Decluttering challenge, day 7

While the wind is blowing outside (wind chill’s well below zero), I’m sitting inside all cozy in my toasty warm microfleece pajamas.  Yes, I probably will actually get dressed at some point in time today and may even venture outside later this afternoon when the temps creep above zero.  I’ve got to attempt to get in my car and start it, get it cleaned off.  I will have to return to work at some point in time (Thursday, I’ll be there Thursday…for sure.).  And I just received a text from CVS letting me know I have a prescription ready for pickup, so will definitely need to swing by there in the next few days. Honestly, I’ve been just a little afraid to step outside and breathe in the bitterly cold air.  Breathing has been enough of a struggle for me over the past two weeks without adding that to the mix.  But the weather guy promised me we’d have temps in the 40s by the end of the week…oh yeah, and rain.  Just got to shake your head at the twists and turns of the weather in central Indiana.

I’ve kind of been watching some of my neighbors try to get their cars out of the parking lot.  They’re having a lot of trouble.  Apparently all of the rainy, icy, deep slushy mess we had froze everyone’s tires in place.  I’m serious, when I came home Sunday afternoon I was traipsing through slush that was at least three inches deep.  Once the arctic freeze descended, that slush became rock-hard ice.  Not good for the tires, I wouldn’t think.  I did see a couple of young guys manage to get a car out with a lot of pushing and rocking back and forth, so I guess it’s possible…you know, if you happen to be a young guy with a lot of strength and immunity to cold.  Since I’m neither young nor immune to the dangers of cold weather, we’ll see what happens when I finally make it out there.

In the meantime, I’ve been fooling around on the internet, catching up on some blog reading, enjoying browsing some new-to-me blogs, pinning this and that, checking up on my friends on facebook, all those things I don’t have time to do when I’m not snowed in.  Now I remember how nice it is to have a snow day…it’s been a long time since I’ve been home with nothing pressing to do and feeling well enough that I can spend the day out of bed.  I’ll be rejuvenated when I go back to work on Thursday…I’ll need to be, there will be a lot for me to do.

I decided to get my decluttering mission for the day out of the way early.  I went in to my spare room and opened the closet door, quickly picking up the needed 7 items for today.  Easy.  Not a lot of thought or time went into it today, but I found some things I’d been holding onto for many, many years.  Time to release them.  These things will go to Goodwill where someone else will be able to find joy in them.

Heading to Goodwill

Heading to Goodwill

Okay, what did I find?  Some fall colored magnolia bushes.  I like them, I used them for a couple of seasons, I saved them anticipating that I would use them again.  But they’ve been in that closet for probably 3 years.  Time for someone else to enjoy them.  Three sewing patterns (a stuffed Annie doll, some geese items, and aprons).  You know what?  I’ll never use any of these.  Why not allow them to go someplace where someone might find them and realize they’re just what she’s been looking for?  A little country wreath…yes, I could have repurposed this.  But I haven’t…in over 5 years…so let someone else make use of it.  A cute cow mama and calf…not really my style, but I bet they’ll fit in with someone’s decor.  And a crystal (faux) bell.  Nothing valuable, but any of these things might bring some enjoyment to the right person.  If you can catch me before I get out and drop these off at Goodwill, I’d be glad to let you have anything here.  If not, well…they’ll be on the shelves of the Goodwill store on Liberty Drive in Bloomington soon.

So on day 7 of this decluttering mission, I released another 10 items (you know, if I count each item individually) to bring the total to 49 items.  Forty-nine things gone from my house.  I want to ask you something…when you declutter, do spring cleaning, organize…however you refer to it…do you find yourself feeling lighter as you release more and more stuff?  See, I do…and I am wondering if there is a connection between clutter and being overweight.  My personal experiences seem to suggest that the connection is there.  What are your thoughts on this? And how do we make use of this information to keep us healthier?

Here’s to a healthy September

I like this take on the traditional food pyram...

I like this take on the traditional food pyramid – note the incorporation of water (and tea, it says) along with physical exercise at the top. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hard to believe it’s September, isn’t it?  Where in the world did the summer disappear to?  Since seeing my doctor last week, I’ve decided to rededicate myself to living a little healthier.  You know the drill, eat better, move more, go to sleep earlier, reduce stress.  We all know that’s how to be healthier, but it’s easier to talk about it than it is to actually do it.

