Fricking Fracking Stress!

I don’t keep up on anything anymore. I have many half-finished projects. I always have excuses why I can take “just tonight” off and relax. Tomorrow I’ll get something done. Tomorrow I have the same excuses. It’s like my dad always says, tomorrow never gets here!

I know if I keep myself moving, I get more done. When I get more done, I FEEL better. I sleep better. I wake up in a better mood and don’t feel defeated right out of the gate. It’s a no-brainer, really. And yet I continue with the excuses.

I have no idea what my weight is right now. I definitely feel fuller in my stomach. I know that’s primarily because I snack too much in the evenings. Marcus is eating better these days, which helps, but it hasn’t stopped me from snacking. A lot of times I eat nuts and raisins, which is great, but I know I eat too much of them. And I shouldn’t be eating more than that at night. The extras need to stop.

Work is getting crazy and I’m just not motivated to do it! I am so completely exhausted by the end of October each year…it’s tough to make myself work extra right now. But I have to or it’ll be even worse later. I feel the “stress ball” in my stomach growing. I’ve learned this is where I store my stress. I’ve also learned that running helps. When I run, I can literally feel the stress leaving my body. So why don’t I get back to running?? On the one hand, I know if I take time to run, I will feel better and probably be more productive. On the other hand, I feel like I just have too much to do to take time off. And yet here I am blogging. Hmm…

Right now isn’t the best time to go all gung ho on a diet plan, although that doesn’t mean I can’t make an effort to make better choices. The #1 thing I am working on – starting NOW – is to chug the water! I’ve been slacking on it the past few weeks, and I feel better when I drink more. Plus if I’m really focusing on drinking more, I feel fuller which helps to minimize the endless snacking.

Somehow I need to get my shit together again. I can’t put too much pressure on myself for the next couple of months, but I still need to do the best I can. My hope is to get through this crazy work project with my sanity intact, and come out of it with some solid goals. Maybe I need to treat myself like a child and make a sticker chart or something. Ha! I’m sort of serious too…I need a visual way to “reward” myself for reaching my goals.

If I can work it out, I would love to take a full week off work when the kids are in school. I’m sure daycare will take time off to screw that up, though. It always happens. I understand it, but I also haven’t had much “me time” since we switched to this daycare 3 years ago. It’s much better than the previous one, so I have no regrets, I’m just missing my time.

Okay, so I can start some goals NOW. Today I will drink lots of water. And I will focus on work. I have a lot to do and will feel better at the end of the day knowing I did all I could do.

Do you have any tips to help me get through the next 7 or 8 weeks? Do you have any ideas on how I get track my goals?

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Another birthday, and other updates

Birthdays are over in our house for this year! I’ll be giving a birthday party this weekend, so have a lot to do to get ready for it, but hopefully won’t have too many cupcakes leftover.

First, I’ll share a couple of photos from Allison’s 6th Birthday. She is such a little spitfire and really keeps me hopping, but she’s also such a sweet and fun little girl.

Here is her birthday cake. She wanted a minion cake, and not just any minion. She wanted some minion named Dave! Good thing Google helped me figure out which one he is.

Minion cake

Minion cake

She put her own candles on her cake, which is why some are on the minion. Oh well, it’s her cake!

Birthday Girl with her cake.

Birthday Girl with her cake.

And here she is with her American Girl doll, Kit. They have matching pajamas! Oh, and don’t you love our living room carpet! I hate it, but it’s still in good shape and we can’t afford to re-carpet that room yet.

Allison and Kit - matching pjs!

Allison and Kit – matching pjs!

Since I have pics from Kody’s birthday off my camera, here is one of him with his cake. I have to be fair, you know!

Kody with his cake.

Kody with his cake.

Now, onto other updates.

On Sunday, I went back to my eating plan that has worked for me before. I am not eating obvious sugars, bread, crackers, etc. Days I do well, I get 2 Dove dark chocolates before bed. I did 3 days successfully! Today I’m working at home, and I don’t know why, but just don’t feel like caring today. So, no chocolates tonight.

Back on track tomorrow, for sure!

The good news is I really only ate well for those 3 days, then had my weigh-in this morning. I lost 1.1 pounds this week! I will certainly take it. I weighed in at 260.6, so am determined to get out of the 260s by next week. And this time I will never see them again. Ugh.

Overall, I’m feeling good about my plan. I think the nightly chocolates will help so that I don’t feel so deprived. We’ll see…I’m definitely going to keep this up.

