Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hey There Shakey Shakey

Go Here. I just finished all 68 minutes of Cathe Friedrich's Muscle Max DVD. It's the featured DVD on her site this week, so it's 30% off until Sunday. I'm having a bit of trouble typing because my arms are still shaking; and I'm a bit worried that my legs will fold underneath me like a newborn foal when I try to stand. Both are good things, because that's what I crave from a workout. Probably part of that no-nonsense Protestant upbringing (thanks Mom!). I love Cathe. Love, love, love.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

We Won't Know

At least until mid February. I need a Plan B (or C or D . . .) to keep busy.

But it will happen. I just know it. And I can't wait.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Healthy Start 2010 - Give Myself Credit

I'm winding up the first week since I started tracking and it's really, really helping me stay accountable. Also helpful: finding out that the slice of Kirkland raisin bread is 3 points (150 cal, 2.5g fat, 3 g fiber). Yikes. Wish I had looked at the label before eating it. I definitely would have taken more time to appreciate what I was eating. In fact, I would definitely benefit from more appreciating in general; even appreciating myself.

There are times when I have it all together. I'm waking up early, exercising, getting the kids off to school with time to spare, the house is immaculate, Hubs is taken care of, my hair looks good, I'm getting some time to myself. It feels like everything almost takes care of itself, and I don't have to think about how it all comes together. There are other times when it's just the opposite. I resent having to scrub another toilet, I can't figure out how I could possibly fit in exercise or a trip to the grocery store with 3/4 of a dozen hands pulling me in different directions; the house is a mess and I don't even know where to start to get things back in order. When I'm in that place, my eating
follows with a similar chaotic quality. All the while I'm telling myself that I'm a sucky mom, wife, and housekeeper. That I'm an insult to the mirror, that I hope no one calls because I really have nothing to say. Usually, like everyone else, I'm somewhere in between.

To keep myself closer to the preferred end, I intend to Give Myself Credit where credit is due.
Last night, I avoided eating a cookie that I didn't need - something I haven't done in months - because I told myself that I could. We definitely can't control everything in our life, but we can control our response. Just reminding ourselves that we're doing well, looking good, and making our best effort certainly doesn't hurt.

So, when I exercise, I'm going to celebrate it. When I eat right, I'm going to notice. I'm going to choose to find something good in the mirror and acknowledge it. If I can do it, so can you.

What do you like about yourself today?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Healthy Start 2010 - Write It Down

I have a tendency to be completely useless when it comes to personal responsibility. Unless I write it down. So, for me it's time for baby steps, and the most important one for me is tracking. The picture in the post shows the way that I track. The best way for me to eat is the old Weight Watchers CORE method. Any food that isn't CORE gets counted as points. For me that's usually nuts, peanut butter, a cookie or piece of bread. I get 5 points a day to use as I choose - no more. So if I want a piece of cake, it's the small piece of cake and clean eating for the rest of the day. I can do this, and still cook for my family without a PhD, charts, graphs, and third-year Calculus. Otherwise, I'd be eating frozen dinners while the kids eat pizza or some other crap on a daily basis. That's me.

Also really important (possibly more important for me) is exercise. When I exercise, I put a big star on the top of the page and write in what my activity was (as you can see, no activity yet today). I haven't exercised regularly since the kids started school in the fall and I've been spending 4 hrs/day taking them to their respective destinations. Now that wrestling/skiing has started, my personal time just took another huge hit. That's why the new goal is to be in bed before 10pm nightly so that I can exercise before everyone gets up. I've done it before, and though it's not my preferred time to move, I can do it if it's my only option (and it is right now). Today I'm going to park the 4-y-o in front of Dora the Explorer after lunch so that I can do my workout. We're going sledding after I pick up the boys from school on the great hill near Maltby (in this part of MI, you have to actively find hills big enough to sled on and travel to them).

I'll be posting my thought on a Healthy Start to 2010 for the rest of the month. Any thoughts would be really welcome.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year 2010

Too lazy to retouch: this year's tree - only spent $13 on decorations for the whole house. $6 of that was spray paint.

I can't believe that it's already the New Year. I have to say, in hindsight, 2009 was one of the worst. It was the year that my neighborhood officially died for me. Three couples on the street separated/divorced this year, and I've actually lost count on the total foreclosures/ walk-aways here as well. When we first moved here, the neighborhood was a dream: neighborhood picnics, Sunday activities and crafts for the kids, evening drinks by the pool for the grownups. All of the parents were always outside, always involved, it was an amazing neighborhood. Slowly the homes stopped selling and eventually the builder fled. They left still owing contractors for work on houses they'd sold, and the contractors were placing liens on houses so the new homeowners had to pay once more for work on homes they'd just purchased. Right now if I look at Realtytrac, it say that there are 7 houses currently in foreclosure on our street(of 23 houses). The value of our home is 46% of what we originally paid and more than $100,000 less that what we still owe. With the new perks of a stabbing in front of our clubhouse, swastikas burned into a street and sidewalks, and needles found around the south pond - who could resist living here? I keep reading that the economy is going to start to turn around in the US in 2010, but Michigan should expect an improvement in 10 years.

I know that we're still doing okay, and I should be grateful that Hubs still has a decent job, and that the kids love school; but it's been hard for me to keep being positive when the view out my living room window includes a house that's been vacant for two years and an army of for sale signs standing vigilant along a street lined with bank-owned lots. I've learned that a house is not a home, especially when it feels at times like a prison. I try not to sit with my worry for long because it is burns heavy and hot in the pit of my stomach, but I sit with it each day. I worry about us, I worry about the kids who've moved away, I worry that all of my sons' best friends are gone; one most recently when a rental truck showed up in the driveway. The kids speculated that maybe they rented the truck to get a new washer or some furniture; but I knew what it meant, and the family left in the middle of the night with no goodbyes. Boy1 mourns the loss of the friend that shared more than a temperament and name with him. He says, "Maybe they'll be back, maybe they just went to stay with their Dad for a while," almost half-convincing himself as he talks.

I remember being about the same age as him, growing up outside of Pittsburgh in a community supported by the steel mills that once dominated Western Pennsylvania when they layoffs started. Our family was lucky that my Dad worked for the newspaper, so his job was safe (ah, 1981). I remember lots of friends' parents divorcing, and friends moving away, and friends' parents being scary and weird when they were drinking - and they seemed to be drinking way more than they used to (which was already more than enough). I remember coming home from school early with a stomach-ache nearly every day in third grade. I thought it was a strange little footnote to my early years, but it's that same feeling that wells up now, I can feel it rising in my throat and between my shoulders as I'm typing this. But I'm not the type to sit on my hands and think that it will all work out in the end without a little pain and a little difficulty. We've pursued advice from friends, mentors, and professionals. We've looked at our options, and are pursuing them. We've been given an opportunity that we're going to approach with faith and optimism and a level head, and can't wait until we can let it unfold.

Here's to 2010. And looking forward.