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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Birthday/Daughter Fun!

Well, hello everyone! Miss me? Obviously I just haven’t felt the blogging vibe lately. Maybe it’s this horrible, long winter. I won’t complain too much though…I know most of the country has had a rough one.

I’m still trying to get in my weight loss groove. I’m doing okay…definitely not gaining weight! I’m trying to make healthy food choices, but also trying to not worry about it too much if I don’t always eat great. My biggest focuses right now are drinking more water (80+ ounces each day) and getting more sleep. I know the water really helps to reduce my cravings, plus it fills me up. And when I’m better rested, everything is just easier. I’m in a better mood, have more energy, and it’s easier to make healthy choices.

Now if Kody would stop climbing into bed with us multiple times each night (and thinking it’s time to play), the sleep thing would be working out better. My daughters never did this, so this is brand new. I’d possibly let him just sleep there the rest of the night, except he thinks it’s playtime, so that won’t work. I know this phase will pass quickly.

I suppose I should share some birthday updates! My daughter Cameron turned 8 a few weeks ago. I think I mentioned this, but I make fun cakes for their birthdays. Cameron loves wolves and penguins, so those were her cake options. She really wanted a wolf cake, so I went to work. I am my own worst critic and am not happy at all with the snout, but I do like the rest. Cameron was happy with it, and that’s what really matters. Here is the finished cake!

wolf cake

wolf cake

And here is the birthday girl with her cake.

Cameron is 8!

Cameron is 8!

This year I gave Cameron the option of either having a birthday party, or having a girls day and going to the American Girl store. She chose the girls day, so a week later, we headed to the Mall of America with my sister and her daughter. First stop: ear piercing!

Newly pierced ears.

Newly pierced ears.

I knew she would pick the Hello Kitty earrings! She did super and wasn’t nervous at all. I, on the other hand, was very nervous! It was definitely harder on me than it was on her!

After that, we headed to the American Girl store. Cameron got to pick out a few outfits for her doll, and both Cameron’s and Allison’s dolls got their hair done!

Allison and Kit.

Allison and Kit.

Cameron and Saige.

Cameron and Saige.

 

It was a fun day and we will definitely do it again! Plus, it was a bonus for me that I didn’t have to clean the house or come up with things to keep a bunch of girls entertained. Definitely easier on me this way, and I’m all about reducing stress!

I’m definitely feeling cooped up and soooo anxious to get outside for some walking and jogging. I started to really enjoy it last summer. I’ve found that jogging is a wonderful stress reliever for me, and I enjoy the time out of the house by myself. It’s just not the same trying to exercise in the house with all the craziness still around me.

That’s about it for now. I’ll try to be a better blogger!

A post of miscellaneous ramblings

This past week has gone fairly well for me. Here are my December goals again, along with an update of each:

~ 10 glasses of water every day – SUCCESS! I think there was one day I even managed 12 glasses!

~ 10 minutes of exercise 5 days a week – So far so good! I have taken 2 days off since Sunday, so technically need to get some official exercise to really make this one a success. Whether I do or not, I am moving more, which is the point.

~ log calories 5 days a week, and stay within MyFitnessPal range – SUCCESS! Thursday night I nearly had a binge, but it was a busy night so I wouldn’t have had much time to enjoy whatever I wanted to indulge in. So I stuck to my plan and felt great for that. Friday was a day off from logging. I knew I needed the break or I would totally binge. While I didn’t eat great (far from it, actually), I didn’t go totally crazy eating whatever I wanted all day long. Today I don’t have to log as I have already reached my weekly goal, but I think I will. Even if I go over my calories.

~ 60 second plank every day – SUCCESS!

I’m feeling good about my goals and hope everything continues to go this well.

This week a friend told me she’s always thought I’ve been better than most at getting back on track. What a compliment! I have never really thought that about myself because I struggle so much. But maybe she’s right. Other than when I was having babies and totally let myself go, I always seem to be working at improving my health and physique.