Oh, and my couponing is going well! In just 3 trips to Target, I’ve saved an average of $50 per trip! And I’m really only buying things I would be buying anyway. I will never be one of those people who buys things just because they’re cheap. I don’t care how good of a deal it is, if I’m not going to use it, it’s a waste of my time and money to buy it. I’m feeling a bit better about our financial situation, which is the point of me taking the time to do this.

Back to work now…I haven’t been very productive today. 🙂

Birthday and My New Plan

We are heavy into birthdays at my house right now. My son turned 3 last week, and my daughter turns 6 tomorrow. It’s a busy time and I will be glad when the birthday season is over.

Here are a couple of pictures from Kody’s birthday. I don’t have the one of him with his cake off the camera yet, which is just as well. He got scared when I lit the candles so I have pictures of him crying with his cake! Poor kid. But he LOVED his Scooby Doo cake, and his Planes bike. He’s getting so grown up!

Scooby cake

Scooby cake

Kody loves his Planes bike!

Kody loves his Planes bike!

I started my new food plan yesterday. My goal is to cut out the obvious sugars, bread, crackers, etc. Days I do well, I get 2 Dove dark chocolates. Yesterday was a pretty easy day and the chocolates were delicious! As long as I can limit it to 2 right before bed, I am hopeful this plan will work for me.

Tomorrow won’t be a great food day with my daughter’s birthday, but that’s okay. I’ll enjoy pizza for supper, followed by cake. No chocolates tomorrow night. This doesn’t give me free reign to eat whatever I want, though. I need to learn how to eat well all day, then indulge for the one meal ONLY. Then I have to be back on track Thursday.

I’m really hoping this will allow me some freedom to enjoy things like birthdays or family gatherings. I can and should be able to indulge a little bit for special events. As long as I’m doing well the rest of the time, and get back on track immediately after the event, I will be able to lose the weight and not deprive myself.

I have started adding friends on MyFitnessPal and am enjoying it. If you’d like to add me, my username is teresainmn.

I had another great Target trip last night. I saved $45! I spent $85 on some groceries, paper products and basic household necessities. Not everything was on sale, but since I’m now watching ads, I hope to only buy things we use regularly when they’re on sale…and hopefully I’ll have a coupon too. Boy, this takes a lot of time, but it sure is addicting!!

Couponing is really helping to lighten my stress level. I’m feeling hopeful and know we can get by with careful planning and cutting out of anything unnecessary.

Do you coupon? Do you have any pointers for me?

Still on the upswing??

Last week when I posted, I was feeling a bit better about my stress level. While my diet is still all over the place, I am feeling better emotionally.

We had a nice Easter weekend. Saturday I took the kids to an Easter egg hunt with my in-laws (grandma, aunts, cousins). Those things are always chaos, so I wouldn’t brave it on my own with 3 kids. But with grandma and 3 aunts to help, it makes it enjoyable.  There is a church in our area that hosts the hunt each year, and it’s a nice event. This year weather was decent (although windy!) so there was an even better turnout than usual. Most years, each kid fills a plastic grocery bag with plastic eggs. This year Kody got almost a full bag, Allison about half a bag, and Cameron only got about 8 eggs! Cameron’s age group must have had more kids than they expected, because she had to really hurry to get those few eggs. It was actually really disappointing for her…all the anticipation and waiting, to have the entire thing done in 30 seconds. And her little brother and sister are good about sharing, so that helps.

Easter Day was nice too. After going to church, we headed to my mom’s house for the day. We enjoyed some wine, which was really good after not having it for so long. Just proves that things taste better when I don’t have them all the time. I also don’t miss these things when I don’t indulge in them frequently.

I did not eat well this weekend. Yesterday I was determined to get back on track and ate well all day. Then I got home to a bag of Easter candy from my mother-in-law. So that ended up being my supper. Not my best choice!

I am determined, again, to do well today. It’s still early, but I know I will do well if I stay out of the kids’ candy tonight. And I plan to stay busy, so that will help.

I don’t recall if I’ve mentioned it here, but I am part of a fitbit group for people with 75+ pounds to lose. It is a wonderful group with lots of support. There are daily and weekly challenges, and I am becoming more consistent in completing them. One example is we have Middle Monday where we work our core. One of the suggested exercises is a plank, and I can tell I’m getting stronger. I start by doing a real plank as long as I can, then drop to my knees for the rest of the time. When I first did a plank months ago, I could barely hold a real one for 2 seconds. Last night I held it for 15 seconds!!!! It was an amazing feeling. 🙂

This week there is also a challenge to spend just 5 minutes a day doing some kind of spring cleaning…whether it’s cleaning a window or going through one dresser drawer and getting rid of clothes that no longer fit. Who doesn’t have 5 minutes?? Most of the time, getting started is the hardest part, so once I get going, I finish the task at hand. Since I feel obligated to the group, it is pushing me to get things done…things I’ve been wanting to do anyway. It’s been a good group for me.

