Wednesday, October 31, 2012

This Crazy Mixed Up Thing We Call Life

Life is so good. I have had the best week EVER so far.

Other than worrying and praying for those on the east coast who suffered the wrath of Sandy. I don't think I know anyone over there who was close enough to have experienced even a power outage. But I've seen the pictures. I've read on facebook what others are saying about all the devastation. I truly hope that all of you out there weathered the storm and came through it alright.

As for me, I have my own storms to weather. They may not be pouring rain (although I do get plenty of that these days in the great state of Washington), extraordinarily high winds or flooding, nevertheless, they do require preparation and endurance. I don't always come through them so well. Sometimes they don't even touch me.

Overall right now, I'm keeping my head above water. I'm glad that I'm staying in control. But I can't exactly say I'm staying "on plan," because I still don't have any official plan. The binder is there waiting for me, the food journal pages are ready to be printed. I don't know if it's that I'm not ready yet to focus more on that stuff, or whether life has just been so crazy (will I ever get to stop saying that life is crazy? Just once I'd like to remember what it feels like to actually be bored. I don't know how many years--or decades--it's been since I was truly bored) that I really and truly haven't had the time to sit down and focus on outlining the guidelines I'd like to set for myself.

I do have guidelines in my mind. And I do mostly stick to them. Overall, I'm extremely pleased with the progress I've made over the past few weeks. I don't eat perfect. My exercise is hit or miss. But I feel amazingly better, and I'm accomplishing more because of it. I don't have very much time. But I'm trying to get the most out of the time I do have.

I'm also waiting for a chance to get over to the gym and find out some details so that I can make a decision about whether or not joining would be a wise move at this point.

Still--I've got so much to be grateful for! On Monday I had a wonderful visit with a new friend. We just connected, you know? One of those "kindred spirits". That was a huge blessing--I think for both of us! Then I went to the mall with my husband, who got a surprise half day off, and my girls. We were able to knock some things off the Christmas shopping list, and then we went home to pick up the boys after school, and headed out to eat dinner, shop at Target, and treat the kids to Menchies (one of those frozen yogurt shops). The kids all behaved well and we had several hours where we truly enjoyed everyone's company with no fighting and no major behavior issues. It was fabulous.

Last night our kids got all dressed up and we took them over to the church for the Trunk-or-Treat. In the rain. We got soaked. But listening to my little girls (2 & 3) saying "trick or treat!" and "Thank you, Happy Halloween!" was just so cute. The kids got a major haul--what else can you expect when you have 5 trick or treaters out there?--and I love that it's not calling out to me.

We dump everyone's candy into a big family bowl, and then let the kids pick out 20 pieces that go into ziplocks with their name on them. The rest of it is "family candy." We'll most likely be handing out a lot of that to trick or treaters who come to our house after we get home tonight. (We're big into recycling around here, LOL).

Other than that, I have been insanely busy--barely sitting down for a break. But I have been living life. And that's what life is all about.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Waiting For Monday

I don't believe in waiting for Monday. Or waiting for New Year. Or waiting for anything. If you want to make changes, today is a great day to start--whether it's Monday or Thursday or Saturday. Whether it's Halloween or the 4th of July or New Year's Day.  Waiting is not helpful.

That is not to say I don't wait sometimes. I do. But more often than not, these days, when my thoughts lead to good things I want to implement into my life, I don't wait for the next "beginning." I'm thankful that I don't get stuck waiting.

In the words of our good friends Phineas and Ferb (at least...they're around our house so often they sometimes seem like good friends):

Carpe Diem, my friends. Get up. Work out. Work hard. Accomplish things. Earn your shower. Earn your sleep. Be a little better today than you were yesterday.

And now? Time for me to get up and follow my own advice.

Happy Monday, my friends!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Write It Down! Download-able Food Journal

I'm getting ready to add the journaling element into my daily life again. It really does help. I'm going to try really hard not to focus on it too much, but to let it just become an easy habit...something I can always do.

So I dusted off my old binder that I had last year, and pulled out my "stuff."

In my "stuff," I have a food journal I created in order to keep track of what I ate, when I ate, how many calories I ate, and why I ate.

(The Why I Ate was a recommendation from Jillian Michaels, I believe in one of the Biggest Loser books, to help us to recognize what triggers us to eat so that we can watch out for those triggers that should not lead to eating, and do something else instead. For example, if my "why" is that I'm bored, I need to dive into a project instead of into a bag of caramels. Not that I would ever do that).