Anyhow, when I saw my doctor, we talked about my pain and sleep issues.  Of course, my weight has to have some impact on everything.  I promised her I’d work on eating better and exercising more.  She’s very understanding about how difficult it is to exercise vigorously when I’m in so much pain.  She did suggest several forms of exercise that are a little gentler on my joints, so now I really have no excuse.

I started the month off with my calorie intake at the low-end of the range and 35 minutes of walking.  And of course, I visited SparkPeople.com to log everything.  Now to get some sleep…

Do you guys try to lose weight before the holidays so you can splurge a little at all of those holiday shindigs?  I’ve  done that in years gone by, not sure how well it worked for me though.  I think this year I’m just going to try to eat healthy most of the time and have a little something extra maybe once a week…so Donna, maybe you shouldn’t bring your delicious peanut butter cookies to work…

Week end update (non SNL version)

Juice Machine with Fruit

Juice Machine with Fruit (Photo credit: careyelaine)

We’re just about at the end of another week so I figured it was time to post a little update.  I know I haven’t been posting as much as I had been.  Seems like I come home from work just exhausted every night.  I do what I have to do at home, get online for just a bit, then head upstairs to bed around 7 or 7:30.  That’s ridiculously early, isn’t it?  But that’s the only way I can make it through the next day at work.

This was kind of an odd week at work.  We had two managers on vacation at the same time.  Believe me, I put in enough hours to cover for both of them.  I ended up calling our DM early in the week to okay overtime for myself.  I knew there was no way to get the work done in only 40 hours.  And yes, I know, overtime is probably one of the last things I should be doing for my health right now.

I finally broke down and ordered a juicer after researching them for weeks and weeks…debating myself about whether or not I would actually use one enough to justify spending the money.  I finally decided to take the plunge…I’ve really had no appetite of late and often find myself consuming 800-1000 calories a day.  I know enough about nutrition to understand that’s not likely enough to get proper nutrition…so…the magic elixir steps in…juice.  I haven’t used it yet although I did unpack it this morning,  washed it, and read through the instruction booklet (ooh…I see all my guy friends rolling their eyes at that!!).  I’m getting ready to make a juice recipe that I found on SparkPeople.com that has a lot of veggies in it as well as an apple.  I’ll let you know how my juicing experiment goes.

One very positive note, I’ve managed to lose some weight…18 pounds in the past couple of months…see, there are a few advantages in being sick!!

Did you know this is Meatless Monday?

Yummy Meatless Monday Bento #152

Yummy Meatless Monday Bento #152 (Photo credit: shashinjutsu)

I hadn’t given it any thought until I was going through my emails and saw the subject on one from Morningstar Farms (hey, wait a minute…do you think they have some kind of interest in making sure people eat vegetarian fare on Mondays?).  As I thought about what I’d eaten over the course of the day I realized I’d had a meatless Monday without even trying.

My protein for the day consisted of peanut butter at breakfast, hummus for lunch and Swiss cheese for dinner…yes, yes, the fat content for the day was high (especially so when you consider I ate avocado with my Swiss cheese this evening), but I sure didn’t miss the meat.  I’ve never been a huge meat-eater anyhow, so it’s not like going without meat is a struggle for me.  I am eating more vegetarian meals though…and fewer fast food meals…can’t hurt, right?

On another note, I’ve still been doing that little push-up/sit-up challenge…nothing too difficult yet.  I’m thinking I’m recovered enough from my cold that I may hop on the exercise bike or treadmill for a bit tomorrow (saw my doctor again today and got a guarded clean bill of health…still have a cough and temp was on the low side…hey, it’s cold here in Indiana, what can I say?).  We’re also starting that fitness challenge (company wide) next Monday…the 10,000 steps a day challenge.  The girls at work are getting excited about it…not sure if they’re more excited about getting fit or the prospect of winning prizes!  It’ll be fun, whatever they’re excited about.

So…do you eat any vegetarian meals?  What’s your favorite?

Resolutions? Did I hear someone say resolutions?

English: New Year's Resolutions postcard

English: New Year’s Resolutions postcard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You know, every year I decide this is going to be the year…you know, the year I finally lose weight and keep it off, the year I get organized and decluttered, the year I get published, the year I get in shape, the year I give up diet Pepsi…and so on and so on…

I mean I guess I should be grateful that I don’t have to write that this will be the year I quit smoking, or start attending AA meetings, or give up drugs, or stop hording…but while those all seem to be major, life-affecting habits or addictions, whatever we have allowed to keep us from living life fully is a problem we need to deal with.  And it’s likely different for all of us.

