Confessions of an Unintentional Domestic Goddess

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Lifestyle Changes: Day 13 – Don’t Forget to Balance Your Checkbook

on January 26, 2012

I know you’re reading that title and thinking ‘wha?’ Just in case you haven’t figured out just yet, I like to use analogies and plays on words. I keep finding subjects to post on just in conversations with friends and things I see on a daily basis. In other words, I can’t keep my fingers shut!

What do I mean by ‘balancing your checkbook’? No, I’m not referring to your actual checkbook. Heck, I haven’t balanced mine in years. I just look at the online account balance and the bill pay to know what’s going on and I’m good to go. Is it perfect? hardly. There have been some ‘OH CRAP’ moments when my balance was suddenly lower than I thought it should be. SQUIRREL!

Oh. Sorry. I can be a bit distractable at times. I was talking with my bestie Lisa the other day, who’s doing this with me. She has been very diligent in keeping track of what she’s eating on a daily basis and working on the portion-sizing/plate geometry, well, all of it. She told me that she’d gone over by 200 calories for the day and she was unhappy about it. That was when I asked her if she’d accounted for all of her activity during the day. She looked at me and perked up. When you don’t account for what’s going out, how can you really know what’s going on? You must keep track of outflow, as well as inflow to get a true picture of what you’ve done an any given day.

And when you’re tracking your outflow (calories burned), don’t skip over things like house cleaning or grocery shopping because they totally count. If you are up and moving around, it counts. Obviously, some activities are going to be more labor intensive. Walking through the grocery store may not burn as many calories as vacuuming your house from top to bottom, but you still need to count it in your daily activity. I know, who wants to vacuum from top to bottom?  Certianly not me. I get my kids to do it whenever I can, even if bribery is involved. But, it’s really a twofer: you get exercise, and your house gets clean. And who doesn’t feel better when their house is clean? The cleaning part itself? Well, not so much, but the end result makes me happy.

So, when you’re walking the dog, mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, showering even, write it in your journal. If you are using one of the online calorie-tracker/food journals, they probably have an exercise portion. The one at http://www.everydayhealth.com does. it has the calories burned per half hour, and you can alter it if you did 15 min instead of 30. I mean, really, I don’t know when the last time was that I had a 30 min shower, I’m normally out of hot water way before then, but 15 is more realistic.

If all you have time for is 10 minutes of real exercise, do it. And do it as often as you can. Say you’ve got 10 spare minutes in the morning, do some jumping jacks, squats, push ups, anything that is quick and easy. then do it again later in the day another time or two if you can. Stand up while checking your email. Anything you can do to have that overage, that difference between calories consumed and calories burned. Remember, 3500 calories equals one pound. The more you burn off daily, will add up to that 3500 calories, it is a cumulative thing.

Now I ask you, what’s your plan for tomorrow?

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