In the beginning, beginning, beginning

I titled this blog this way because I feel like I’m always beginning some self-improvement that never quite gets resolved.  This will be a short beginning post because my daughter and I have decided to work together this summer to lose 20 lbs each.  Now, believe me, she has no where near the pounds to lose that I do, but, like me, she also is on a self-improvement kick.

Tomorrow morning I go to sign papers for my new job.  I’m so excited because now instead of a 90 minute drive, I have a 6 minute drive.  But I digress.  Before I leave for that, I’m going to take a picture of myself in my underwear.  Don’t worry, I won’t gross you out with that picture.  ;).  I’m also going to weigh myself and record both of these things in a journal.  I already have the one set up from my last beginning, so I’ll just continue with that one.  I plan to glue the picture of myself in the journal along with my beginning weight and then take a picture with my weight every week until the summer is over.  I think I need to document and see progress for accountability and encouragement.

That ends my post for this week.  No picture–like I promised, but maybe next week I’ll take a picture of my notebook so you can see what it looks like.  And, I’ll post my progress on this blog weekly too.  If I get to the end and actually lose the 20 lbs, I’ll post a before and after picture then.  That is if I’m not too embarrassed.  🙂

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Looking Toward Summer

As summer comes hustling in the door, I find my self looking to make new goals. I think it’s important, even if I don’t completely achieve them, to at least have something to aspire to. Last year’s inspirations, though not completely realized, allowed me to see newness in myself. This year I’ve decided to keep it simple. My goals will be for the next six months, June through December. I can do this. Yes I can!

Goal 1. Lose 30 pounds. I lost 20 pounds last year and have kept it off. The funny thing is, I still am a very fat woman, so people say things like, “Boy you really look nice in plaid.” or “Did you get a new haircut?” What they don’t realize is that what they’re noticing is that I’ve lost 20 pounds. I think it’s kind of funny actually. Here’s my before picture for this year:

Me right now.

Me right now.

Sub-goals:
Walk following a program to get progressively better until I am beginning to get fit.
Follow the Emeals clean eating plan to eat at home nightly. (Here’s a link if you’d like to try it) Just click on this picture and you’re there. SAVE TIME AND MONEY WITH EMEALS MEAL PLANS
Weigh myself daily. I’ve been going back and forth on this one, but I’ve decided that I can live with the ups and downs if it helps me to see my eating patterns. I plan to track it in an excel sheet. That should give me a nice graph of my week.

Goal 2: Fill this wall with family pictures, old and new. Here’s a picture of the wall now:
blank wall I’ll post the process as I start arranging the photos.

Goal 3: Read through the Bible looking for these things to apply to my life: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness and Self Control. I think what I really need to do is devote myself to one or two of these things a week and discover what they mean in my life. I know what they mean, but what do I do and how do I show these things as belonging and constant in my personal dealings with people? Do I really show love, joy and peace? I know I’m not always patient or kind or even good. Do we even need to discuss self-control? I think not. lol

These are the goals I have made for myself. They may seem simple, but for me, they are rigorous. After all, what good would it be to attain a goal that wasn’t rigorous? Add a little rigor to your life. There’s no limit to what you can achieve!

Wow!  I’m back from Boston and I didn’t gain a pound.  I didn’t lose a pound either, but hey I feel good about not gaining while on vacation.  The fact of the matter is, I didn’t gain any weight because my health conscious daughter walked my feet all over Boston.  From Cambridge, across the bridge, and all the way over to Fenway Park!  I have to say though, it was a beautiful walk and maybe that’s the best way to see Boston.  There’s beautiful architecture everywhere and some of the oldest buildings in the country.  I think Fenway is the oldest ballpark isn’t it?  Well, here are a few picture to prove you should take your own walk around Boston.  🙂

This is the beautiful MIT man sculpture. I’m standing there with my beautiful Texas man Bob.

Beautiful architecture surrounded by trees. Not uncommon in Boston

Bob and Dolly in Kenmore Park just blocks from Fenway. See the giant CITGO sign? You can see it anywhere you are in Boston.

 

 

I’ve been reading Matthew chapter 3 this week and it reminded me of those old movies where the gangsters go out and kill people and then race the next day to the church to repent, just to go out and do it again.  Maybe the Pharisees were the gangsters of their day.  Who knows?  It certainly seems similar anyway.

This month I’ve decided to do something nice for my principals (anonymously of course).  I was thinking a little care package with some lip balm, lotion, nice pens and some sticky notes.  Any other suggestions about what I should put in?  School starts next week for us and the kids come the following week.  I’m excited and am readying my make up and hair supplies.  Ha ha.