For me, the weight is a symptom…I do understand that…yet I continue to try to tackle it like it’s the problem.  Hmm…what was it Einstein said?  Something like “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”  So, with that in mind, I’m going to do things a little differently this year…not going to focus on losing weight.  Instead I’ll focus on exercising three days a week and eating at least three fruits/veggies a day…that’s it.  And write, write, write (privately) about the issues that have led me to use the weight as a wall to hide behind.

The thing about delving into the issues is that it makes me feel worse and then I give up before I make it through to the other side.  You’d think, with all of this insight, I’d have managed to overcome all of this “stuff”…but giving up seems to prevent that (huh, imagine that).  There’s a lesson there for me, I just need to embrace it, learn it, and move on.

I don’t know what this means for my posts for 2013…I want to stay positive, but I’m fairly certain (hmm…can a person be fairly certain?  either you’re certain or you’re not…anyhow) there will be days when I’m not feeling so chipper, perky, happy-go-lucky.  Wait a minute, I’m not sure I’ve ever been any of those things anyhow…maybe things won’t be any different as far as my posts are concerned…guess we’ll just have to wait and see how this plays out.

Anyhow…if you made resolutions, good luck…if you didn’t, good for you!  Happy 2013!!

Naturally Slim…week 2

SparkPeople.com Featured Motivator, December 2...

SparkPeople.com Featured Motivator, December 21, 2008 (Photo credit: zorbs)

I’m pretty excited about the success I had during week 1 of the program…ended up losing 6 pounds in the first week.  Yes, that sounds like  lot, but anyone who has battled a weight problem knows that you usually drop quite a few pounds during the first week.  Yikes!  Does that mean I’m normal???

Anyhow, altogether I’ve now lost 8 pounds and have been exercising almost every day.  I walk on the days I have to work and dance on my days off.  Walking is easier on my joints, but dancing is way more fun and burns a lot more calories.  I’ve got a long way to go to get to where I was two years ago when I ran my first 5K, but I’m working at it.

Today I dug out my SparkPeople cookbook to look for something to cook that would be good to take to work for my lunch for the rest of the week.  I decided to try one of the most popular recipes at SparkPeople…slow cooker salsa chicken.  Holy moly!  That stuff is delicious (go to SparkRecipes.com and do a search for it..you won’t regret it).

One of the things I’ve noticed in the past week is that, by eating slowly (and I do mean slowly…you know, putting your fork down between every bite and really taking the time to taste your food) I’m eating a lot less food.  Most days I’m struggling to eat over 1200 calories…not a bad problem to have in my situation.  By eating at such a slow pace, I find myself satisfied much sooner.  Now how many times over the course of my life have I heard that and just dismissed it?  Now I know it’s true…just got to do it…every meal…every day…

During the online course work I did today, they mentioned that usually, when a person loses quite a bit of weight during the first week, they lose none or very little the second week…hmm…can I prove them wrong?  We shall see.

My goals for this week…exercise 6 days, follow the NS principles, visit SparkPeople.com every day to track food intake and exercise.  I can do it!

Naturally Slim…course 1…and measurements

Coursework

Coursework (Photo credit: Nufkin)

I’m not going to go into all of the things I learned in the course work from week one of the program…kind of have to give myself time to integrate everything into my lifestyle…some real eye openers and some things that made me go “hmm”…we’ll discuss this all later…

But…and this is major…I did face my demons and took my measurements today.  Holy moly!  Definitely not a pleasant experience, but now I know where I’m starting.  I think it will be good for me to be able to look back at these numbers as the weeks and months progress.  Am I going to share those numbers with you all?  Umm…no…at least not until I sit down to write that book about my success story…then anything goes!!

That makes me think…I probably ought to take pictures, right?  I know, I know…if I’m going to eventually write this best seller, I’ll need some pictures…now I’m moaning with my head in my hands…I’ll do it, just not today, okay?

I’m climbing back up into the saddle…again…

SparkPeople.com Featured Motivator, December 2...

