Confessions of an Unintentional Domestic Goddess

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Lifestyle Changes Day 8 – No Couch Potatoes Allowed

Agh. Today was really tough. I’m fighting some sinus junk and I”m not a happy camper right now. I’ve been saying this for over a year now, we really need to get Mother Nature a date with Father Time, she has been really cranky lately! Our weather has gone from one extreme to the other, and sometimes in a day! Last Sunday it was 70 here. Monday the high was ‘almost’ 40 with a wicked wind. See what I mean? It’s no wonder my head is full of goo.

I did start my day with my Quick & Easy Power Breakfast today. I was thinking, you can easily knock off 50 to 100 calories simply by using fewer slices of ham (I normally use 2) and leave off the cheese. Or use all egg whites rather than one whole and one white. You could do it on a sandwich thin and have it for lunch too.

I did walk about a mile today with my bestie. I think she was happy b/c I was slower and it was an easier pace. I made sure to include plenty of hot herb tea and chicken soup today. I encourage you if you’re not feeling well, do be sure and eat, even if you don’t feel like it, you have to keep up your strength, ya know. How is your body’s microscopic army supposed to fight the invaders w/o any fuel?

Ok, so, you know how important exercise is in this overall scheme, right? I’m going to share something that totally sounds counterintuitive, but it’s 100% true: when you exercise, you get more energy. I know, right? sounds kind of opposite of what you’d think, but when you get your metabolism up, you get energized. And when you build muscle mass, that’s even better b/c the muscle takes more energy to operate than the fat tissue

Another reason exercise is important, the disks, the cushions between your bones, don’t have their own blood supply and get their nutrition from movement. Have you ever been to a movie that’s oh, say, 2hrs +? You try to get up from your seat and you’re a bit slow, right? Yeah, me too. But once you get moving, you’re ok. Part of it is because the movement is what lubricates the joints. That includes your spine (there are 22 bones plus the disks between them) and your knees in particular, without movement, they get stiff, and actually can begin to compress and lose their springiness. Yes, that’s an actual word, I promise.

My challenge to you, the next time you say, ‘I can’t because I”m sore.’ get out there anyway and just do something for 10 minutes and I think you’ll find you will feel better. And then you can do 10 more minutes! Just remember to breathe and drink plenty of water! Oh, and another thing, find little ways to get more movement into your day. Example: when drying your hair (if you use a blow dryer), spread your feet just beyond shoulder-width, toes pointing out, squat down as far as you can comfortably, and come back up, squeezing your glutes at the top. It will help tighten your glutes as well as burn off a few more calories when you’d otherwise just be standing there. Or, when you’re in the kitchen, waiting for something in the microwave, do a few counter push ups. Stand far enough back from the counter that you have about a 50 degree angle between your body and the countertop when your hands are on the edge. Gently lower your body to the counter top and push yourself back up. If it’s too difficult, step closer in and try again. If at any point doing any of these exercises, you experience pain, stop what you’re doing. whoever said ‘no pain, no gain’ was a complete moron. No pain means you’re doing it correctly. Sore muscles after, well, that’s a different case altogether.

Alright my friends, let’s see how tomorrow goes, shall we? I hope I’m feeling better, this nose running, not being able to breathe stuff really sucks.

How is it going for you? If you’re playing along, do share how it’s working for you and what you’ve been successful with and what you’ve altered to work better for you.

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Lifestyle Changes Day 3 – Goal!

Alright my friends. We’ve now conquered plate geometry and the higher math of making the swaps and calories in vs calories out. Are you ready for the next challenge?

