Reviewing my top 5 reasons for losing weight

I think that defining my reasons for a change will help me stay motivated and on track.  Vaguely mumbling “well, it’s time to lose some weight!” to myself has not yet been useful or helpful so far.  So, in no particular order,  the things that I plan to keep in mind this coming year:

1 – I can’t sleep for crap.  I snore, I toss and turn and per my Fitbit, I wake up way more than I should. I get a good night maybe every 7-10 days.  This turns into a downward spiral because when I am tired, I crave carbs and sugar.

2 – Extra weight kind of hurts.  Things feel wrong, my knees throb and of course if clothes are too snug that feels awful.

3 – Oh, the clothes.  When my XL comfy shirts are getting tight, we have a problem.  Not to mention I want new clothes, but don’t want to buy new stuff in case I lose weight and waste money… it’s just a drama.

4 – General malaise and achiness. Not so much a weight thing, but if I gain it’s typically because I’m eating things that aren’t so good for me (or too much of anything). That makes me bloated and tired, plus I have lower energy from carrying around more pounds than I should.  I want to work out but I’m too tired – it’s a vicious cycle.

5 – Social discomfort.  I know, I know, I should feel at home in my skin no matter what. I don’t, though. I’m not one to worry much what others think but when I see my face in a picture and it doesn’t look like me, or I realize my clothes look awful or I look down and see a poochy stomach – I don’t feel comfortable at all.

So – my reasons may not be your reasons – you may read them as trivial or shallow. I don’t really care – I need to motivate myself with reasons that matter and you do, too.  I want to feel good, look good and sleep better. Tomorrow when I begin, I am going to try really hard to keep these things in mind when faced with food that doesn’t get me closer to my goals.  I have a menu planned out, the food shopped for and  a work out schedule mapped out but that will not do much good at all if I can’t keep my motivation in sight.

A strategy for my weight loss project

Or at least a working strategy for the month of January.

I’m an accountant/software consultant and January is typically my roughest month at work – worse than even March and April. If I can make a strategy that works this month – a month in which I could happily order a pizza every night and mainline chocolate – then it should be pretty reasonable for the other 11 months.

I tend somewhere between Paleo and Nourishing Traditions for my ideal template, although I have a tough time getting there.  I love the idea of mainly meat and veggies along with some cheese (duh), occasional legumes and sourdough and white potatoes/rice a couple times a week.  I’d like to avoid packaged/processed foods and most sugar and bread.  I do like my red wine, so that will stay. Sorry/not sorry.

I struggle with a lack of planning, so my downfall is that I totally space out and order take out after a rough day.  I am going to focus on planning my meals and making sure I have everything for the meals plus one or two emergency meals that fit within my template.  I’ll try to share my daily meals here starting  January 1 and also recap how well the plans worked.  I have been shopping on Friday but have decided Wednesday might work better going forward.

I’m going to log calories on My Fitness Pal, at least until I get into a groove with portions and servings.  I am aiming for about 1650 calories a day with macros of about 30 carb/30 protein/40 fat.

As for fitness – I have 2 loves that I have slacked on for the last 6 weeks. I am a level 2 green belt in Taekwondo and will head back to class with my kids starting Monday. I’d like to attend class 2x a week with an eye toward testing for level 3 green in February.  I love weight training too – I plan to hit the Y 2-3 times a week in January. For now I’ll do the machines which are better than nothing, and finish reading Starting Strength so I can move to barbell training within a month or two.

OK – that’s what I’ve got!  I think I’m happy with the plan, it’s specific and doable.  I have  my menu for the week starting Thursday mapped out and I’ll go shopping tomorrow. I have almost all the crap out of the house… OH! I did decide once a week I can have something totally yummy and unhealthy (like birthday cake, or leftover frozen peppermint cheesecake or…. )

It’s been a great year but…

For one thing I haven’t written since early January! I feel like I’m more than a little off kilter and need some accountability to get back on track. What better time than the new year? That’s not cliché at all, is it??

Food/Weight

I need to lose about 50 pounds so my goal is about a pound a week in 2015. I also want to find my way to healthier food for all of us. What’s funny is I wasn’t sure at first about writing about weight loss – what if my family and friends saw? But then I realized – I’m pretty sure they know I need to lose weight. It’s not like it’s a secret.  I have a lot more to say about the subject so I’ll just leave that here for now.

 House/Organizing

I’m nowhere near needing Flylady but I’m no Martha, either.  I’d like some better processes.  I love the card system but it’s too much for daily stuff.  Also – I NEED to get my kids helping more. They’ve gotten a little better but I think they can help a lot more than they do.

Money

I am going to step up my coupon game!  I also want to pay some things off – couponing and smart shopping will help with that, too.


I know we all go into the new year with grand plans, but I really do love a fresh calendar .  I think the simple act of stating my intentions can help me use the new year as a good time to stop some bad habits and replace them with good ones.

