Lifestyle Challenge Updates

Hello Readers,

I have so many posts to write and I’ve been too distracted/lazy to get them out. I look at a computer all day at work and honestly I don’t want to look at one when I get home. I just need to make more of an effort.  Without further ado, here are the latest updates.

Bring your lunch to work challenge:  I’m still doing great on this challenge.  I’ve had days where I’ve forgotten my lunch or didn’t want what I had, but I’m still bringing my lunch to work at 95% of the time, so that’s win-win for my health and savings.

Finance challenge: I refinanced my house at a lower rate and saved myself two months of mortgage payments. I put my tax return into savings. I got a raise at work! Bam!  Of course, my retirement accounts took a huge hit due to the damn market free fall.

Fitness challenge:  I’m still going to the gym.  My aunt and my best friend think that I don’t eat enough.  Another friend says that my face looks thinner and stomach looks flatter.  I also did a two week diet cleanse to really kick start my fitness goals.   I’ll be writing a review on that cleansing product.

Skin care challenge:  This challenge has been the most difficult. I have acne-prone, combination skin and eczema.  One little ingredient can set my skin aflame or cause a massive breakout.  There are dozens of skin care companies out there.  I’m just glad that companies like Sephora, Nordstrom, and Space NK are so damn generous with samples.  I have a ton of product reviews posts to write.

Right now, we’re still working on these four challenges.  Maybe in May, we’ll add another challenge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January Lifestyle Challenge: Fitness and Finance!

Happy New Year, everyone!

I hope that everyone had a great time during the holidays.  So a new year is upon us and there are more ways to become responsible adults.  As part of our attempts at successful adulting, we’ve been doing ongoing challenges.
For January, we will have two much needed challenges to follow the holidays: Fitness and Finance!
Fitness Challenge:
  • Workout at least 3 times a week
  • Log your workouts.  You’re more likely to hit your goal if you track it.
    • You can do pen and paper, the Fitbit app has a built-in exercise logging, there are other apps like My Fitness Pal.

Finance Challenge:

  • Make a monthly budget. Write down daily spending.
    • By writing down daily spending, it really shows you where a lot of frivolous spending in your budget is. You have to monitor cash, credit, and debit down to the penny.  No exceptions!
    • Use January’s spending to gauge if you need to redo February’s budget.
  • Rebalance all of your retirement accounts and investments.
    • Increase your contributions if you can.
  • Rollover or combine retirement accounts from old jobs if you haven’t already done so.
    • Fidelity makes it really easy to open an account or process a rollover.  I hear Charles Schwab is nice as well.
  • Set up a savings goal if you haven’t already done so.
    • Have money automatically transferred to a savings account every time you get paid.

Good Luck 🙂

Don’t forget our other ongoing challenges are:
Bring your lunch to work:  I’m doing marvelous.
Skin care challenge: I have room for improvement.

Thirteen!

Hello Readers,

A glorious thing has happened. No, I’m not World Overlord…yet

I have lost 13lbs!!!!

I went in for a 6 month check-up.  The doctor comes in to the exam room while she was looking at the stats that the nurse just took. “Do you realize that you’ve lost 13lbs since November?  Oh my God!  That’s so good!  What are you doing?  Diet, exercise, or both?”

While she’s giving me kudos and asking questions, I’m internally screaming “13!!” like I’m Titus Pullo.

It feels good to see that some of my hard work is pay off.   I put in my FitBit goals that I wanted to lose 25 lbs and I’m half way there.

So to all of my family and friends that encouraged me.  Thank you so much for your support.

To all of the people that just couldn’t wait to declare that Planet Fitness “is not a real gym” when others were mentioning my progress…

I’m off to gym and to run errands.  Remember our Fit Girl battle cry: Michelle Obama arms and J.Lo legs! So let it be written, so let it be done.

A Smelly Pocket of Air

Hello Readers,

There is an excellent scene in the cartoon series Futurama where Robot Mafia henchman Joey Mousepad visits the Planet Express office and accidentally punches Dr. Zoidberg (notoriously malodorous), whom has temporarily been made invisible.  As Joey leaves the office, he tells them to watch out as there is “a smelly pocket of air over there.”

