Monday, December 30, 2013

Getting a Jump Start on The New Year

Well it's that time again!  Time to get focused and write down those thing I would like to accomplish in this new year.  I know it's not the new year yet, but New Year's Day falls on a Wednesday and I like things to start new things on I am posting my list (and starting) today!  I also realized that last year I didn't remember some of my goals because I didn't look at the list regularly so this year I plan to print out my list and post it where I can see it. 
So here they are...
I am ready to do this once and for all.  We are going on vacation to the beach in June and I want to reach goal weight by then.  I am currently at 168.8 lbs and I want to see 150 by mid-June.  That's just under 1 lb a week that I need to lose which is totally achievable. 

I really want to grow in my spiritual walk this year.  I have signed up to be in a year-long women's small group which will require a new level of commitment and consistency and I a excited about it!

I don't have any racing goals this year and in fact may not race at all.  My goal is to become more toned and fit during my weight loss so I won't feel hindered to try new things because of my lack of physical fitness.

I want to get back on track with Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps.  This means paying off our van as soon as possible and then start putting money into savings.  First and foremost I want to set up a workable budget that our entire family adheres to.

Continue to see our marriage grow by nurturing it through date nights, open communication, and showing each other mutual love and respect. 

Try to listen more to my children instead of instructing or correcting them.  I want to see the heart of my children.  I also want to show them unconditional love.
Goal #1:  Spend more quality time as a family doing things other than watching TV!  Plan to do 1 fun thing per month as a family.
Goal #2:  Once our budget is in place, I would like to figure out some system of chores and allowances.
Goal #3:  Develop authentic & quality relationships with extended family scheduling regular visits with them.
Goal #4:  Start teaching my kids stories from the Bible by doing some reading in the evenings.
Goal #1: Make a weekly & monthly cleaning schedule and try my best to maintain order in our home so it can be a place of relaxation.
Goal #2:  Continue with last year's goal to organize every room in our house and purging those things we do not use/need.
Goal #3:  Do weekly meal planning and grocery list in order to save money on food and also use items from our pantry.

2013 Goal Recap

Well I can't believe Christmas is done and gone and the beginning of the new year is just around the corner.  I think it's this time every year that really gets me thinking about how I spent the past 365 days and what things I would like to do differently in the next year.  I know I made some goals for 2013 a year ago and I ok at reaching them but didn't make as much progress as I would have liked.  Here were my goals from last year:

I would like to focus on who God says I am.  And believe it.  No more negative self-talk!
I think I really am getting better at this.  I have moment where I find myself being negative but I am definitely getting better at accepting who I am. 

When discussing with hubby what weight he thinks I would look awesome at, he said 150.  So that's my goal....reach 150 lbs.  The last time I weighed that I was probably in college, so it would be rockin' awesome to weigh that again.  Once I reach that weight I will see if I need/want to lose more or stay at that weight.
Still haven't met this one yet, HOWEVER I did make it to the 160's for the first time in a LONG time so I will say that I am making progress!

I'm ready to commit to, and execute, a habit of morning devotion times.  Life is hard when you don't routinely plug in to the One who created you!  I don't like feeling disconnected.
I have actually started doing this one!  I am not super-consistent, but manage about 3- 4 days a week which Is good compared to 0!
Build up our savings enough so we have 3-6 months of living expenses in there.
A few things have interfered with reaching this goal...we bought a van in the spring of last year and we now are working to pay it off with monthly payments. My husband also took a different job and a slight cut in pay so it has been harder to save. 
GOAL #1:  Declutter and organize our entire house.  We have way too much stuff...and no place to put it, so it's time to pare down!  The thought of a clutter-free home makes me giddy!
I have started this process but am nowhere near close to completely it.  The thought still makes me giddy though!
GOAL #2:  Try 52 new recipes in hopes of finding some new favorites!  This amounts to 1 per week, but I'm not going to be that structured with it.
I lost track of just how many recipes I tried but I probably did meet this goal.  I tried a lot of new ones...especially those from the THM just got to be too much to post each and every one.  And once our computer died I gave up on posting any.

GOAL #1:  Start implementing the MoneySmart system and teach my kids about responsibility and money.
Did not meet this one.  I still would like to implement this one, however with our income being cut down some I need to work out a budget first and see if this will work. 
GOAL #2:  Play with my kids more.
I have played with my kids more, but probably still have room for improvement.
Run at least 1 half marathon and PR.
I did run a half marathon, but did not fact I had my worst race ever.  This has discouraged me from doing any more for awhile!

