Keep On Keeping On

I feel like the last two days have been non-stop even though I didn’t really do much today. Maybe it’s because I had a very long day yesterday and then was a bit drained when  I realized that I had left my debit card at the restaurant in South Carolina and now I have to wait on a new one from the bank (and pay 8 bucks for it). When I think about it, I’d rather pay the fee than drive all the way back to SC just to pick up my card.

Anyway, I have done much better this week on eating right and working out. I’ll admit that I had a not-so-healthy meal last night, but I still worked out and came in under calories. I’ve done very good today and will also come in under calories with exercise. I think one of the things that is keeping me accountable is the 100 Days of Tracking challenge I’m doing with a Facebook page I follow. I’ve tracked all of my food for six days in a row. I really feel like I’m on my way to getting back in the grove and getting these pounds off. I’ve been riding the recumbent bike, even though it really hurts my lower back, and doing kettlebell exercises. Hubby sent me a link to a site called Daily Burn and I’m going to sign up for the thirty day trial and see how I like it. I’ll check back later and let y’all know what I think.

Tomorrow I’ll start the “Made to Crave” bible study with those lovely ladies at Proverbs 31 Ministry. The book, by Lysa TerKeurst, is all about learning to crave food less and God more. I’m so excited because this time around I remembered to sign up for a small group. Last bible study I read the book but didn’t make much effort outside of that. I find it awesome that my church is also doing a sermon series called “Let’s Move”, which is all about being healthy in spirit, soul, and body. Definitely check it out!

Remember how I said I wanted to read the bible before Christmas? I signed up for a daily plan through an app on my phone and I’m already behind. I think the best way for me to study the bible is through Church sermons, devotionals, and reading books. I’m just not very good at sticking to the daily plan.

Also, I think I’m gonna end up blowing my goal of making new recipes out of the water. I think I set the goal at 12 (?) but I’m too lazy (and sleepy) to go back and look right now. Just in the time that JR was home, I tried five or six new recipes. It really does seem like we haven’t had the same dish twice in a while, and that’s a great feeling.

I’m also praying really hard for the Lord to point me in the right direction professionally. There are some potential changes coming up in our lives and financial stability would be a great thing.

As of right now, I feel like I’m on a roll and that it’s only going to get better.  🙂

 

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Ugh.

On the eating right and exercising front, this week has been a complete bust. I ate like the calories didn’t matter and then I pulled my right hamstring so I haven’t done either challenge for two days. I feel better today but I wanted to give my leg the proper time before testing it. On the eating front, it is incredibly hard for me to eat right while on a budget while feeding three other people who don’t need to lose weight. I guess I need to stop making excuses and start finding solutions.

I want to be real about my failure here. I don’t want to hide it because I’m hoping this will motivate me. I’m tired of being this big. I’m tired of not feeling attractive and uncomfortable in my own skin. I’ve done this before so I’m not sure why it’s so hard this go round. Right before I got pregnant with Justin I lost almost 30 lbs in a 6 month period. I then got lazy, pregnant, and gained every bit of it back. I know I can do this. I just have to actually do it!

On the plus side, I got new shoes! And not the Wal-Mart special either. I also bought a 5 lb. kettle bell. I found some exercises on Pinterest (my favorite thing ever) and thought I’d give it a try. When I get comfortable with 5 lbs. I plan to move up to 10 lbs.

So, while this week may have been a total failure, it doesn’t mean that I’m giving up. Just pushing forward.

 

Challenges and Goals

If you’ve read my blog for any certain amount of time you know how much I love Crystal Paine, a.k.a. The Money Saving Mom. She is doing a year-long challenge, 12 Months to a Healthier You. It is just like Crystal to break things down into one goal a month instead of going whole hog and doing everything at once. This is one reason why I love her. The goal for the first month is to focus on the habit of exercising more. This is perfect since I am trying to lose weight this year. Keep reading to find out how I’m establishing good exercise habits.

I’m sure that you have seen one or two of those fitness challenges floating around Pinterest, Twitter, or Facebook by now. I follow a number of fitness sites so I see them all of the time. To go along with my goal of losing weight (still avoiding the term “Resolution”) I decided to do two. One dedicated to arms and the other is a boot camp type. This basically means lots and lots of push ups. And squats. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate squats?

Here is the arms challenge from Fat to Fit Chick.

Here is the boot camp challenge from Shrinking Jeans.

I’m also doing the Shrinking Jeans 6 week boot camp. Today is Week 1 Day 2 and I’m not looking forward to it. It kicked my but two days ago on day one (rest day between each day). I am trying to not leave the house to work out so I’ve been running in the yard for the sprints. My drive way is on an incline… Yeah. I just like to think I’m kicking it up a notch!

What I’m excited about is that I’m actually sticking to these challenges and the boot camp. (I know it’s only been a week. Give me a break here!)

I’m also trying to work on my eating habits. It’s so amazing to me how fast and easy it is to get of track. “Oh, this one piece of pizza won’t hurt me.” Probably not, unless I’ve already had two. I see my husband eat whatever he wants and I get a little jealous. Then I remember that he works his weight off two weeks at a time, while I’m at home. Mostly stationary. Which is changing this month!