SparkPeople.com Featured Motivator, December 21, 2008 (Photo credit: zorbs)

Oh yes, it’s been much too long since I’ve been watching what I eat or getting any exercise other than what I get at work.  And my poor body has paid for that neglect…big time  (ooh…bad pun not intended).  We did a biometric screening for our insurance at work and I was informed that I could apply for the Naturally Slim program.  This is a 10-week program that would normally cost right at $400, but I’m able to participate for free…free as long as I complete 8 out of the 10 weeks.  If I fail to do so, they will take the cost of the program out of my paycheck….now there’s some incentive for you, huh?

So, anyhow…that starts tomorrow.  I’ve looked through the materials they sent me.  I’m sure I’ll have more to report once I get it underway.  But I decided not to wait until tomorrow to start my healthier lifestyle.  I got back on SparkPeople.com (come on, folks…this really does work if you keep up with it…oh, I guess I’m talking to myself…why in the world did I ever drift away from something that worked for me???), cleaned up my page, left some teams, joined some other teams, started getting involved again, got back to using the trackers.  My plan is for this to be where I continue my program once the 10-week Naturally Slim program ends.  We all know this takes more than 10 weeks, right?

I went to WalMart this morning to buy another stability ball because Scout punctured the other one…silly kitten.  While there, I figured I’d save myself some time and just pick up my groceries there.  Uh yeah, there’s a reason I don’t buy produce at WalMart…yuck…I bought a few things, enough to get me through the first part of the week…then I’ll either hit the little farmers market on Tuesday or stop in at Kroger later.

I came home and got some vegetable beef soup going in the crock pot…don’t you love eating soup when the temps cool down?  There will be enough for several dinners for this week.  So I won’t have to worry about what to prepare for dinner.

I also started back with some exercise yesterday…on a two-day streak…woohoo!!  Stop laughing!  Everyone’s 100 day streak starts with making it through that first day, then through the second day…I’ll get there, in 98 more days!  I’m almost ashamed to admit how much I’ve let myself go.  A couple of years ago I was getting ready to complete my first 5K.  Today I wouldn’t even be able to walk that distance.  But what I’ve done before, I know I can do again…just got to work my way back…and I’ve already started that journey.

I’ll let you know how it goes…ups and downs, leaps and stumbles…

A scolding from my doctor…

A diet rich in soy and whey protein, found in ...

A diet rich in soy and whey protein, found in products such as soy milk and low-fat yogurt, has been shown to reduce breast cancer incidence in rats. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

…okay, she’s this little bitty fairly young thing, and sitting there mildly scolding me…I tried my best not to laugh at her…and I didn’t…laugh at her, that is.  We were discussing the lab work I’d had done last week…the results were not as good as they were a year ago…no real surprise to me, I know I haven’t been eating as well as I was and I haven’t been exercising much either.

None of the results were in bad ranges (and that’s a good thing), but the numbers had edged up a bit over last year’s numbers.  So she brought up losing weight…funny thing was, before I left the house to visit with her, I’d made out a grocery list chock full of fruits and veggies, with no pizza or ice cream.  We started talking about diet and she said she brings a big salad to work every day for her lunch, very rarely eats out.  Believe me, I know that’s the way to do it.

After I left, driving to Kroger, I started thinking about what I was doing to myself with poor diet and exercise habits.  Kind of silly, isn’t it?   The last time I ate food from a fast food joint, the entire time I was eating it, I kept thinking it wasn’t even really that good.

So, my little goal for myself is to lose 10 pounds by the time I go back to see her in July…totally do-able, don’t you think?  I bought some strawberries and veggies to cut up and make my world-famous faux Subway subs (on whole wheat sub buns)…that’s going to be lunch for the next several days at work.

Back to that little old journey toward health and fitness…got to keep myself from getting sidetracked so I can feel a bit better.

Best smoothie ever

That’s what I had for dinner last night…oh my word, it was delish…and, of course, very easy to whip up (seriously, did you think I was going to spend a lot of time making a smoothie??)

I bought a bag of frozen fruit (it had peaches, mango, strawberries, and cantaloupe in it).  Filled the blender cup about halfway with that, then added a little frozen banana, some skim milk and a little International Delights Italian Sweet Cream liquid creamer…put on the blender, pulse, pulse, pulse…turn on high…oops, have to add more milk…did that, finished the blending process…took it off, put straw in and took a sip…yum!!!  Better than ice cream and I love ice cream!

Sounds like this could be my summer go-to dinner.

a different smoothie...but you get the picture...

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 653 other followers