Friday, June 3, 2011

In Bed, Under the Covers

I feel badly that I've been neglecting my blog lately. And I feel even worse that I've been neglecting all of your wonderful blogs. I won't even tell you how many read posts I've starred in my reader with the intention of returning to leave a comment. Its a lot. I'm sorry. I promise that I will be back and commenting soon.

On the bright side, I've been MIA for good reason. My thesis defense is officially scheduled. I have two weeks before I have to give a copy of my final document to my committee members and so I've been expending lots of energy worrying about that.

My summer classes have also been keeping me busy. I'm in class everyday of the week except Friday. One of the classes I'm taking is a class on group therapy. So far, I've found it really interesting. I think when I'm licensed I'd really like to run groups so I am trying to soak up as much information as possible.

Working out has also been taking up time that was previously reserved for blogging. There are times when I don't want to go the gym, but I just tell myself that it doesn't matter whether I want to or not because I have to. The other day Jenna posted about her weight loss and while I do not agree with everything she said/recommends, I did appreciate this little part of her post:
Know that it’s going to be hard. And that maybe it will be the focus of your life for a period of time. Once you meet your goals, you get to move on with your life! You won’t regret the hard work for a moment.

Neill and I did manage to take some some time out to celebrate Memorial Day together. Monday was the first really warm and sunny day we had in Chicago and so we enjoyed the weather by taking a long walk around the lake, something that was on my summer bucket list. It was just as much fun as I thought it would be! Chicago's lakefront is truly beautiful and it really gave me a new found appreciation for my city.

I love the water. In my dream world, Neill and I would have a wonderful boat that we could take out onto Lake Michigan. 

Navy Pier

One of the best ways to see the city is through a boat tour. If you ever come to Chicago, you absolutely have to go on one. It takes you on the Chicago river and just a little bit into Lake Michigan. 

This cute little guy stole someone's snacks

I'm watching the Real Housewives of NYC and I'm reminded about how much I love Jill Zarin. Do you have a favorite real housewife?


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

May: Month in Review

At the start of 2011, I challenged myself to develop meaningful New Years Resolutions in many areas of my life. To hold myself accountable and maximize my chances of being successful, I review my successes and failures at the end of every month.

Our trip to Jamaica was the highlight of May

+As I admitted last month, getting healthy had really taken the back burner this year. Even though I said it was one of my resolutions, in reality I wasn't making it a priority. But, realizing this made me motivated to make some changes. I am so ecstatic to say that I have followed through! I joined a gym on May 15th (the day after we returned from Jamaica) and I've been consistently working out since then. It took me five full months to go back to the gym and I'm so proud of myself! With exercise and dieting I've also lost five pounds! I know the key is to continue on this path and so my goal for June is to continue to work out four  times a week and lose ten pounds.

+My next resolution is to finish my master's degree. May was quite a productive month for me and I think I accomplished everything on my to-do list. I reviewed my results to make sure I completed the analyses correctly, met with my advisor about my discussion section, finished a second draft of my discussion section, and finished my methods section. I also submitted my thesis for a format check and I have started to schedule my defense with my committee. Right now, it looks like I might be defending June 21st. Crazy soon! My goals this month are to do a final draft of my discussion section, edit the entire document as needed, schedule my defense, distribute my final copy to my readers, make my power point slides, pass my defense, and make any necessary changes my committee requests. The final final final version is due to the graduate school on July 1st and so a lot of work needs to get done between now and then. I have faith in myself that I will be able to pull this off, but I am a little nervous about managing all of this and continuing to work-out. The challenge for me will me to do both. 

+My third goal for 2011 is to make time for my VIPs. In some ways I've succeeded at this and in other ways I failed. Neill and I got to spend time with lots of his family when we were in Jamaica and we also obviously spent lots of time together. Win, win.


But, since we've gotten back I don't think I've done such a good job. I've made time for some of my friends, but I've also declined invitations and not been as proactive about organizing things as I had hoped to be. Working out, being on a diet, and working like mad on my thesis make it hard to be a social butterfly. I just don't have the energy or the time. Since my thesis has such a hard deadline and I also really need to focus on losing weight, I'm giving myself permission to let this goal take the back seat. My goals for June are to have a wonderful one-year anniversary celebration with Neill and to plan a nice birthday celebration for my mom.

+Lastly, my fourth resolution is to be financially responsible. I don't have much to report on this. It's been hard for us to give up credit cards completely, but we've made a concerted effort to pay them off in full. In June, I'd like to look into finding a financial adviser.

How is everyone else doing with their resolutions? Any awesome successes you'd like to share? What are some things you are looking forward to accomplishing in June? Do you have any advice on how to juggle dieting with spending time with loved ones?