Exercise. There, I said it. Yes, it seems to be the bane of our existence sometimes and i”m right there with ya. I mean really, I don’t have the time. I’m a busy mom with children in different schools that start and stop at different times. I have errands to run, I have hair to wash, I have lightbulbs to dust, yadda yadda yadda. I can make excuses with the best of them. But what I really need to be doing is reminding myself why I need to be doing it, i.e. my pants that don’t seem to fit quite right, and the jiggly bits that I never had before. Even though my hubby says he likes the junk in my trunk, when it bounces like a car w/no shocks, yeah, that’s really not too attractive in my mind. So, compared with the reality of needing to buy a new wardrobe for all the wrong reasons, getting my arse off the couch and going for a walk on a nice day, it’s not so bad.

Here’s the thing about exercising you may not know, it does more things for you than helping you stay in your favorite clothes. It releases endorphins when you do it, even for only 10 minutes at a time. Endorphins are your body’s happy pill, which = stress relief. And who couldn’t use some stress relief?

You don’t have to own exercise equipment or a gym membership. All that’s required is a pair of sneakers. if it’s been a while since you’ve done anything physical, start simple. Park your car farther from the grocery door than you normally do. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, even if you can only start out going down. Walk your dog around the block. Simple. A very important note, if you feel out of breath, slow down, go at your own pace, it’s not a race. And one very important thing to keep in mind: you didn’t get where you are now overnight, and you won’t get back to your high school weight over night either. Ok, well, maybe your high school weight isn’t your goal, but whatever your goal is, you have to take baby steps, literally, to get there.

I will tell you something though. If you are older, 40’s or above, your metabolism is slower than it used to be. (As if you hadn’t noticed already, right?) It will take more work on your part to get where you want to go. But, the other thing is when you begin exercising, if you are doing any strength or weight training at all, you will be building muscle mass. Yes, you will be building, but it’s a good thing, really it is. Muscle does weigh more than fat tissue, so don’t get discouraged if you get on a scale and you haven’t lost any weight. This is when you need to rely more on how your clothes feel. if your clothes are fitting better, that’s what you’re going for.

One of the biggest reasons building muscle mass is a good thing is that muscle burns more calories than fat tissue does. So why wouldn’t you want to make more of it? Not to mention, when you do strength training or weight lifting, your metabolism stays elevated for 24 hrs after you exercise. How awesome is that?? Oh, yeah, there is another tiny little thing called bone density. When you are strength training, you will be increasing bone density and if you have a family history of osteoporosis, you need to do all you can to counteract that predisposition. And stronger muscles=stronger joints. Doesn’t everyone want to have stronger joints?

So after reading all of that, are you ready to lace up your sneaks? If you are in a part of the country where the weather sucks right now (like here today- low 30’s w/a windchill in the low 20’s) you may have other options. Of course you know about the mall. if you do the mall, I’d suggest going early before it technically opens, that way you’re not dodging shoppers and the temptation to stop in your favorite shop, or the funky new boutique and spend money that you don’t need to spend.  One of the local high schools has a large multi-purpose center where they play basketball and have various other functions, the upper mezzanine walkway is a track that is open to the public for walking/running during certain hours. I love it because it’s a nice level surface, it’s not going to be frigid like outside today, nor will we have to dodge other people. There are other people there occasionally, but normally we are there alone.

And since we’re talking about goals, have you set your goals yet? You need to have well-defined goals, short-term and long-term. And they need to be realistic and attainable. I know, I hear ya. I’d give my left foot to drop those pounds instantaneously, but, since the only way I can lose those pounds is to REALLY lose my left foot, I guess, I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing. BAck to your goals,  I mean really, you can’t get where you want to go without a map, right? Your goals (along with your journal) will be your map. If you have 50 lbs to lose in total, it will realistically take you a minimum of six months to get there at a rate of 2lbs per week. If you want to lose the weight for good, it has to be done at the slower pace than the ‘lose 10 lbs in a week’ people tell you to do. Those people who sell you a product or plan that will help you drop that much that quickly are selling water weight loss, and only setting you up for failure ultimately. Why? when you drop the pounds that fast, you aren’t changing a thing. You aren’t changing your habits or your mind frame or what’s driving you to eat more than you need to.