Really focus on showing love and respect to my husband through my words & actions
I have tried to focus on this as much as I can and I can really see that our marriage is really growing and maturing.
Plan a Girl's Night Out at least 4 times this year.
Hmm...not sure if this one was met or not.  I don't think it did.  Things got really busy in the spring with work and honestly I forgot about it. :(

Next Up:  My 2014 Goals!!


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tuesday Recap

Well, I fell off the wagon...again.  But I knew I would because I was going to be away from home today shopping.  Nonetheless I am down to 178 this morning, so down 1.2 lbs from Monday. 

Breakfast - THM pancakes with caramel sauce (this sauce is my FAVE right now!)

Early Lunch - Trail bologna and Swiss cheese

Early Dinner - Subway's cold cut combo on flatbread with lots of veggies and sweet onion sauce. (6") 1/2 a cupcake (I have been wanting to try one from a local shop but it's always sold out so when I saw it was open, I caved in a moment of weakness)  Honestly, it wasn't even that good so I won't be going back there.  Then End.  1 HUGE (I'm not gonna lie) M & M cookie from Bob Evans.  I will be honest, it was good and totally unexpected because I got them for free when I bought my FIL's gift card for Christmas. 

Snack - Off-plan...again.  I ate some cheddar chex mix.  I probably could have eaten more, but I just told myself to go to bed because I had been bad. I did!

On a good note, I bought myself a new pillow because mine were feeling kind of flat and I haven't been sleeping well, and it make a huge difference!  I slept well!  And thankfully so because I have a busy rest of the week...and a busy day today!

 Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Monday Recap & This morning's weigh in

Well, I did GREAT following THM yesterday...until dinner hit.  I have realized my weakness is pizza....warm pizza straight from the oven.  And it all went downhill from there...

Breakfast: (E)  Eggwhite scramble with Laughing Cow Swiss Cheese and a Chocolate Fat-stripping Frappa (which I didn't finish eating)

Snack: (S) 1 hard-boiled egg with salt sprinkled on top.

Lunch:  (S) Egg-salad on 1 small Joseph's pita, and green beans with a smidge of bacon grease melted on top for flavor.  1 Chocolate Chip Cookie in a mug with THM caramel sauce drizzled on top.

Dinner:  (off plan)  2 slices pepperoni pizza and some whole wheat cutout cookies with no frosting.  (I told ya I went off plan!)

Despite my sins yesterday, the scale said 169.0 today, so that means 1.2 lbs is gone!  Woohoo!

Today I am assuming I will go off plan for lunch because I planning to go shopping with a friend and we will most likely eat fast food.  But planning to stay on plan for breakfast and dinner!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Becoming a Trim Heathly Mama

Last June or July I came across a book called Trim Healthy Mama Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison.  It's a BIG book (over 600 pages!) and it took me awhile to read through it, but it really is an amazing book.  It's not a diet book, but a book that encourages a lifestyle change.  The authors spent 5 years writing the book and researching different eating styles.  The book not only explains the what, how, and when to eat but also the WHY.  They talk about how different foods affect your body.  It truly was an enlightening book!

So I slowly started eating the THM way.  And probably within the first month I lost 6 pounds quite easily!  And at that point I think I was only eating on-plan for breakfast and lunch!  Things got busy in the fall and I will admit that I was doing pretty good with staying on-plan for breakfast, but the rest of the day sort of fell off-plan.  So my weight stayed the same, but I finally saw a number on the scale that I hadn't seen since before I was pregnant with my 9 yr old!  165!!  Which meant I was only 15 lbs away from my goal weight of 150!  I felt great and my clothes were fitting better than ever!  Even my hubby said, "I can really notice a difference in your body since you've been eating the THM way!"  I was stoked!

Enter:  The Holidays.  And my son's 13th birthday.  And all the yummy snacks and goodies that come with both of them.  I was eating less and less on-plan.  And was feeling more and more terrible.  When I eat the THM way, my stomach is no longer bloated and I feel great.  So when I go back to eating the old way I feeling bloated and yucky.  So why do I keep reverting to my old ways??!! 