* As a side note, if you have a fitbit pedometer, at least 75 pounds to lose, and are interested in the group, let me know.

While I’m not making progress with my weight, I am getting stronger. I am feeling better emotionally. I am working to get my stress under control.

If I keep this up, I know I will eventually see the results on the scale. It will happen. And I will keep the weight off.

Just wait and see.

Trying to kick my stress to the curb!

The stress in my life has been out of control. Financial stress is the worst right now. When I’m stressed, I eat. When I eat too much, then I don’t lose weight or even gain a few pounds, making me more stressed. Eating more than I need to costs more money, which makes my financial stress worse. It’s a vicious cycle.

There is good news.

I have decided not to be so strict with what I eat. Days I feel like tracking what I eat, I will. Days I feel overwhelmed, I won’t…although I’ll try to make decent choices. I am focusing on moving more. That helps my stress more effectively than eating anyway. Right now I don’t feel as pressured to be perfect. Instead I’m trying to go with the flow and make positive, healthy changes without focusing on the weight loss part.

Yesterday I logged my food and had a good food day! It just clicked and didn’t seem like a daunting task. I feel like doing it again today. Can you believe it?!

I’m also taking some drastic measures to help us makes ends meet financially. I am planning to become a crazy coupon lady! LOL I love Target’s cartwheel app…between that and coupons, I saved $60 last night! And it was all stuff I would have bought anyway. It takes time that I don’t really have, but it’s necessary right now.

I have not had wine in close to a month, and my husband has not bought beer in at least that long. It’s saving money, plus I feel better when I don’t drink. I definitely need to make sure to enjoy alcohol in moderation from now on. It makes me feel bogged down and irritable when I drink it too often.

The past few days I am feeling better emotionally. I feel like I’m making the best changes I can to ease my biggest stress.

Now I just hope I can continue on this upswing…

Stress is Toxic

I just had a meltdown. I have been on the verge of a breakdown all week. This happens this time every year. It makes me wonder if the job is worth it. Yet they are incredibly flexible with me, and for the most part, I enjoy my core responsibilities. And, if I found another job, it would probably be at least a $3/hour pay cut. I just plain can’t afford that.

It has been a week from hell. The sheer quantity of work to do is overwhelming. And the political internal bull shit in the office is absurd. Seriously, do people have nothing better to do than raise a stink about such stupid shit? Luckily, I don’t have to deal with much of it. But I am crabby this week and won’t let people walk all over me just because they think they can. This is not the week to mess with me.

My eating has been out of control. I make choices that are anything but healthy. Well, I do start out healthy. Breakfast and lunch are almost always good. But the rest of the day is not good. And I’ve been drinking wine many nights. I know I should be making healthier choices. I don’t like that I’m undoing the work I have already done. But part of me doesn’t care right now.

This kind of behavior is not worth it. I’m not making excuses, but my stress level is through the roof. Three weeks and my project is out the door. Probably two more weeks of insane hours.

I don’t feel good. My body is craving healthy foods. I have some bell peppers here, so think I will make some Scrambled Egg Boats for lunch. Even if I put cheese on it, it’s way better than the things I’ve been eating.

I am also going for a jog today. I went twice last weekend. I don’t remember if I blogged about it or not. That’s how crazy things are. I’m losing my mind. But I am finding out what an amazing stress reliever running is. I have always hated running. Always. But it is the one exercise that can pretty much eliminate my stress for the time being. And I like how I can burn more calories in a shorter period of time. Bonus. I’m not fast. I don’t do much at a time. But I’m doing it.

I will go for a jog in a little while. I can’t wait. Honest!

A little relief

It has been a nice weekend.

I woke up early yesterday and got to work. I was at my computer working by 5:30 am! I was able to get 2 solid hours of work in, then since Marcus was home, I went for a walk/jog. That was exactly what I needed. Even though I haven’t done much jogging lately, I can tell I have more stamina. I pushed myself to run my longest distance to date. Then I did more walking/jogging intervals than I usually do. The more jogging I did, the more I could literally feel the stress leaving my body. Today I woke up a bit sore. My legs, back, and even my stomach are feeling it! And it feels great!

Then I had to help the kids pack for their overnight at their aunt’s house. I got them off, then it was back to work for a couple more hours. Marcus and his dad were harvesting soy beans, so it was quiet. I got quite a bit done and am feeling better about where my work project is. It’s far from over, but it doesn’t feel quite so unmanageable.