Have you started the food journal yet? it’s really amazing when you see what you’ve been eating, in black and white in front of you. It’s easy to not think about it too much, the number of calories you’re eating. And once you do see it, at least for me anyway, you’ll get inspired to keep it up. And I think you’ll also realize you can eat well and not feel deprived or starved, and still keep your calorie intake at a reasonable level.

Ok, I think that’s enough for one day. And since I’m sharing, I’ll tell you my day today. (I started wearing a pedometer, that’ll be my next post)

breakfast: 2 cups coffee w/half n half, 1 C Kashi Go lean crunch cereal & 1 C almond milk

lunch: Healthy choice chicken tortilla soup w/whole wheat crackers & water

snack: 2 clementine oranges & air popped popcorn, hot herb tea

dinner: tex mex chicken chowder, tortilla chips & water

exercise: washing dishes, vacuuming, walking: 2miles, cooking (see, it all counts, really)

Now, I”m tired. My pedometer reads 5811 steps. My goal is 10,000 steps per day.

Next up, alcohol and pedometers. Yes, that means drunken pedometers. I’ll leave you to think on that! 😀

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Don’t call me a crybaby!

Alright, alright. I heard what you said. Oh, and don’t pretend you didn’t say it, I totally heard it and I know who you are….You said, ‘suck it up and stop being a crybaby. Nobody ever said it was going to be easy, did they?’

Yeah, I know, losing weight isn’t for wimps. It’s tough. If it was easy, we’d all be thin and fit, right? The easy way out is to just sit here and cry in my latte about how hard it is. WAAAAH. Yeah, suck it up and get off your arse and just do it already!

Geez, people! Get off my back! I get it! Really, I do. In fact, rather than sitting here being a flabby, squishy, crybaby, today, I did something I’ve only done a couple of times before: an exercise DVD.  Jillian Michaels “30 Day Shred’. Oh.my.God. You know, I’ve been exercising and doing stuff every day. Yesterday I walked just under 3 miles in 30 minutes. I was hoofing it. So when i started it, I was a bit cocky thinking, ‘I got this.’ Yeah, right. Now I know why the people on ‘The Biggest Loser’ hate her!  She really makes you work for it and won’t let you slack off. In that 20 minutes, I think I got the best work out, the hardest work out that I’ve had in years! An hour later, my legs still felt like noodles!

So, like she said, it isn’t easy. It takes work. So, I’m gonna give it a shot. There is no crying in exercise/weight loss. So…here I go. Sucking it up and getting it done! And one of the things I noticed this afternoon after, I was not hungry in the least, I didnt’ get my late afternoon munchies like normal (which is my downfall). How awesome is that??

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I give up…

Yes, there. I said it. I give up. I wrote about my weight loss goal and how well I’d been doing early on, as in before our trip and spring break. I suppose I’m coming to the conclusion it’s just not going to happen. No matter what I do, how hard I work, or how little I eat (ha!) it’s just not happening. I think I like food too much. 

I’m not going to totally give up, though. I’m not going to just eat everything in sight. I will pay attention to what I’m eating and when. I’m still exercising regularly, and will continue trying to be balanced. So far this week, I’ve walked 5 miles and plan on walking at least 2 more today and do some other things to get more movement into my life. I would be thrilled if it just fell off and I didn’t even expect it to! Maybe I’ll go about it that way, just eat healthier and exercise more and then BAM! sort of like when I found my honey. I wasn’t looking for him, and WHAMMO! there he was.

So, there’s the end of my saga, my goal. When I do manage to shed it, I’ll share it with you. Thanks for playing.

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A New Day

Ok, today is Monday and I”m back on it! Spring break is over and I am on a mission! I walked 2.7 miles last night with my neighbor/friend and today, I’ve got a new purpose! Breakfast was a bowl of Cheerios, coffee, and an egg sandwich. Good protein, you know. I’ve found something that thrills me! I’m easily entertained, so when I saw these at the store I had to suppress a small cheer! They are bagel thins! I love my bagels, but 340 calories is a bit much. These are wonderful, it’s like they’ve cut out the middle and they’re only 110 calories! So I can scramble  one whole egg and one egg white and I’ve got a nice breakfast for just over 200 calories! yay! I know, I know, big deal. But really, it is! I’m on a mission and I will not fail!