Today I am making it a goal to stay on plan as much as I possible can (because things WILL come up) and have been thinking of ways I can be successful.  My ultimate goal is to reach my goal weight by our beach vacation in June.  So here is my plan:

1.  Plan ahead.  This is soooo important, yet something I lack at doing.  I need to plan out each day's meals.  When I plan my meals ahead of time, the hard work is already done...I simply look at my plan and eat what it says.  I would love to make a meal plan for a week at a time and shop accordingly so I have all the ingredients I need on hand.

2.  Find some favorite on-plan dinners.  I tend to fall off the plan at dinnertime.  Usually what I make for dinner does not follow the THM guidelines and instead of making myself a separate meal, I just eat what my family is eating.  I know it is possible to have THM dinners my whole family can eat and enjoy...I need to make a list of what they are instead of reverting to my old tried and true favorites.

3.  Exercise. Since the weather turned frigid here in Ohio, I am exercising less and less.  I just can't talk myself into going out into the cold to walk or run!  What makes me the saddest is that I can really tell a difference in my muscle tone...aka I am starting to feel flabby.  YUCK!  So I am going to need to find ways to exercise indoors.  I tried a belly dancing workout last week which was super hilarious...and NOT my gift at all.  My treadmill is buried in our bedroom by all the tools and construction stuff we used for our master bathroom construction so I need to move some of that stuff around so I can actually unfold and use my treadmill!  That is my goal for today.  Even if I would get on it for 15 mins a day...that's more that what I have been doing!  I am thinking I need to change my workout routine a bit and do it in the evenings instead of the morning.  My hubby is working 2nd shift right now which means he is sleeping at the time I would normally work out. And since it's just me and the kids at night I could use that time to do a quick workout.  I am working 4 days this week and just saw that 2 of those days it's supposed to be about 20 degrees warmer than it has been so I may use my lunch break those days to sneak in a quick 20 min walk!

4.  Remind myself how good I feel when I stay on-plan and how great it will feel to reach my goal weight!  When you're in the trenches, it is so easy to lose sight of the goal.  Each time I go back to my old way of eating, I feel terrible physically and literally cannot weight to get back on plan!  I need to keep my eyes on the prize of a thinner, healthier me and keep trudging on!

I am going to TRY to post on here when I workout and my weekly weigh-in results...but consistency has never been my friend so I apologize in advance if I don't follow through with that promise!

Current Weight:  170.2 (but I suspect this includes some extra pounds due to water gain.)
Today's Workout:  20 mins of cardio/weights

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Choosing Joy

My mind is racing again.  With all the things I need to do here at home.  With those Christmas gifts that still need purchased (and in some cases thought up).  With the holiday baking I should do with the kids.  With all those Pinterest projects I have yet to do.  With the yearning to draw and paint and to be artistic again.  With the fact that I haven't been faithful in exercising lately and I am feeling a bit flabby.  With issues concerning family members.  With the fact that I have lost my joy in life. 
There I said it.  I have lost my joy.  And I am trying hard to find it.  To beckon it back to me.  It's hard to find joy when my mind is full of an ever-growing to-do list.  Expectations from those around me.  My own expectations.  And a sense that I am failing as a mother.
So I am praying that God helps to restore my joy.  I have heard people say before that we must CHOOSE joy...but how?  When you feel so completely and utterly drained from the demands of life HOW do you just choose to be joyful?  I certainly don't want to be fake.  I want to be joyful because, well, I AM joyful. 
The definition of Joy is:
  1. great happiness: feelings of great happiness or pleasure, especially of an elevated or spiritual kind
  2. something that brings happiness: a pleasurable aspect of something or source of happiness
  3. to enjoy something: to delight in something
I went to Bible Gateway and did a search for the word Joy and here is what I found...
*There are 66 references to Joy in Psalms.  And most of which have to do with shouting for joy and singing.  I feel like I do enough shouting around here but not of the joyful sort.  And I don't sing often enough but love to and need to more.
* Proverbs 12:20 tells us that those who promote peace have joy.  Are my words promoting peace?
* Proverbs 15:30 says, "Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones." Is there light in my eyes when I am a messenger to my children?  Or has the light grown dim and therefore brings no joy to my children's hearts or even those around me?
*Proverbs 29:3 says, "A man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father"  Do I love wisdom?
*John 15:10-12 reads "If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you."  Is God's love for others missing in my life? 
These are just a few of MANY verses that sort of stuck out to me.  And I think these verses provide enough insight for me to change my perspective on the journey to find joy once again. 
I pray you have a day filled with JOY! 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Little Book of Dates by Dr. Greg & Erin Smalley