When Marcus got inside, we enjoyed some pizza, wine, and a movie. Not healthy choices, but it was enjoyable. We recently got Amazon Prime and watched The Negotiator last night. It was a good movie. It must be old though, because we were laughing at the old computers! I just looked it up…it’s from 1998.

This morning was wonderful to wake up on my own, and not to immediate chaos. I love my kids, but sometimes I need this, and my marriage needs this. It has been refreshing.

I am already working and trying to make the best use of my time. I’ll be off for a walk/jog in a little bit. Even though I’m crazy busy, I need to find a way to jog when I can. It’s only 36 degrees out now, but my body will warm up quickly. I plan to continue this into the winter as long as there isn’t lots of snow or ice on my path.

I’m counting down. Three to four weeks left of crazy hours! I’m getting there!

I want to cry

I am SO incredibly stressed out! I am being pulled in so many direction with work. Advertisers get impatient and want their stuff done NOW, even though they JUST submitted their materials. I am on a deadline so know how important it is. And I swear I could design these artwork files better than these so-called designers can. And I have NO experience and have no idea how to use programs like PhotoShop or InDesign.

I can only do so much at a time! It will get done. It always does. But right now I just want to cry.

Instead of buckling down and getting focused, I eat. Why do I do that?? Am I postponing the work for some reason? Just like I’m doing right now by taking a few minutes to blog? Perhaps. But why? I will need to get to the bottom of that when I’m not so insanely busy.

This weekend, SHOULD be productive. My wonderful sister-in-law wants to take the kids overnight, then take them to a pancake breakfast in the morning. Hell yeah! Not only will that give me a much needed break from mommyhood, but it will give me some MUCH needed time to focus on work without constant interruptions. I think I will also go for a jog or two while they’re gone. Jogging will be the best stress reliever for me, and hopefully clear my mind enough that I CAN focus on my project.

Time to quit procrastinating and get some work done.

Day 23: a little exercise

In one week, I will be on my final day of my Healthy 30! I have been struggling a bit the past few days, but it’s not that I’m craving “bad” foods or anything. The scale just isn’t moving like it was, but I know I need to be patient and stick with this. I am still hoping to lose 15 pounds by the end of my challenge.

I got home from work last night, and the house was quiet. With three kids, that is extremely rare! The girls were playing nicely upstairs, and Marcus and Kody were just hanging out. So I took advantage of it and went for a quick walk. The girls had their first Girl Scout meeting a little later, so I couldn’t be gone long.

I can’t remember the last time I went for a walk, so it was refreshing and a very much needed stress reliever! I did a little jogging, which really helps with my stress level. I’m finding I almost enjoy jogging. I want to find a way to exercise a little bit here and there while work is so busy. But I also know how exhausting the work hours get, so I’m not banking on it. For sure in November I will get into a routine. I hate putting it off, but I’m realistic. And hey, I’m eating great. That’s a HUGE step for me!

My house is also quite filthy these days. It’s embarrassing, really. I need to work on teaching the kids how to do some of this stuff so they can help out a little bit.

On today’s menu…

Breakfast – coffee with creamer, chocolate strawberry smoothie

Lunch – small bowl of chili, and a lettuce salad

Snacks – yogurt or boiled egg or celery with natural peanut butter

Supper – onion, pepper, egg scramble. We have LOTS of freshly laid eggs from Marcus’s parents!

Day 22: Weigh In

I’m tired from my crazy work hours, but still feeling good. Today I decided to squeeze myself into my smaller jeans and I feel great! They fit well, although they’re a little snug around my waist. No one can tell though, so I’m wearing them. They look better than my bigger jeans. 🙂

I weighed in today and gained a pound from last week, so I’m at 241. I’m not taking it too seriously. I know my scale is screwy, to put it nicely. And while I know I’ve had too much coffee with creamer the past week, other than that I have eaten pretty much perfect…the two bites of cream puff really aren’t a factor since I stopped there.

Stress from work may not be helping either. I should make time for some exercise to help with stress relief, but I know that’s not likely to happen for another 6 weeks or so. I put in my regular 8-9 hour day in the office, then try to work another hour or two after the kids are in bed. Weekends I try to work the 2 hours Kody naps, plus evenings. And I even skip church with the family to get another 2 1/2 hours of uninterrupted work time. Yes, it sucks. But the overtime money is very much needed, and is what keeps me going.

Anyway, gotta get back to it. Next week I will be in the 230s. Just watch me.