I’m getting ready to share a recipe I made last night that was fabulous! Low fat, high protein and fiber and very delicious at the same time! Check it out and wish me luck!

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Wagon? What wagon? Where?

Where is this stupid wagon that I seem to have fallen off of and why can’t I get back on it?  I was so thrilled I’d been doing so well sticking to my eating plan. I’d lost about 3lbs. I know it was probably mostly water, but still, it’s nice to see on the scale.

And then, dun dun dunnnnn, we went away for the weekend and ate at all my favorite places. I think my eating plan got sucked out the window between here and there, b/c when we got back home, those 3lbs I’d managed to lose, they found me. Then last week I had some really weird stomach bug that gave me all sorts of strange symptoms. Normally, the whole stomach bug is an easy, albeit unpleasant, way to drop a couple. But I think once I was over it, I must’ve made up for the days I spent eating chicken soup, or nothing at all. 

This week is spring break. Our weather yesterday was horrible, not spring break-type weather at all. Cold, cloudy and damp. All I wanted to do was bake cookies. I didn’t do it, but I was perilously close! It seems I’ve picked up that bad habit again of grazing late in the day and not moving enough.

Ugh. Where is this wagon anyway? I’ve got to get back on it! this week will be tough, but I am going to do my best to eat well and stay away from the junk food and the late afternoon snacking and next Monday, I’m so on it! I will be feeling fine and have no kids home needing to be entertained.

Wish me luck! I think I can, I think I can…..

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Oh yeah!

Did you know that when you walk 11,000 steps in a day, your feet get really tired? Ha! neither did I, until today! I have been working a book fair at my children’s school and it involves a lot of walking and being on my feet. I broke out the pedometer yesterday, just for grins and giggles. Yesterday I hit over 9,000. Not too bad. Considering a couple of weeks ago, my daily total was probably about 50! Well, maybe a little more than that, but not much. 

Wanna know something else? 11,000+ steps equates to over 7 miles. That will help burn off those extra lbs I packed on in my fervor to add extra insulation for our unusually cold winter (that lasted all of two weeks)!  Or maybe it was my ardent love of baking. Hm. Either way, means my jeans don’t fit me properly after. But, today, they did fit better. Not as well as I’d like, but better, and I’ll take that!

And, you’ll be soooo happy to hear, I’ve been able to maintain 1400  to 1500 calories a day and I think my body’s getting used to it. Here’s why I’m thinking that. I don’t feel like I want to chew the finish off the table…all the time! Oh, and I got on the scale today and I think I”m down 3lbs.  Eat less, move more is working for me!

I do have another tool that’s helping me remain honest. A food log. I write down everything I eat. What’s better, I’m doing it online on www.everydayhealth.com. It’s free and I enter everything that I eat and it tracks the calories. Then I enter the exercise I’ve done, including things like grocery shopping and showering, because they do burn calories.  Then I get a total at the end of the day, whether I”m over or under on my calories. It’s pretty cool. It tells me how many calories I need to eat to lose, maintain, or gain weight from my present weight. I don’t know many who WANT to gain weight, but it’s there.

Here’s to this being not just a ‘diet’, but a lifestyle change. To be more conscious of what I’m eating and what I”m doing all the time, and teaching my children how to eat better as well. And the upside, I plan on rocking my shorts this summer! And who knows, I may even brave a bikini, but let’s not go shopping just yet!

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I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…..