Here's a sample of a page I filled in last year. (Although the one in my binder is filled in by hand, not typed). No, it's not a perfect eating day. It is what it is, and I say it's still pretty darn good! I need to get back to eating more like this, quite frankly.

Food Journal
Date:          1/22/12/      Water Intake:       100 oz.                                                         Weight: 194.3

Meal/Time of Day
Food Item
Food Group
Total Calories
Why I Ate

½ cup honey nut cheerios



PB&J (bits and pieces


Lunch time

Zucchini, onions, squash

Wasa crackers & laughing cow
Grain, protein/dairy


Dinner Time

 w/olives & egg
Healthy fat, protein

Total So Far




Total Calories In:       1440      
                                                                       Total Calories Out: I don't know, bodybugg was busted

That's the general idea.

As far as calories out, most people do not have a way to track how many calories they burned for the entire day (like, when you're cooking or sitting or sleeping--you get the idea). So for total calories out, you can just use the activity calculator tab at the top of this page, and track how many calories you burned during your actual exercise. 

Unfortunately, since I created my food journal, my computer crashed. So this morning I created it all over again, and I thought I'd share it with all of you. It is available for download, or you can check it out and create one of your own that suits your style better.

Here's how the blank one looks:

Food Journal
Date: __________ Water Intake:_______________________                  Weight:________________

Meal/Time of Day
Food Item
Food Group
Total Calories
Why I Ate

Here is an actual image of the page:

So if you'd like to print these, just click on the links below and they will take you to the download option. The actual documents are a bit more polished--the above are just copied and pasted from word.  If you want to create your own, make a table in a word document and fill in the categories you'd like to track. Good luck!

Download the Filled In Sample
Download the Blank Document

Happy Journaling!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

40 Before 40

On a blog I read somewhere during the past couple of days, the author had a list of 30 things she wanted to do before she turned 30.

(For the life of me, I can't find the blog again! Frustrating. So if this is your blog, or if you know of this blog, please leave me a comment so I can link back and give credit where credit is due).

I loved the idea. It is not my good fortune to still be under 30, but since I am 37, I figured maybe I could tweak it for myself and make a list of 40 before 40. A bucket list, of sorts.  It will give me something concrete to work on.

Take some of these ideas! Make a list of your own. Bigger, smaller, whatever! You could make it a 13 in 2013, or come up with something. Even if it's just a list of things you want to do, there is no rule that says it has to be catchy.

This list is personal to me, so feel free to take it like it is, or tweak it to your liking. Here are 40 things I want to do before I turn 40.

1.Take the stairs to the top of a tall building (rather than the elevator)
2. Hike Mount Rainier
3. Lose 40 Pounds (in 2.5 years? I'd better!)
4. Buy a Bike
5. Try Yoga
6. Complete the Couch to 5K
7. Do my step workout with 2 sets of risers
8. Go Lap Swimming
9. Take a Water Aerobics Class
10. Try Spin Class Again
11. Complete a 10 Mile Walk
12. Do 100,000 crunches (cumulative)
13. Play Soccer
14. Run 1/2 mile (no walking)
15. Run 1 mile (no walking)
16. Run a 5K (no walking)
17. Do 100 pushups in 2 minutes (just guessing here, I have no idea how easy or hard it will be, so I might tweak this one).
18. Get my bodybugg up and running again
19. Complete 10 Pull Up. You laugh. I don't think I've ever done one before! Maybe I'll be able to work into more, but right now I'll be thrilled if I can even do 10!
20. Find a new cardio DVD to throw into the rotation.
21. Work green juicing into my regular diet.
22. Go camping with my family
23. Make homemade noodles (never done that!)
24. Start sprouting wheat
25. Make a recipe with tofu and actually eat it
26. Have a Harry Potter marathon and do the Harry Potter workout on pinterest
27. Try a new vegetable
28. Try a new fruit
30. Grow a vegetable--can't do a whole garden, but maybe a few pots indoors?
31.  Climb a tree
32. Actually dress up really nice for a date with my man
33. Take my kids roller skating (I know their dad will never go, ha ha!)
34. Eat raw for 3 days
35. Can. As in, seal up fruits or vegetables or SOMETHING into canning jars.
36. Go sugar free for one month.
37. Get a passport
38. Do something ridiculously outside my current comfort zone.
39. Jump Rope
40. Try one more time to like avocado. (LOL! I'm serious, though).

Anybody else out there going to make a list? I'd love to read what you come up with!