I sewed myself a dress this week and got my pattern all ready for my bags. My dress is purple and pink.  Not usually my colors, but I’m kind of excited about it.  I like to sew.  It’s creative and productive at the same time.

Goals in check and in process–we won’t talk any more about the closet until I get busy and start.  lol

Happy Day to all and Good luck with your goals!

 

Goal Busters

What are goal busters?  I’ve been thinking about this a lot this week because now that I’m committed to writing this blog and keeping to my 6 month goals, I want to be ready for any goal busters that come my way.  Here’s a few to look out for:

  1. Apathy:  Apathy is when you just say to yourself, “Who cares?  Why should I care?  No one else does.”  So, what do you do? You leave your goals on the sofa with a bag of chips and the remote and do whatever you want.  Apathy is a way to give up and blame someone else in the process.  STAY AWAY FROM APATHY!
  2. Procrastination:  Procrastination says, “Today I’m going to do what I want.  I’ll get back to my goals tomorrow.”  Boy am I guilty of this one.  After all, I’m 50 years old and still tackling my weight problem.
  3. Laziness:  Laziness says, “I’m too tired.  I’ve already worked hard enough.  I don’t feel like it today.”  Not that you don’t need some days when you can just sit back and relax, but when laziness becomes a habit it turns into procrastination and you end up fat, fifty and frustrated.  Oops, was that too strong?  lol
  4. Nay Sayers:  Avoid Nay Sayers at all cost.  These are the people in your life that offer you donuts when they know you’ve sworn off sugar.  They don’t really believe you’re committed to your goals so they don’t even try to help you achieve them.  They also make excuses for you to quit.  They say, “I like you just the way you are.  Don’t work so hard.”  Maybe they’re trying to be nice, but it’s not very helpful.
  5. Depression:  Whenever I get depressed, it’s usually because I haven’t met my goal or I’ve gone backward in my goal, or sometimes an event in my life changes my perspective and leads me down the path to depression.  Depression causes you to devalue yourself or the life you’ve chosen to lead.  Guess where your goals go then?  Down the tubes because we tend to throw the baby out with the bath water.  My life sucks, therefore I don’t need any goals.  Terrible thinking and terrible reasoning.  When you become depressed look to your goals to bring you back up on the path to feeling better about yourself.

I hope that when I get to these points in my goal walk, that I look back at this post and remember the goal busters and stand strong against their evil forces.  You can too.  Don’t let the goal busters control you.  You control your life.  After all, it’s yours to live.

And now for an update:

This week I lost 3.5 lbs!  Yea!  I’m back on track.  That makes 5 lbs altogether since I started.

I have been walking, but not as much as I was.  I need to improve this goal and add drink more water as a side goal.

I’ve been wearing my make up to work.  I had two presentations last week and two people commented on how nice my hair looked.  Check!

My car and countertop have remained clean.  I’m amazed at how attentive I’ve become to these two places.

Still no progress on my closet.  This seems to be my most difficult goal.  I CAN DO IT!  Get away from me procrastination!

My care package goes out on Monday.  It’s all ready to go.  I hope she enjoys it.

I found a pattern and will begin sewing this week.  I figure I can do a couple of bags a week.

I didn’t read the NT this week.  I’ll have to get back on that this week.

I found a painting challenge I like and will begin by taking some pictures of objects by candlelight.

Haven’t signed up for the esl test yet, but will plan for it when I get back from Boston.

Cheers to all of you out there in the blogosphere!  Good luck with your goals this week and don’t give in to the goal busters!

 

Pilgrim’s Progress

Since today is Saturday, I figured it’s time to update you on my progress. Here are the goals for you again with an explanation of progress.

Goal 1: Lose 26 lbs by Christmas.

I lost 3 lbs this week!  Only 23 more to go.  That being said, I also binged on candy, potato chips and icecream all day after that.  Yeah, I know, self-destructive.  Plus, I felt horrible the next morning all achey and sore all over.  But, I’m getting right back to it!

Goal 2: Give the “Couch to 5K” program a shot. This will also help with goal 1. (Also inspired by Kristin by the way)

I haven’t started this program yet, but I have started walking my dog 1 mile in the morning, and one mile at night.  Baby steps for me when it comes to running, but I feel glad about the 2 miles a day.

Goal 3: Wear make-up to work everyday for a month. (I understand that this is not a problem for most, but for me, believe me, it’s a challenge.)