First of all, this is a cute little book!  I certainly wasn't expecting to open up the mailing envelope to find a little pocket-sized leather-covered cutie!  It made me want to read it even more!  Anyone who is married knows how important it is to date your spouse (and if you aren't having regular date nights you should start this week!).  However, when date night rolls around are you in a rut?  Do you always go to the same restaurant and do the same thing?  I have to admit my hubby and I are in a bit of a dating rut.  We usually just go out to dinner...which is nice but can be boring sometimes.  This book is just what we needed!  He doesn't know I have it so I am going to keep it my little secret and use some of these date night ideas on him! 

The subtitle of this book is 52 creative ideas to make you marriage fun which pretty much sums up this book.  There are 52 date night ideas that go beyond the normal dinner and movie type of date.  It includes a description of the date night them, but then also gives ideas for an activity that you could do to go along with that theme.  It also then includes a section where it lists questions that you can ask each other to build intimacy and trust in your marriage regarding the date you went on. 

I have to admit, some of the date night ideas seem a bit corny and my husband would probably think I was nuts if I pulled one of those date nights on him, but not every date idea is going to appeal to every couple.  So get the book, pick which dates you think would improve your marriage, and go on a date!  This would also be great to give a newlywed couple as a wedding gift!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this honest review.*

Friday, December 6, 2013

Real: Becoming a 24/7 Follwer of Christ by Jamie Snyder

Jamie Snyder's book, Real: Becoming a 24/7 Follower of Christ, really got me thinking about my own spiritual life.  And I think it will do the same for any reader.  He urges us to take an in-depth look at our life and examine whether our spiritual walk is real or if we have made it become religious and ritualistic.  In his book he asks us if people would be able to tell if we were a Christ-follower if they didn't see us at church.  In other words, has our spiritual walk been reduced to only Sundays?  If the answer to that question is yes then we have a problem...and it's time to deepen our walk. 

Real is a short book that is easy to read fairly quickly.  The chapters are short and to the point but truly challenge us to take part in self-reflection and encourage us to seek true intimacy with our Maker.  Each chapter also includes a few questions and a short prayer which makes this book a great one to read with a friend or group.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this honest review.    

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Whispers In The Midst of Chaos

I have had a stressful past few days.  I had 2 stressful and busy days at work last week.  I had my parents over for a Thanksgiving meal last week.  I celebrated my son's 13th birthday (yes, your prayers are appreciated!)with a party at our house and the guest list included all 4 sets of our parents (both mine and my hubby's parents are divorced and remarried)...and they all came!  Don't get me wrong, I am happy they all came, but this was a first for us and let's just say there was some tension and anxiety because they don't all get along.  A few days ago my dryer stopped blowing hot air which making drying clothes a looong process.  (Even on the the Ohio)  The kids have been nuts and fighting like crazy and I feel as if I have been demoted to the position of referee.  My hubby also started his winter shift at work, which means I am home alone with the kids and their fighting all evening.  Then yesterday I realize that there was a $1,172.12 charge on our checking account that did not belong to us so I spent the morning calling the bank, the Apple store, and filing a police report. 
I have been a bit stressed.  Today I got to thinking about stress.  Why do we allow ourselves to get stressed about events in our lives?  We do this because WE are trying to control our universe instead of letting the one who created the universe be in control.  All these things we stress about are out of our control.  Through all of the chaos, God is whispering to us "Be still and know that I am God..." (Psalm 46:10) but are we able to hear him through all of the noise swirling around in our head when we are stressed?  I haven't been able to hear the whispers.  But today I did.  Not only did he tell me to calm down but to also KNOW, not hope, that He is God and will take care of me, but KNOW it without a shadow of a doubt.  When we truly KNOW that, our stress seems to melt away. 
So when you are faced with a busy day at work....Be still and know that He is God.
When you are at home with your fighting kids and are counting the minutes until your hubby gets home and can relieve you of your duties....Be still and know that He is God.
When someone halfway across the country or perhaps even the world decided to steal your debit card number and buy themselves 2 iPhones, taking the money you were planning to use to pay your house payment....Be still and know that He is God. 
God is in control.  Stop stressing and looking at all the negative things that are happening and focus on the positives and stop to actually recognize how God is working it out. 
I pray you all remember this and have a great NON-stressful day today!