Marcus is off hunting again. Usually he just goes deer hunting once a year, but this year he talked me into “letting” him go pheasant hunting as well. So I’m doing chores again. And I’m not thrilled with it. This morning was -4 degrees!! But I am getting more comfortable with it all the time, even in the dark. It’s getting easier physically, and I like how it makes me get up in the morning. Yesterday I even did part of a Walk Away the Pounds video since I was up.

Today I need to make a major dent in my Christmas shopping. I have lots of ideas…just need to make some decisions and get things purchased. I will likely do most of my shopping online. I like how I can see more choices easily…and I don’t have to go outside in this bitter cold.

Brrrrrr!!!!!

December: A Plan

Today is my 11th day off of work, if you count Thanksgiving and weekends. It has been nice and I do not want to go back tomorrow. Although part of me needs the routine again. For some reason, it’s so much easier to eat better when I’m working…at least in the office. I never go out for lunch, so will eat what I bring…and it’s usually something healthy.

It will be tough this month with all the treats that will appear, but I plan to stay out of them. At least most of the time. I need to remember that they usually aren’t all that good. And tasty or not, I never feel better for having eaten them.

Today, being December 1, starts my plan to get me through the rest of the year. I weighed in today and am 259.7 pounds. ACK! I want to get back to 253, which is 30 pounds down from my heaviest, and maintain it through the month. I can do it, but it will take diligence and a lot of self-control.

Here are my goals for the month. They take the holidays into consideration so I don’t have to be perfect 100% of the time, but should keep me on track enough to have some success.

~ drink 10 glasses (80 ounces) of water every day

~ exercise for at least 10 minutes at least 5 days each week

~ log calories at least 5 days each week, and stay within my MyFitnessPal calorie range

~ do a 60 second (modified) plank every day

I have decided not to do a strict food plan for now. BUT, I need to log what I’m eating most of the time. This will allow me to enjoy in moderation. And my “off” days don’t mean they’re a free-for-all. It just means I don’t need to log my food because it gets to be overwhelming at times. Yes, I will likely go over those days, but I will also pay attention to what I’m eating.

I hope this works because I do NOT want to gain this month. I want to end this year feeling good about my accomplishments, and start 2014 off with a bang.

Ramblings

I AM ON VACATION!!!!

I don’t have any “fun” plans like a trip away or anything, but I am going to enjoy every minute of my time off. My job is always busy in the fall and I work a lot of overtime. This year seemed worse than the others. There were lots of unusual problems, and they kept coming up. I worked almost 60 hours every week for 6 weeks in a row. Plus I still had parental duties. It was absolutely exhausting, inside and out. So I am thrilled to be off work and don’t go back until December 2.

What am I going to do with my time off? Well, today I need to do some MAJOR cleaning. Tomorrow my sister and I are supposed to have our annual shopping day. We go to the Mall of America and walk the entire mall, popping into any stores that interest us. Sometimes we do a fair amount of Christmas shopping. Other times we don’t. We’re expecting maybe 4 inches of snow tonight and the morning commute will be impacted. So depending on what happens, we might postpone our trip. I hope it turns out roads are decent and we can still go…I always look forward to this fun sister day!

I also have a ton of miscellaneous projects I need to work on. I haven’t started Kody’s baby book, and he’s 2 ½ years old. Luckily, I have all the information. I just need to take the time to write in his book. I have tons of pictures to organize. I have more painting I want to do in the house. Among many other projects. So there is plenty to do.

I have been struggling to get back on track with my diet and exercise. How can I have a weight loss blog and struggle so much?? No matter what, I will continue to blog about it. Sharing my struggles helps me, and hopefully helps others out there realize they aren’t alone. As long as we keep fighting, and make a valiant effort, we are making progress.

Over the past week, I’ve been thinking about my goals. It seems I don’t do well with specific ones. Goals like lose 50 pounds before Christmas. So I think I am going to stop making these goals and just focus on the day-to-day. As long as I am making healthy choices today, I know it will help my tomorrow. And then I will worry about tomorrow when it gets here. If I do this, I will make progress. Once I make some progress and build momentum, this whole thing will be a lot easier. Right now I feel like I can’t get over the hump, but I will continue to climb.