I haven’t really started back to work yet, so no make-up yet.  Officially I go back the third week in August.

Goal 4: Put a system in place in 1 room of the house that keeps it clean all the time. (I can add more rooms later. I want to be able to accomplish this.)

Ok, here’s where you’re going to see some pictures.  I decided to start with my bathroom.  I got out my Martha Stewart “How to Clean Your House” book–Yes I really have that thick volume–and read all about how to take care of the bathroom.  Here are the before and after pictures of my counter top. 

Counter-top Before

Countertop Now Counter-top Now

Goal 5:  Sort through my closet and get rid of clothes that don’t fit or I don’t wear anymore.

I haven’t begun this daunting task yet, but I plan to begin this week.  Ugggh!

Goal 6: Do something nice for someone every month. After Thanksgiving do something nice for someone once a week.

My friend recently lost her mother, so for my July niceity, I’d like to do something for her.  She lives several states away from me.  Any suggestions?

Goal 7: Sew 10 bags for Mill Street Coffee (my husband owns a coffee shop and he’s asked me to do this, but I’ve been putting it off.)

No progress yet.  No excuses either.  🙂

Goal 8: Read the Bible’s New Testament and keep a journal about what I’ve read.

I’ve been looking for just the right journal and haven’t found one, but soon, very soon. 

Goal 9: Begin painting again.

Not Yet

Goal 10: Take the ESL test and pass it.

I’ve taken the 2 day course, but haven’t signed up for the test yet.

All in all, I’ve felt very good about the beginnings of these goals.  Sort of like a pilgrim I guess.  I just think it’s too bad it took me 50 years to get here.  I want to reach the destination before it becomes just a dream.  After all, a dream is a wish your heart makes.  And my heart is pushing me forward.

A Bump in the Road and a Broken Wagon

Well, this bump in the road–let’s just call it my lack of commitment–caused me to not only fall off the wagon, but broke the wagon into pieces.  Maybe a wagon wasn’t the best choice in the first place.  The walk would’ve done me good.  I would’ve burned some calories and maybe lifted my spirit along the way too.  I think sometimes I spend way too much time soothing myself with things, that if I would just take time to reason through, I wouldn’t eat in the first place.  Like, for instance that lovely gas station muffin where I read on the label lately that one serving was 1/3 muffin.  Yes, that’s right, 1/3 muffin.  Seriously?  Who in the world eats 1/3 muffin?  I’d eat the whole doggone thing.  Oh, by the way, that 1/3 muffin serving is 230 calories.  That means the whole muffin is a whopping 690 calories.  You’ve got to be kidding me.  See how reason gets in the way of indulging yourself?  Needless to say I won’t be eating one of those again.

My other eye-opener was a Quiznos sandwich.  I love Quiznos and probably could eat one everyday for lunch if incentive was provided.  Until–yes, reason set in.  I decided to look up the nutritional quality of the sandwich.  At first I was pleasantly surprised, but then–dun dun dun–the sandwich was a whopping 1200 calories.  Again I say, “Seriously?”  Needless to say, I won’t be eating Quiznos any more.  Oh, I want to.  I just can’t.

This week I plan to rely on my reason instead of my self-indulgence.  I’m getting off the cart, picking myself up, dusting myself off, putting on my cross-trainers, and reasoning myself right into walking instead of riding my way to a better me.  I can do this.  I just have to be reasonable.  🙂

Make a Plan

My daughter asked me this week if I was proud of the progress I had made this week. Have I been doing what I set out to do? Well, I’d have to say I’m at about 50%. Did I eat breakfast everyday? Yep. Did I exercise 3 times this week? Nope.  Have I tried to look my best everyday this week?  Uh, everyday but one.  I even wore jewelry!  I NEVER wear jewelry.  And, as for updating my blog, you can read for yourself.  🙂

So, what will I do differently next week?  Here are my goals for next week:

  • drastically reduce the amount of sugar in my diet
  • plan meals for breakfast lunch and dinner
  • drink more water!

All of these goals go along with the goals I’ve already set, so I feel like they’re doable.  I just have to start paying attention to the details.  It’s taken me a long time to get to this point, but I have come to realize that everything–and I mean everything–needs a plan, right down to the way you organize your desk.  I thought I could just keep one leg hanging and kind of dance my way through life.   I guess there’s some of that too, but mostly life needs a plan.  Get it in your head now.  Don’t wait till you’re 50 to figure it out.  Make a plan and act on it.  One more time–Make a plan and ACT on it.  You can, I can, we all can make a plan.