free time

Does It Feel Different?

Before we got married I had a lot of friends tell me their experiences of the whole wedding thing (because the wedding is very different than theΒ marriage and I feel like in this day and age with the wedding business and pinterest we sometimes forget that). I would say that it was about 60-40 on people who told me that they felt different after tying the knot. I was surprised by the friends who said it didn’t feel any different, but yet at the same time I wondered if I would fall into that category. I mean, let’s be real — Michael and I have been together for 6.5 years, we’ve lived together for over 5 of those years. We had a honeymoon phase, we had a rocky phase, we had the “we’ve been together for a long time now” phase. Then it was the wedding phase.

The wedding phase was the planning part (which was 14 months after we got engaged) and the wedding instead. I would have liked a shorter engagement butΒ C’est la Vie….This was a strange time because it was all very new, it was VERY stressful, there was a lot of anticipation and just a lot of unknowns.

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The wedding day itself was very surreal and mostly a blur of chaos and a roller coaster of emotions (which also surprised me – again, we’ve been together for so long already!). Did I feel any different after we said “I Do”? Nope, not really. I guess I felt calmer and more relaxed. I could stop PLANNING everything. That was a huge relief.

Then we went on our honeymoon. It still didn’t really feel “real.” Basically it was like we were on a really nice, long vacation. A dream vacation, really. But we were so busy splashing in the ocean, laying on the beach, and exploring Maui (and eating A LOT) that I don’t think either of us really put much thought into the fact that we were now married or that anything should feel any differently.

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(He slept on the beach a lot. I read and swam.:) )

Maui was great, don’t get me wrong. But I started to get a little homesick for my fur-babies. We both missed Bella terribly! She was staying with her foster mom and having a great time, especially with her dog Kona, Bella’s BFF. Bella was on a puppy vacation!

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Now that we are home I’ve been kind of taking it easy and trying not to plan or do too much (trying to hold onto that Maui bliss as long as possible). I am starting to ruminate on what I want to do, though. Now that I don’t have to do ANY wedding planning anymore (YAY) I can get a hobby! It was astounding just how much time the wedding planning took. Between meeting vendors and just all the details, any free evening or weekend was booked with that stuff. It really does take over your whole life, even if you try to avoid it.

I’d like to get back to Bella’s training. Sadly we didn’t have tons of extra time to work on tricks and training for her. Now that we have more time I want to get back at that. I especially want to get her to the dog park at least once a week to get more socialized. She’s doing so much better than when we first got her but she still gets skittish and nervous with a lot of other dogs.

I’d like to get into gardening. Specifically I think I want to try growing succulents. I saw so many amazing succulents in Hawaii and that’s something that we CAN actually grow here in Oregon (wish I could grow some plumeria and palm trees but I guess I’ll settle for this…).

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A friend has actually started growing succulents and offered to give me some of her cuttings and I really want to try it. I hope I can make it work. I’m okay with growing vegetables but not really flowers…time will tell!

Another goal for this winter: Michael has agreed to take a dance class! I am super excited about it and will be looking for classes soon. I took a ballroom dancing class ages ago and learned all the basics! I definitely need to re-learn it. I’m more interested in learning maybe salsa dancing or something along those lines.

Yoga. I need to get back into the groove of that and I’d like check out some local studios. I take yoga at my gym and it’s not quite the same experience as doing it at a yoga studio where that’s the only thing they do. I never really get that blissful, enlightened feeling while people are dropping weights and grunting and talking loudly right outside the yoga room at the gym…

Volunteering. I miss it! I used to do it a lot. Before I met Michael, in fact, I volunteered at a cat shelter every weekend. Michael and I volunteered together at The Pixie Project and it was a lot of fun. Now that I have some free time I’m going to start up again.

After being back for a bit I went out with my cousin Anna for a beer. We saw a band at an Irish pub here in Portland and then met up with some of her friends. This was the first time it kind of felt DIFFERENT. I was talking to someone that didn’t know me or Michael and I had a moment of pause when I almost said “my boyfriend Michael” then corrected myself and said “my husband”. And it felt WEIRD. Very weird. I am not used to it yet. πŸ™‚

Okay married folks, did you feel any different?