Well my friends, it’s happened. After two weeks of  cabin fever, I have come to the conclusion that eating things like chicken and dumplings, beef stew, pizza, and upside down German chocolate cake really aren’t the best way to continue fitting into my favorite jeans. Nope, it’s really not. it’s a great way to work up a shopping trip. But I don’t know a single person who wants to go shopping for that reason, including me! I used to be able to eat pretty much what I wanted, in moderation, and have no problems. I was at a stable weight for a long time. I’m not skinny, but I felt good about myself, and how I looked. Then it happened: I turned 40 and everything slowed down and started catching up with me. Boo.

Do you know how easy it is to grab a handful of pretzels and dunk them in the tub of frosting? Well, it’s apparently way too easy. So, once again, here I am. On a mission to shed my extra winter insulation before I am expected to put on shorts or *GASP* a swimsuit. Here’s what I”m doing, and I hope by putting this out there to my friends, it will help keep me accountable: I am keeping a log of everything I eat. I think if I’m actually keeping track it will be easier for me to feel bad about those pretzels with frosting! I am increasing my exercise, it’s much easier to go for a walk when the sidewalks are not covered in a sheet of ice or buried under 2 ft of snow, and the temperatures are warmer. Today was 71! I’ll take that every day of the year!  I am trying to be more conscious of what’s going in, how much is going in, and what I”m doing to need the calories.

Oh, and I”m cutting out my daily glass of vino. I know it’s not a ton of calories, but it affects the way your body burns calories or stores them. Your body cannot store the calories from alcohol (don’t ask me why, I can’t remember), but what happens is your body burns the calories from the alcohol first, and then stores whatever comes later that is not needed. And that is your physio lesson for the day. I hope you remember what we discussed, there will be a test at the end of this segment.

I will buy a new cookbook I saw that breaks down the calorie content of each recipe and that helps make keeping track easier.

Ok gang. Here we go. Wish me luck, you know it’s not easy and dammit, it was so much more fun putting that extra padding on my butt than it will be getting rid of it! I’ve got one day of about 1500 calories under my belt, but tomorrow will be a challenge, it will involve cooking dinner for the whole fam, not just my kiddos. I will think positively and visualize myself in my jeans.

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No New Year’s resolutions for me, I’m trying to cut down.

Ha ha! I know, I know. Every time I make a resolution, it’s gone out the window two weeks in. One of  my friends made a comment on her facebook page that she could resolve to do anything at any time and New Year’s shouldnt’ be the only time she did it, so she was resolving not to make any resolutions. Hmm. Ok. I get it.

Here’s what I came up with a couple of years ago. Rather than making resolutions, I made promises to myself, things I wanted to do better in the new year, or change even. So, in keeping with that, I’ll make my promises now and we’ll see how far I can get with them. Feel free to join me!

I promise to….

be better organized and get my bills paid on time. I really hate getting those nasty notices in the mail.

finally finish that book on parenting so i can be the best mom I can be for my kids. It’s a really great book and will help me not only be a better mom, but eliminate a lot of the stress and yelling that always seems to happen around here.

post all of the recipes I’ve been talking about for so long. And the photos of my gorgeous new kitchen. Really, I do!

get back into my regular exercise routine and stick to it. I have no excuses. On the other hand, I will not berate myself when I eat a piece of cheesecake, but rather get on the elliptical and ‘pay’ for it.

find a better way to de-stress myself than just spinning like a top, that really doesn’t do me any good, and I don’t want to kick my dog. Any suggestions?

Be the best me that I can be. I am not perfect, nor do I believe in the ‘perfect’ anything-mom, wife, friend, sister, etc. which is a good thing, b/c I am far from it, but I will do my best to be the best person I am able to be.

FINISH MY *&%$@ NOVEL! I have almost half of a chick-lit novel finished and languishing on my hard drive. My friends who’ve read it like it and want me to finish it. I would love nothing more than to get published. So, I will set a schedule and stick to it so that I can finally get Eliza’s story completed.

So, now you know my New Year’s promises to myself, what about you? Any resolutions? Promises? What are you going to do differently in the new year? Spill!

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