I will be updating weekly with my progress and any links I find helpful. For the time being, check out my Pinterest boards for tons of recipes and other info. I’ve been quite the pinning fool lately. After a month of working on this habit, it will be easier to continue these healthy habits for the rest of the year.

Have a great week, y’all!

 

Here Comes 2014!

Ahh…It’s almost 2014.

It’s that time of year when everyone looks back on the last year and either talks about how great or horrible it was.

For me 2013 was OK. It flew by fast, but that’s what hitch living does to you.

The best part? Watching my babies grow and actually being home to do it.

Like everyone else I’ve been thinking about the year ahead and what I want it to bring. No, this isn’t a post about resolutions; this is a post about goals.

I’m still implementing the great things I learned from “Say Goodbye to Survival Mode”, by Crystal Paine, into my life and I know that they will have a role in accomplishing my goals.

So, in no particular order, here are my goals for 2014:

1) Get a job. Yes, I love being home with the kids. No, I never planned to do it forever. I love the feeling of success at a job that I love as well as the feeling of contributing to our family financial situation. I just keep praying that God will open the right doors for me at the right time so that I am placed in a job that I love and that allows me to help people.

2) Work on getting out of debt. Notice I didn’t say “become debt free by the end of the year.” Yeah, because that is unrealistic. JR and I have a plan and we have to find the discipline to stick with it.

3) Reach my goal weight. No, I will not share my current weight or my goal weight. Some of you are actually good with math and can put the numbers together. Just know that I am giving myself an entire year to reach a very reasonable goal.

4) Become a morning person. Well, at least a person who actually rolls out of bed within the first two times her alarm goes off.

5) Learn and successfully cook 10 new recipes. I’m sure Pinterest will be my muse on this one.

6) Read the Bible, in its entirety, by Christmas 2014.

7) Write at least one blog post a week. Seriously. I need to get on that.

That’s it. I don’t want to create an obnoxiously long list that I’ll end up ignoring due to it’s length so I’ll stop here.

What are your goals? How do you intend to reach them? Share in the comments or send me a tweet

“Say Goodbye to Survival Mode” 7-Day Challenge (Days 6 & 7)

I’m so proud of myself, y’all. The fact that I’ve stuck with and completed this challenge shows me that I can get out of survival mode. Before I get into what I’ve learned about myself (and what I failed at), here are the last two days of the challenge:

Day 6 (Sunday)- Find an accountability partner, someone to keep you on task and on track.

My first thought was to ask my husband, but considering he isn’t home half of the year and then on the rig 12 hours a day when he is there, I don’t think he would remember to ask me if I wrote that blog post or got in a workout. I’ll be really honest with y’all: I don’t feel comfortable having an accountability partner. This is my journey and I don’t have any friends that are doing the same. I would feel like a burden asking my already busy friends to badger me about working out and staying on task with my blog and homework.

I’m not saying I won’t decide to get a partner, I’m just saying I don’t have one at the moment.

Day 7 (Monday)- Make a list of things that I love to do. After the list is complete, go back and circle one thing that I can (and will) do today.

This challenge is designed to be a reward for making it through the challenge. We can’t always be organizing, cleaning, cooking, etc. We have to take time for ourselves! Here is the list I came up with:

  • Read
  • Write
  • Crochet
  • Spend time with the kids
  • Watch romantic movies (I’m such a sap)

The great thing about my list is that I’m already writing and I get to spend time with my kids every day. Last night Ashley and I painted wooden ornaments that I picked up from Wal-Mart. We had so much fun that we went back and picked up a few more to do tonight. I wait until Justin is in bed so that Ashley and I can have one-on-one time.

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I’ll let you decide who painted which ornament. 😉

I mention earlier that I failed and something and that was getting up early. I did get up before 7 two mornings in a row, but so did my son. I’m telling you, it’s like he can sense when my feet hit the floor. I can’t exercise or do anything really with Justin walking (Yes, I said walking!) around the house. I think that buying a used pack-n-play might be very helpful in this circumstance and I plan to talk to JR about it once he gets home from this current hitch. Even though I haven’t done well with rising early I have no intentions of giving up.

All in all, I really enjoyed the challenge. I feel like each activity was just the right length; just enough to get you engaged but not too much to bog you down. I’ve learned so much from reading the book (I’ll post a little more about that when I get finished in the next few days) and this challenge. If you haven’t signed up yet, what are you waiting for? Go take the “Say Goodbye to Survival Mode” 7-Day Challenge. I seriously doubt you will regret it. 🙂

Are you taking the challenge? Let me know what you think and how you are doing by commenting below or sending me a tweet

“Say Goodbye to Survival Mode” 7-Day Challenge (Day 4 and 5)

Day 4 (Friday)- Gain an extra 15 minutes. The first part of the challenge is to write down a list of things I want to get done in list of priority. Then, set a timer for 15 minutes, turn off all distractions and focus on chipping away at goals. Here is what I came up with. (I tried to stick to goals that I could actually do in 15 minutes)

  • Plan next blog post
  • Write two discussion board posts for class
  • Post in learning team forum
  • Read one chapter of any book

I picked “any book” because I have four or five lying around that I’ve been meaning to read. It took two 15 minute sessions, but I got the first three done. Hey, can’t win ’em all! I wasn’t distraction-free either since my daughter refuses to take naps. It was refreshing to have my homework completed before dinner time. I’m usually up late trying to get my thoughts together for those posts. Focusing on nothing but them for a period of time helped me to get them knocked out.