For now, I am going to work on drinking more water. I have really slacked on that, and I know it helps with weight loss, among other things. Yes, I will work on making healthy food choices, but no matter what I eat, I will drink 96 ounces of water every single day. I’m at 16 now, so I better drink up.

A couple of weeks ago, my sister mentioned a plank challenge to me. You know the type…the first day you plank for 20 seconds and gradually increase your time every day. I decided to do it! Not a real plank, mind you. I tried and was lucky if I could hold it for 3 seconds! I am doing a modified version with my knees on the ground. I am up to 60 seconds now and am starting to find it to be challenging. By about 45 seconds I am struggling but have made it to 60 seconds for 3 days in a row. Tomorrow I’m supposed to do 90. I don’t know about that! I’ll try it and see how it goes. One thing I do know is I do feel like my core is stronger already. When my core is stronger, I feel taller and leaner. Even if I’m not! Lol

Another thing I’ve been up to is trying to update my wardrobe. I rarely buy things for myself because I don’t think we can afford it. Then I literally have no clothes that fit, so buy a few inexpensive things that I really don’t like and that don’t last. I am finally making myself buy things that I really like. They’re fitting a bit snugger than I like, but I think they look better, so I feel better about myself.

Okay, enough rambling. 🙂 Thank you for reading if you’re still here. I must get off the computer now and tackle the housework! I will feel wonderful when things are cleaned up!

Week 1: Face the Music

It has been one week since I set my wedding dress goal. In that time, I have gained .7 lb and am up 7 lbs from my lowest. I am sitting not-so-comfortably at 253.3.

Work is still busy for the next week, but the stress level has dropped. Now I’m mostly just proofing, which is very time consuming and I have a deadline to meet, but it’s not the intense kind of stress I’ve had for the past 2 weeks.

It is time to get back on track. I will NOT gain any more weight back. I just won’t. So I need a plan of attack. This week I start logging my food again, and get back to drinking water. I’m not going to do a strict food plan right now. I know cutting back on breads, sweets, etc will help me. And cutting them out completely would reduce the cravings. But for the time being, I am going with the moderation method. That doesn’t mean I can have it every day as long as it’s a small portion. What that means is I can have it if I really want it. If I want bread just for the sake of eating it, no. But if I want bread because I have figured out that is the food I am truly craving, yes.

That’s my plan for this week. What is your plan?

October Plan

My Healthy 30 kind of fizzled out at the end. But I made it 26 days!! For that, I am extremely proud. I lost 10 pounds, and am sitting at 242. I feel a bit bloated, so hope some of that is fluid retention.

I’ve learned I do better when I have a solid plan. So I need to go into October with some solid goals. I have decided I am basically going to do the same thing I did in September. My rules are here. The big difference is I am going to give myself 4 cheat days, to use when I feel I need them most. My cravings have subsided, so I should have a couple of weeks before I really want to use one. I also can’t use 2 cheat days in a row. This will force me to get back on track immediately.

I am hoping to lose another 10 pounds this month. Then another 5 before Thanksgiving. That will give me a total loss of 50 pounds, and I really want to hit that before going into the holidays. I’ll worry about holiday plans when they get a bit closer.

I have also been thinking I should get back to some sort of regular exercise. But I’m also realistic. I worked 55 hours last week, and will have similar hours through this entire month. I do enjoy my wii Biggest Loser program, so will look to see if it has an option for workouts just 3 days each week. And I’ll stick to the smallest time commitment as well. For now.

Here we go…onto October! What are some of your goals? Let’s crush them!

Day 13: Dreary Weather

We finally got some much-needed rain last night and this morning. It has been very dry so the rain was welcome. Today it is cool and cloudy, but still a nice day (at least I think so) despite the dreary weather.

