.  Yes, tracking has failed before, but I think I’m gaining motivation and momentum by having accounts at so many places 🙂

I joined LoseIt.com after a few people told me how much it was helping them lose weight and control what they eat.  They also have apps for iPhone/iPad/iPod touch as well as Android (and apparently on other gadgets like the Nook and through the Amazon App Store), if that’s more your thing.  I don’t have a smartphone, so I’ve stuck with the website.  What I like about this site is that it gives you a calorie budget, and you can track your food and exercise, and it has a pretty comprehensive database of calorie content (for food) and calories burned (for exercise).  It even has Wii Fit exercises!  You can add friends on the site and for mutual support.  And you know how much I like sites where you can earn badges (like Payoff.com), and this site awards you badges for accomplishments, like sticking with the site for even a few days  (little stuff to keep you motivated), to losing 10lbs, to working out multiple times a week.

What else am I using?  Well, work is again sponsoring a website that encourages you to get in shape.  I’ve formed a team with my coworkers, and we’re going to be competing in the weight loss, exercise, and pedometer steps categories.  We’ll be tracking our progress in those categories.  I like having a team with my coworkers, since we’ll be supporting (and nagging) each other to eat healthier and get some extra exercise.

The rest of my websites are connected to my iPod Nano.  One of the cool features of the latest generation Nano is that it has a Nike+ sensor/pedometer built in (no shoe widget required).  So I’ve been able to track my runs and steps (recorded as Nike Fuel) through their online sites.

I’ve used MapMyRun on and off for a few years.  So one thing I’m excited about getting back to using it is that it will sync with my Nike+ runs and record them automatically.  So that makes things easy 🙂

And lastly, I joined Earndit, a site that syncs with many of the tracking services (like Nike+, Fitbit, and others) and allows you to earn points, which you can spend on rewards.  I like earning points and rewards!  They also have challenges sponsored by fitness-related companies from time to time with prizes available to the best scorers.  And even if you don’t have any of the supported devices, if you have a smart phone, you can earn points by checking in on Foursquare when you go to the gym!

So, yes.  I’m using a lot of different websites.  That’s how I roll.  But other than using a million websites (and posting inspirational images/informative posts on Pinterest), I am committing myself to the habits that will get me towards my goals.  Watching what I eat, replacing unhealthy food with healthy food, going to the gym for cardio, weights, or yoga a few times a week.  Walking to nearby places instead of driving.  The little things that can get me to where I want to be.

I’ve also made goals to reward myself for good behavior.  Like buying myself a FitBit Ultra after my Nike+ running log says I’ve gone 50 miles this year.  I’m not there yet, but I’ve heard really good things about the FitBit from others (like Elizabeth and Kristen), and it also works with the websites I mentioned above.  Basically I like data.  So the more data, the better.

So, what do you use for motivation or tracking your weight loss/exercise/fitness?  Are you members on any of the sites I mentioned (want to be friends with me on there)?  Do you think I can actually get in shape this time?  Or am I starting out too intense and will just end up lying on the couch eating ice cream?  The past few weeks have gone relatively well.  Only time will tell.  I’d love to hear about your fitness techniques!  Please share your advice!

(FYI, I’m linking to all these sites merely as recommendations.  I am not being compensated in any way for mentioning them.  Though if they’d like to give me some free stuff, I’ll take it 😛  and then of course I’d update this disclaimer)

 

 
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