Day 5 (Saturday)- De-clutter one area of your home. It can be a closet, cabinet, or drawer. I’ve followed several clutter related challenges from Crystal’s blog, Money Saving Mom, and they have helped me tremendously. Just ask my mom what my very first apartment (after getting married) looked like. I guess the older I get, the more open I am to getting rid of things I’ve had since high school or college.

For this challenge, I had the perfect place in mind: the dining room table. I admit, we don’t eat at our table unless there is a gathering at our home. Since we had an early Thanksgiving  on Sunday you’d think that my table would still be clear. HAH! You, my friend, are sorely mistaken.

PicMonkey Collage

My messy table. I either need less stuff or a bigger house. I’m gonna go with option 2. 

I’m going to be honest; there aren’t many places to put stuff in our house. For a family of four with three dogs, our barely 1000 sq. ft. house just isn’t cutting it. Anyway, since I have company coming over for a crochet date (Hi, Erika!) I decided this was the area to tackle.

PicMonkey Collage2

My clean-ish table. I don’t have a desk so I use the table as my work space (when I’m not on the couch). I also didn’t put my yarn bag away since I’ll be crocheting tonight.

Y’all, it took me less than 15 minutes to put everything in its place and I feel so much better. It’s just a table, but it’s no longer in my line of sight and adding to my stress.

Are you taking the 7-day challenge? I’d love to hear how you are doing! Comment below or send me a tweet!

 

 

“Say Goodbye to Survival Mode” 7-Day Challenge (Days 1-3)

Y’all, I am so excited. I was chosen, along with others, to be on the launch team for Crystal Paine’s new book, “Say Goodbye to Survival Mode”. If you don’t know who Crystal Paine is then you really need to check out  her site, Money Saving Mom. I absolutely adore Crystal and the work that she does. She’s pretty much my idol! Being a part of the launch team means that I get to read an advance copy of the book and I just have to say that this book is a God send. One of the things that I’ve always liked about Crystal is her ability to take what seems impossible possible once more. She does this by helping her readers to break goals and dreams into small, manageable pieces. Once you know where you are going, you have to break down the steps needed to get there!

For the last year I have felt that I am barely surviving while things I want to do have fallen by the wayside. One of those things is this blog. I always tell myself that I will make time to write and then end up forgetting about it. I don’t even have the goal to make money off of my writing anymore. I just want to reach people.

Anyway, part of the roll out for her new book is a free 7-day challenge that you can sign up for. The challenges for each day are taken right from the book. I strongly encourage all of you to sign up.

Here are the challenges that I have completed so far:

Day 1 (Tuesday): Make a list of everything that I need to do for Wednesday. The twist is that I had to automatically decide which two I would cross off. The entire exercise is to teach you that you have to say “No” to somethings if you want to lead a balanced life. Here is a picture of my to-do list (It’s kind of blurry so I also added a typed list under the picture):

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  • Wake up, read bible, pray
  • Wash dishes
  • Mop floors
  • Put out recycling
  • Write blog post
  • Write ROW post- PW Scones
  • Finish “Survival Mode”
  • Exercise
  • Clean out the car
  • Get familiar with curriculum for Sunday
  • Start crochet project
  • Homework
  • Post Office
  • Trash dump
  • Library

I forgot to take the picture until after I had already started completing items on the list. The two items I crossed off automatically were “start crochet project” and “clean out car”. Those were things that I would love to get knocked out but that I didn’t need to kill myself to get done.

Day 2 (Wednesday): Take ten minutes and come up with a list of innate gifts, talents and abilities. Then take ten minutes and write down what I like, admire, and appreciate about myself. Here is what I came up with:

  • Writing
  • Working with kids
  • Singing (not like star quality, but I’m not too shabby)
  • Leadership
  • Team player
  • Dedicated
  • Hardworking

It feels weird to sit and think about the good when I’m usually focused on things I don’t do well.

Day 3 (Thursday): Create my ideal morning routine.

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If it’s blurry to you it says:

  • Wake up NLT (no later than) 6:15 a.m.
  • Exercise- 30 mins
  • Shower- 15 mins
  • Coffee/Bible- 30 mins

I know that I’m more productive when I can get up before the kiddos wake. My problem is that I can never seem to get in bed at a decent time. Justin also still wakes up anywhere from 1 to 2 times a night so I don’t get much non-interrupted sleep. I also sometimes feel like I neglect one of the most important things and that’s my physical and spiritual health. I need to start taking care of me so that I’m not so burnt out all of the time.

In a few days I’ll post again with days 4 & 5 of the challenge along with an update on how I’m doing with getting up earlier.

Do you plan to sign up for the challenge? Let me know how you do and what you think by commenting below or sending me a tweet!