I am going strong with my 30 day challenge. I weighed this morning and hit 35 pounds gone! WOOHOO!! I know I’ll be up tomorrow but plan to make this official when I weigh in on Tuesday. I am getting SO close to the 230s! I am really excited and still incredibly motivated!

I am technically on plan today, and will still be under the total calories I can eat according to MyFitnessPal. But since the weather is a bit cool, I am enjoying some nice warm coffee (with creamer) this afternoon. I am going over my 3 cup rule today, but it’s okay. The worse part is I’m just not getting my water in today. I need to work on that the rest of the day!

I haven’t done well on the exercise front. I don’t have any good reasons, except that I got out of the habit. Marcus finally hooked up our wii after our living room update so I’ll have to get back to my wii Biggest Loser program. I really enjoy it, and since it’s been easier getting up in the mornings, perhaps I just do it.

Hope the weather is nicer in your neck of the woods!

Day 9: Feeling Awesome!

Seriously?! It’s already Day 9 of my 30 day challenge? Compared to when I did this last year, this is EASY! I can tell I have made significant diet changes over the past year, because this really hasn’t been hard AT ALL.

My main problem has always been evening snacking. But when I can’t eat cereal or toast or ice cream, the snacking basically goes away. Plus the added water helps to fill me up so any false hunger pangs aren’t there. I know I will have times when I struggle, but for now I will ride the waves of success!

My energy levels continue to increase. I am sleeping better and I am having an easy time getting up in the morning. I find that in itself somewhat miraculous. The past few years, a freight train couldn’t wake me up. Even if it did manage to stir me, it wouldn’t be enough to actually get me up and out of bed. I might need to get back to morning exercise… Hmm…

I am also in a better mood. Last night I came home from work and Marcus asked me why I was so happy. Ha!

This all proves to me that eating clean really does work! I feel great, and the weight is coming off. That’s not to say I won’t indulge in and thoroughly enjoy non-clean foods. But for these 30 days, they are off the menu. And they will definitely be enjoyed in moderation only once my Healthy 30 / Sugar Strike is over.

Here is today’s menu plan.

Breakfast – coffee with creamer and a chocolate strawberry smoothie

Lunch – romaine lettuce salad with boiled egg and cherry tomatoes from our garden (finally!)

Snacks – Greek yogurt and a banana with natural peanut butter

Supper – zucchini meatballs (still trying to perfect my recipe), watermelon and corn

Weekly Weigh-in

I’m stalling. I somehow got up early, but don’t feel like getting ready for work. So here I sit, enjoying a quiet house and cup of coffee.

My girls start school in just 2 weeks. It’s hard to believe it’s so close. Last night we found out who their teachers are, so it’s really feeling like school is right around the corner. I don’t have much time to finish clothes shopping. I’ll have to find a way to get that done this coming weekend.

In a way it seems like my kids are growing up fast. Too fast. I know I will miss this some day, so I want time to slow down. But then I’m also excited to have 2 in school fulltime so our daycare bill drops. It will be a nice savings each month, and will bring us a bit closer to actually making it financially. We will be living paycheck to paycheck for a long time, but we’re getting closer to being able to pay our bills without having to use farm income. Yes, it’s nice to have the farm to fall back on as needed, but we also need to save it for the farm. There are so many unknowns with that, and we’re not sure if we’ll have enough to get crops in the ground next spring.

Well, enough of that. Money talk always stresses me out and I’m determined to have another good day! Yesterday was good. I ate really well and drank more water than I had been. I should have gone for a walk last night, but didn’t. Actually, I should be doing a Walk Away The Pounds video right now, but I’m not. At least my diet is getting back on track…that’s most important to me right now.

I was really surprised when I stepped on the scale this morning. Considering the way I’ve been eating, I’m amazed I only gained 1 pound this week. I’ll take it! I am still down 30, and that feels great. I also looked back and I’m down 4 pounds in the past month. I tend to lose VERY slow, so this is still a decent loss for me.

Enough stalling. Time to shower and get to work. It’s a busy time of year for me and fall will get insanely busy. I need to stay as caught up as I can before all you-know-what breaks loose!