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.  🙂

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!

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Ok, it’s been two weeks and I haven’t posted.  I’m a little off my game, but I have committed to this through the good, the bad and the ugly.  I told my husband last week that I lost weight.  Ok, it was .2 lbs, but hey, I figure it’s still going down.  He didn’t quite see it that way.  He said, “Take off your shorts, you’ll lose another .2 lbs.”  He may be right, but I’m still seeing this as part of the good.  I can zip my jeans without having to monitor the zipper all day, so that .2 lbs means something!  lol

Car and countertop?  check!  I’m doing well with this except when my husband puts his stuff on my side of the countertop or leaves his coffee cup and napkin on the car floor.  We got some talking to do.  So far, I’ve been just pushing his stuff back on his side and taking the trash out myself, but before I become Monster Wife, I better get a handle on it.

Now for the Bad.  I didn’t do my August act of kindness.  😦  I’m planning to change this by doing 2 in September, but I doesn’t change that I missed my August deadline.  I really do want to keep up with my goals and if I let them slip by, how can I say I’m committed.  Well, I AM committed and my report next week will show that.  I also haven’t done my New Testament study for the past month and I need to get back to that.  I miss it.  It’s funny how you can read the New Testament time and time again and it still speaks to you in a different way.  Lastly for the bad, I haven’t started the couch to 5k program yet.  I do walk my dog morning and night, but it’s definitely NOT a 5k.  I feel like I’ve just misstepped on these goals and will be back on track soon, but…

Now for the UGLY.  Still no painting.  Still no bags.  Still no closet work.  Still no excuses.  What more is there to say?  Not much.  Happy Goal Tending!

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.

The Battle Continues

Some days I feel like I’m in a battle with myself. Should I eat the cookie? Should I ignore the cookie? Really I think, “Should I really have to battle with myself over a cookie?” But the fact is, I do. Change is difficult and my body is just as stubborn as my mind. My body says to my mind, “I want a cookie!” and my mind rationalizes, “So what’s one cookie? One cookie isn’t going to affect my whole life.” as my body rants on “I want a cookie!” Maybe it’s so hard because my body is so insistent and has only one thing to say. While my mind must work through all the pros and cons and make a decision when in reality, the decision has already been made. I made the decision to eat healthier.

Eating healthy can mean a lot of things depending on who you are and where you live, but we all know that if you have a weakness for cookies, you should probably avoid them. So, I’ve decided that, for the most part I need to avoid sugary foods. I have a weakness for them. We can’t give up food altogether, but we can recognize where we have the most problems and take steps toward avoiding those foods that tempt us the most.

The battle rages, but I’m charging forward knowing some things are worth the fight. My health is one of those things. My first weigh in since I started up again is Monday. Wish me luck!

Time for an Update

Thanks to my friend Kim for getting me motivated again, it’s time for an update. Sugar isn’t totally out of my diet anymore (I made chocolate chip cookies yesterday) but I am much more aware of what I eat and how much of it I eat. I feel better about myself, now 22 lbs lighter, and I’m never going back to those two decades of pounds I left behind.
The great thing about all of this is how much better my clothes fit. I haven’t gone down a size which tells me I was squeezing myself into these clothes that were really too small for me. Arghhh! Well, now they fit! You really do look so much better in clothes that fit. Of course losing 22 lbs doesn’t hurt my looks too much either. I don’t think other people are noticing yet, but I think I will have to go down a size before that happens. Sadly, I think that’s about 20 lbs away judging by the weight I’ve already lost. I don’t want to squeeze my way into the next size that’s for sure!
I’m beginning to take control of my life in other ways too. I’m making a notebook for change with sections on home, spirituality, self, school and money. It makes me feel good to be moving toward something instead of growing stagnant. I’m thinking if I keep my focus on change, my focus will decrease on food. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy good food and love to cook (see my other blog if you have doubts http://kitchenchicks.wordpress.com) but food shouldn’t be my whole focus which is what I think it has been in the past.
To any of you still out there reading my wanderings, thank you. I’m still here.