That is how I felt at the gym a few days ago.   Like I previously wrote, the gym etiquette is desperately lacking these days.  I thought people sitting on the machines for-fucking-ever or not wiping down the equipment were the worst crimes.   Oh, how horribly mistaken I was.

When you leave a machine or the weight area, your damn scent shouldn’t linger.   THAT IS INEXCUSABLE!!! Wear fresh clothes to the gym and for God’s sake, people, properly bathe and exfoliate. Your sweat shouldn’t smell like the funk of forty thousand years!

Get it together, dammit.

I am 33 lipsticks and then some…

Hello Readers,

I hope that new year has found you well.  Well it’s February now.  So you have a had a whole month to see how those resolutions are going.

I’ve continued with the exercise and diet regime that I started in October.  I’m down a dress size and my iron levels have improved.  Muscle tone on fleek.

I’ve also turned into one of those people that hate some of the new people at the gym.   I hate the machine hogs, the people that never wipe the equipment down after use, and the folks that work out in jeans.  Just plain trifling. Get it together, dammit!

I’ve also been reading several times at week.  I usually read about 15 minutes before bedtime.  I hope to finish my current book before the end of the month.

My other resolution was that I wanted to save more money in my regular savings account and do more investing.  I’ve gone over my budget deciding what to cut out and one line items sticks out like a sour thumb: beauty purchases.   I have 33 lipsticks, 11 blushes, 8 highlighters, 29 eyeshadows, and 4 foundations/tinted moisturizers.  That’s actually considered a small collection if you follow any beauty gurus on YouTube, Instagram, etc.  I’m just saying…

Makeup is like crayons for your face. It’s fun. It’s one of the few extremely girly aspects of my person that I embrace.

A new collection comes out, I go to the makeup counters and I’m like:

Then I get home:

It’s a struggle.  I want all the things!

I’ve got lipsticks and glosses a plenty
I’ve got highlighters and liners galore
You want blushes? I got eleven
But who cares? No big deal
I want moooooooorrrrre!*

Everything is so pretty; but since I have more than enough makeup, I’ve decided to cut back tremendously on what I buy.   I should really focus on using what I have and only replacing things that I use up frequently like liners and mascara.

So for the betterment of my financial future, I shall be devoting beauty funds to investing funds.  I have my rollover 401k’s with Fidelity and I recently started micro-investing with Acorns.  Also, all of my eBates rebates and FatWallet cash back will go toward investing with into Fidelity and Acorns.

I showed discipline with the fitness training and I know that I can do it for the investing.

*Bonus points for me if I made you start humming Part of Your World from The Little Mermaid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I found a gym

One of the worst things about relocating is that you have to find all new places like a new grocery store, a new dry cleaners, etc.

Since I moved a good 20 miles away from previous location, I lost decent commuting access to the dance studio that I used to attend.  I’ve noticed that since I stopped going to class, I feel really sluggish and tired all of the time.  So my sister told me to see if her gym had a franchise in my city because she really likes them.  Lo and behold, there is a Planet Fitness here.

Now I’ve received postcard flyers from Planet Fitness in the past, but I always trashed them because I thought the $20/mo advertised plan was a trick.  Gyms in this area usually $50 to $100/mo.  Nope.  That’s the real deal.  I got confirmation from my sister.  I read their online fine print several times.  So I took a tour and I signed up.  I like that what I read online is exactly what I was told in person.  No bait and switch tactics.

I worked out for the first time today and it was nice.  The gym is clean, but basic.  Plenty of cardio machines, various weight training machines, and few free weights or structured classes.  I think that is what keeps the costs down.  Plus, when I go home to visit my family, I can use the gym there as well. The biggest bonus of all: they have massage chairs and a hydromassage machine!   I sat in one of those massage chairs for a good 10 minutes today after my workout.

Y’all know my tushie is going to be in those massage chairs every chance I get, right?

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