Progress Report: On Fitness, Cooking, Reading, and Writing

So it’s been a while again. Life is still hectic. Finding a job is still top priority. It’s really stressful and exhausting, moreso because my official last day here is May 31st. I’m happy to have a light at the end of the tunnel, but the pressure is on! I am a bit behind, but I am still collecting articles and information to bring the blog back to life soon!

First order of business: I recently saw a great influx in traffic. I was baffled until I noticed that mentioned my RescueTime post on a recent blog post of theirs! This is so awesome and I am really amped about it. I am still trying to get a handle on being the organizer of The Philadelphia Quantified Selfers meetup group, another thing that is sort of on the back burner while I job hunt, but I am excited to start finding presenters and organizing meetings as soon as possible.

Secondly, Some life updates: I have actually debated writing some more personal posts during my 12 day writing hiatus, but I am still trying to figure out how much I’d like to write about here. I used to be someone who wrote constantly and revealed a lot about my personal life, but in the last few years I have shied away from that type of writing. It may happen eventually, but for now I am hesitant (probably a big part of that is because I am job hunting and feel weird about potential employers knowing the ins-and-outs of my everyday life). For now I’ll do a small progress report for the month of February.

Fitness Progress

As far as Fitness goes, January and February were mostly a big flop. I did get myself back to regular aerials classes and I took deep stretch, so I am happy about that… but my Fitbit steps have been triflin’ lately. Fortunately, in the last two weeks I finally got my shit in order and have been hitting my goals (and then some) almost every day. Some data from my dashboard (I know I can export it but why bother when they make it so easy!):

First, while disappointed in my activity levels this year, it turns out I’m doing better than last year already! Here is January 2014 vs January 2015. I’m only 13 miles ahead for the month of January, but that’s better than nothing!

Fitbit Steps January 2014

Fitbit Steps January 2014

Fitbit Steps January 2015

Fitbit Steps January 2015

Here are the stats for February 2014 vs February 2015. This time I am 34 miles ahead! Again, not so bad:


Fitbit Steps February 2014

Fitbit Steps February 2015

Fitbit Steps February 2015

I mentioned in a previous post that my goal was to hit 3000 miles total for 2015. I made some charts with goals and mileage necessary to reach this goal so I could keep an eye on my stats and make sure I stay on track. (MPD = Miles per day). These ideal miles actually come out to 3592.71 total miles, so I have some cushion to miss a few days here and there.

Ideal Mileage to Hit Goal of 3000 Miles in 2015

Ideal Mileage to Hit Goal of 3000 Miles in 2015

I recently discovered that 10 laps around my department is about a mile, so I’ve been trying to do 30-40 laps minimum per day. It takes me about 8-10 minutes to walk a mile so it doesn’t take too-too long. People in my department have caught on while seeing me go in circles, and I wouldn’t be surprised if more of the Fitbit users here start doing it, too! It’s a nice way to make sure I hit mileage while it’s shitty out (I didn’t forget about the indoor miles blog post, but work has kept me from getting to all the places). Hopefully my next progress report has even better news and mileage!

Random aside: I love the show The Good Wife, especially the character Elsbeth Tascioni (played by Carrie Preston from True Blood and many other things). I love her even more after seeing this scene today (The entire line was “I’m sorry. I have to hit 10,000 paces or my Bangle gets mad at me.”):

 elsbeth tascioni

Other fitness stuff: AERIALS!!! I finally feel like I am getting my muscle back and remembering more tricks from the past. It’s funny because there’s some really basic stuff I can’t do, then I somehow am able to do random hard tricks. I’ll try to get some photos of cool aerials stuff for next time. I am also getting more bendy, albeit very, very slowly. The problem with stretch/contortion is that progress happens in literal millimeters, and it takes forever. BUT I am now doing a lot more stretching at home in addition to class, so I am hoping I am super bendy in a few months. My main goal is SPLITS! It is going to be a painful process getting them down, but I’m up for it. I’m also hoping to get back into Acro Yoga when it’s a little warmer, and to start learning hand balancing (handstands!). Lots of exciting stuff coming.

Cooking, eating, whatever

My cooking habits have been hit or miss, but WAY better than in the past so I am still considering this a success. I am not on any particular diet, but I have been borrowing a bunch of Whole 30 and Paleo recipes lately. The easier the better.  I haven’t been making a lot of photogenic food, which is fine because that isn’t really the point of all this (it’s more being healthy + saving money), but here is one dish I have become obsessed with and made more times than I can count: The Breakfast Skillet Hash from Multiply Delicious. Here’s a mid-cooking photo to tease you guys first:


Breakfast Skillet Hash from

Now for some more details and photos! This recipe is cheap, easy, healthy (let’s just ignore the bacon) and DELICIOUS. You can get the full recipe in the link above (or below), but the basics are: Make bacon, cut up some sweet potato into cubes and quarter some brussels sprouts. Cook the sweet potato in some of the bacon grease for 4 minutes (until tender), add the brussels sprouts and cook for another 4 minutes. Add in cut up bacon. Top with a fried egg. Boom, you’re done.

Breakfast Skillet Hash by Multiply Delicious

Breakfast Skillet Hash by Multiply Delicious

I’m not joking when I say I’ve become obsessed with this. I originally intended to get a whole bunch of easy/cheap/healthy breakfast recipes and make them… but so far I have made this every day. A confession: I have never been able to make eggs very well. I finally succeeded over the weekend, only to fail again on Monday AND Tuesday mornings. I am slowly getting the hang of it, and laughing at myself for failing at something so, so basic.

On Reading and Writing

The writing part is easy: I’ve still been writing every day in my journal and have been keeping up with my Accomplishments+Gratitude journal as well. I think it really is helping keep me positive and feel better about things I accomplish, even if I am not finishing everything I’d like to!

As for reading… WOOF. I read 17 books in January and only 5 in February. Part of this was getting hooked on some TV shows (Hostages is SO good!), part was being super tired all the time, and part was trying to clear out the 90000 podcasts on my phone (so no audiobooks at that time). Hoping March is better for me!

I am also failing so hard at clearing out my Pocket page. For all of the above reasons and more. This is also part of why my blog has been behind, most of the material for it is saved in pocket before being highlighted and sent to Evernote to draft entries. I did okay in January, starting and ending with the same amount of articles at least… but by the end of February I was way way behind! ACK! Again, hoping to remedy some of this in March.

Pocket App stats for 2015

Pocket App stats for 2015

Other Miscellaneous stuff?

So that’s the basic stuff. Otherwise, I was kind of meh during February. The snow has kept me from seeing my family for a few weeks, which has been a major bummer because I am missing my niece and nephew getting bigger (it happens SO fast), I am hoping to see them soon but with today’s insane weather who knows. In addition, seasonal depression is a very real thing and sometimes it kicks my butt worse than others, but I am dealing with it and making the most of what I’ve got going on.

That’s about it. If you know of any job leads hollatchagirl, in the meantime I will be spending most of my free time trying to land one. Until next time!


  2. On Using RescueTime To Monitor Activity and Increase Productivity
  3. What We Are Reading post from – where my post was featured.
  4. Fitbit 
  5. Multiply Delicious – Paleo food blog
  6. Multiply Delicious Breakfast Skillet Hash
  7. My Goodreads profile
  8. Pocket App

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About tamarahala

Tamara is currently living in Pennsylvania working as a Scheduling Coordinator/Payroll Supervisor with Live Nation Entertainment. Looking for fun short-term opportunities during the off season from November to March.

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