 

Bubble wrap insulation for windows – it really works!

Right now we are enjoying some incredibly cold temperatures in the South.  I know that people who are used to colder temps think we are kind of silly when we do get cold weather. I’ve heard plenty of transplanted Northerners say that we’re overreacting but we’re not, I promise.

Our houses aren’t built for super cold weather. Our roads are filled with people unfamiliar with driving in snow or worse, ice.  Speaking of ice – that stuff is way, way scarier than any snow.  Ice will keep me home way before snow does.

I live in a 60 year old house.  Like many older homes, it’s not very well insulated, plus the windows really need to be replaced.  I have lived here for 11 years, and of course there have been some cold snaps in that time.  Tonight, however, is supposed to dip down to 5 degrees and beat the former record from 1970 – before I was even born!

School was cancelled today, based on predictions of an ice/snow event that pretty much missed us. The record low temps have not missed us, though, and I spent most of the day at home doing weatherproofing that I was too sick to do this weekend.

Over the weekend, I unhooked my garden hoses and wrapped the faucets with insulation to protect them.  Ace was sold out of the nice faucet covers, of course. That’s probably good because one of my hoses would not come off at all.  I googled solutions endlessly but finally decided to just cut the hose off as near to the faucet as possible.  After I wrapped them, I duct-taped a grocery bag onto them.  Ugly, but hopefully effective.

I have 2 spaces that are super cold – my main bathroom, and the playroom/laundry room area. I am not sure why my main bathroom is so cold – the window is smaller than those in the bedrooms, and it’s right between them. But that room is famously chilly.  I know why the playroom is cold – it is directly over a  badly insulated carport and has huge, poorly designed old windows. Duh.

Now – on to the super cold windows.  I think if I can get the windows under control the house might be OK. I have louvered windows in the playroom/laundry area.    They need to be replaced, but that’s super spendy – meanwhile, they are kind of perma-stuck with the slats open and a bit drafty.

I tried the bubble wrap fix in my bathroom first.  I saw a few pins about this, and they said I just needed to spray the window with water to make the bubble wrap stick.  I didn’t have a spray bottle (really, do I have anything I need for this weather??? so much for all the prepper sites I follow!!)  I used a sponge to dampen the window panes instead. Worked like a charm.  I cut the bubble wrap to fit the windows, smoothed it into place and it adhered nicely to the damp panes.

This is just regular small bubble wrap that I use to wrap for ebay shipping.  I have heard that large bubble wrap works well too – so you might just scavenge from packages if you don’t want to buy rolls of it.

So far, it’s sticking even through my showers, and the room feels WAY warmer than it did before. I wish I had done some sort of comparison with a thermometer, but I do know that it feels much more comfortable than it before, even in this frigid weather.

bubble wrap window

I didn’t have enough bubble wrap for the 3 windows in the back. I know you’re wondering why I didn’t run out for more – but really, Ace Hardware was a dark and scary place on Saturday when I went hunting for faucet covers. Not happening again – I decided to test my creativity instead.  So I hung blankets and quilts over 2 windows and used the remaining bubble wrap on the laundry room window.

Because of the weird louvers I could not figure out how to effectively use the water method.  I said to heck with it and used packing tape – it’s not like these are top-notch windows I want to keep.

Bottom line – the back rooms are staying around 64/65 degrees even as the temp drops drastically so I call that a win!  I watched the temp increase about 1.5-2 degrees within an hour of putting up the bubble wrap. It’s currently 12 outside, and dropping, and my heat pump is set at 69 with auxiliary heat kicking in frequently. I refuse to go above 70 just on principle.

Tonight I’ll move the boys to my bed, to maximize the warmth benefits of the family bed.  I’ll open a stream of hot and cold water from my faucets, and hope for the best from the rest of my old house!

Weekly Habit # 2 – Clear and wipe the counters daily

kitchen counterOh my goodness – I started this series several weeks ago and meant to make it weekly, but the holidays slapped me upside the head.  Seriously – I’ve had some busy Christmases but this one took the cake, and that was even after I let go of a number of obligations.

I even had to let go of my Christmas journal. You know how it is when you want to do something, but don’t have time and then start the avoidance cycle? That was me with this blog – I felt bad for not keeping up with my journal so I found excuses to do other things.

On the bright side, I’ve had some seriously relaxing do-nothing days which I think I needed.  I’m coming up on busy season at work, so this chance to be a total couch potato was apparently what I needed.

Getting back on track for the new year – first, refresh yourself on habit #1 – Reboot your dishwasher daily.

Have you been doing this? I have for the most part, although holiday cooking got me a little scrambled for a few days.  But it’s interesting how once I set out to make it a habit, the idea of taking a quick few minutes for dishes became both easier and more important.

The habit for this week will build on the dishwasher habit:  Clear and wipe your kitchen counters daily.