Sunday Night Musings

Sunday I slept in late (9:30ish) and honestly felt like just going back to sleep. I was sore from Saturday’s workout but really I was having nice dreams and wanted to just crawl under the covers and sleep some more. I got out of bed and enjoyed my breakfast–an English muffin with homemade blackberry jam (which was delicious) and then went to the pool. My swim was excellent and felt good on my sore muscles but it was bittersweet. Half-way through my swim I realized it was probably my last swim at the gym. πŸ™

After my swim I went home and Michael and I settled in to watch the first Harry Potter movie. I’ve never seen the movies and didn’t read the books (except the first one) but decided to start from the beginning and watch them all. Michael made popcorn on the stove (from scratch, the only way we eat popcorn) and we watched the movie. It was a lazy day. Fat Kitty snuggled on my lap during the movie. My lunch was popcorn and I made myself a salad: fresh tomatoes and basil from the yard with mozzarella cheese, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Then I had strawberries for a snack.

It was the laziest day I’ve had in a long time. It was kind of nice. No laundry, no errands, no cleaning (all done on Saturday). Michael had plans Sunday evening (fantasy football draft…save me!) so I was on my own. While we do spend time apart on weekends when we have separate plans with friends, it’s not often that we spend a meal apart on weekends.

I could have made good choices about food. I had lots of options in the house. I could have defrosted a salmon fillet and made that for myself. There were two pieces of leftover pizza that Michael said I could eat. I could have made a big salad or a sandwich. But around 5pm I started to crave Chipotle. No idea why. I rarely crave fast food anymore. In fact I haven’t eaten at Chipotle in years. For some reason it invaded my brain and I couldn’t get it out. I went online and did some research on what I could order that wouldn’t be an insane amount of calories.


I hemmed and hawed about whether or not to get Chipotle for dinner and finally decided to just do it. I ordered the Burrito bowl–with all the fixings I wanted (guacamole, rice, black beans, salsa, carnitas) and according to the website calculations it came to about 800 calories. Honestly that’s not bad for dinner.


I like that they put the calorie information on the menus and the ordering board. They have the calories in a “range” which is vague but better than nothing, right? I got home and I added my own light sour cream (probably saving myself over 100 calories). This is what 800 calories looks like:


I added some of our own tortilla chips for less calories than the Chipotle chips, too. First: the dinner was SUPER salty. Holy cow was it salty. Second: it was a lot of food. I probably should have eaten half and saved the rest for lunch. Oh well!


On the way home from the restaurant with my food, I had a thought: Would my healthy lifestyle be as successful as it is if I wasn’t so busy?

It’s funny. The “before” me had tons of time. My life was dedicated to spending weekends on the couch. I’d watch entire seasons of television shows in one weekend. I’d be glued to weekend marathons of Law and Order on TNT or Sex and the City reruns. And of course that meant food while I was on the couch too. What is my life like now? I have no time for weekend marathons of TV shows. Or I should say, I rarely have time.

Between yard work, house chores, my vigorous workout schedule, our training rides on the bike that can take entire days…who has time to sit around and mindlessly eat food? I’m so busy and preoccupied I rarely sit down and binge on food. Rarely. It happens once in awhile, but it’s not often. I do believe that part of my old eating habits were partly out of boredom. Sitting in front of the TV with no projects, nothing to do, it’s easy to just stuff my face.

It seems like a no-brainer but it was quite the “lightbulb” moment. Keeping myself occupied has prevented me from thinking about food in unhealthy ways. Of course, this lightbulb moment made me wonder: if I quit the gym, will I start binge eating? Will I gain weight because I’m not as busy?Β It was a scary thought. Logically I think the answer to that is no. While the weather is nice I always have the option to bike to work. I could do that 5 days a week in fact. That would be enough fitness to stay on track (and it would get my bike mileage up very nicely).

As you can see, I’m having some major anxiety about the gym. I don’t like being in limbo. I like stability and routine. I like knowing where I’m going to be at any given time.

QUESTION: How much does boredom factor in to your weight gain/loss? How do you prevent binges?