It will probably help if you take a little time to declutter them, identify any appliances or decorative items that you can stash, sell or donate, and then do a nice deep clean. Get some hot soapy water (or whatever is recommended for your counters, I don’t want you to mess them up) and scrub all the corners.  Move stuff out of the way and get behind and under everything.

Once that is done, it be easier to wipe down quickly at least every morning or evening.  I’m going to use some sort of spray for daily use but then try to scrub once a week.  My counters are formica from the 50s (don’t be jealous, it’s ugly) (P.S. the picture above is NOT my kitchen!! just an aspiration) and not super easy to clean.

Planning to clean daily also means I won’t let stacks of stuff pile up – even when I stay on top of the dishwasher, stray items tend to wander onto my counter.

Keep rebooting your dishwasher daily – I think adding these 2 habits together will make for some super peaceful mornings when school is back in session.

Who’s up for this habit?  Post a comment if you’re going to join in!

Journaling My Christmas {Day 18}

025Christmas dinner… for one thing, it’s never quite what I picture. The kids are tired, I’m done with entertaining… seems like it should be a lot more magical than it typically is.

My awesome employer gives us a ham or turkey every year. I love, love, love the ham.  It’s just right for dinner after a long day of doing nothing and goes well with the mashed potatoes, peas and rolls that are required by tradition.

This is the first year that I am doing a gluten-free holiday.  This will mainly affect rolls and cookies.  I am curious to see how GF cookies turn out in particular.  My kids are a little ticked that I am doing ONLY GF but I want to eat them too so they need to get past it.  My goal is lower carbs in general, but Christmas cookies are totally essential, and that’s what New Year’s resolutions are for. ;-)  I need to figure out spritz, fudge (no gluten there, but need to make it without hfcs and such) and either sugar cookies or angeletti.

The best part about a GF holiday?  Less tiredness, achiness and general dragginess after a holiday meal. That’s the wheat, y’all…  hate to say it.

(Pic above, Ian wishes the giant fake candycanes were real!)

Journaling My Christmas {Day 17}

Love IanWhat’s left?  Christmas Eve is a week away!

Gifts – grandmother’s flower order. I always do that around this time.  School did not do the Santa shop like they have in the past, so I did an emergency last minute Amazon order so the boys would have gifts for aunts, grandparents, each other, etc.  So those need to be wrapped, just when I thought I was done.

Got to figure out meals for Christmas and cookies/treats.  Gluten free, of course.

School party needs done.  Work is just not getting finished up. I am trying to get out for a 12 day vacation and work keeps bubbling up.  Nothing I do finishes it.

My house is trashed.  I need to spend all day Saturday cleaning so I can socialize and host here for 4 days.

Is that it? It feels like much, much more.  I got up 4 am last few nights because my mind is tumbling with to-do’s and unfinished work projects.  I don’t like doing that, nothing can get done at 4 am but stressing.

Breathe!!!

(Pic of the day – card from Ian on my Christmas gift. Love that boy so much it’s not even funny.)

Some fun free ebooks

As always – check the price before purchasing to make sure  it’s still free.  And remember – you don’t need a kindle to grab these books.  You can read them on your computer with the free download, or with an app on your phone.

I’ve been dying to try make lotions from scratch so I grabbed this the second I saw it.

Body Lotions :The Ultimate Guide

This looks like a fun fiction read. I have had difficulty making time for fiction lately – hopefully this will keep my attention.

Brainstorm

I have no idea how funny this is, but I grabbed it to see what the kids think. Both boys get a kick out of jokes lately so they may have fun with this. If it isn’t funny, don’t blame me!

Christmas Jokes

A few free Kindle ebooks

As always – check the price before purchasing to make sure  it’s still free.  And remember – you don’t need a kindle to grab these books.  You can read them on your computer with the free download, or with an app on your phone.

I am fascinated by the theories behind self control and will power so of course I grabbed these 2 books.

Willpower NOW: How to Develop Instant Willpower & Self Discipline Through The Power of Effective Self Control Techniques (Willpower, Self Control, Procrastination, Time Management, Self Discipline)

Memory Improvement NOW: Proven Strategies to Increase Your IQ & Unleash Memory Improvement Through the Power of Effective Brain Training (Memory Improvement, … Training, Neuro Linguistic Programming, NLP)

I am working through a crochet tutorial online (slowwwwwly) but like having all the resources I can find at hand.

How to Crochet for Beginners: A Quick and Easy Step-By-Step Guide Book on Crocheting for Novices

I heart Paleo books – I’m not where I want to be yet but the more information the better!

Eating Well: The Beginners Guide to eating well with the Paleo Diet (Special Diet, Paleo Diet)

If someone won’t come clean my house for me magically, I guess I could use some house cleaning tips. Especially speed cleaning so I can get on with my weekend.

How to Clean Your House: Clean Your House Better and Faster in Just 30 Minutes (Home Solutions)