We All lead Busy, interesting lives.

Today, I was up before 6:00 a.m. to take my daughter to school to load a bus for a volleyball tournament. I headed back home to shower, iron some dress shirts for my husband as he was leaving for 4 days to a conference in Denver. I then made my latte (It was black cherry chocolate today ) and put it in my 24 oz. mug, toasted some bread, added a tomato and then walked out the door to get to the volleyball tournament. I spent 5 hours at the tournament and watched my daughter play the best I have seen her play. Her serving was almost flawless which means a lot since at the beginning of the season, she could barely get the ball over the net. While I don’t know her stats, I would say her serving was better than 90%. While we were in the “big city” we hit a few stores on our way home to get things that we can’t find in our town of 8000 people.

When I got home, I relaxed a little, then grabbed a bite to eat, read the newspaper, checked FB and then got to work again. I am the product sales coordinator for the fall Girl Scout product sales for our county. The sales ended on Thursday so I needed to get online, input my troop’s order (My troop is my Senior Girl Scout daughter. After 10 years of having a busy troop, it was decided that they were too busy in other things to continue), check all of the other troop’s orders as part of my job. I then sent out an email to the troops doing a follow-up to make sure their order inputs were correct. Then I needed to work on the Girl Scout overnight that is set for next week-end that I am organizing with a friend. I sent out confirmations and weekend details.

And here I am now, blogging, something that I need to be committed to doing every day. I need to work at this and make it happen. What a Saturday!!!!

I guess my point is, we are all busy in our own way. Even if being busy is just staying at home. I can’t believe the days that go by when I am home, I am kept busy all day, and at the end of the day, I feel that I have gotten nothing done. I actually haven’t felt that way this week. I have been busy and productive.

There will never be enough time in the day to get things done that should get done. But God only gives us 24 hours and day and hopefully we have made sound decisions and get the important things done. I have a laundry basket full of clean clothes sitting right next to me. They have been sitting in the basket for a couple of days. Should they be folded, Absolutely, YES. But have there been more important things to do this week? Again, Absolutely YES! Do I have clothes that need to be ironed, YES. Does my husband ever go without an ironed shirt, NO. I do it when it needs to get done. Should I really get through the ironing pile and also do the touch up ironing? Yes! But as the saying goes, the laundry will wait. I only have one chance to see my daughter play volleyball at today’s tournament.

I seem to find all kinds of things to do. I marvel at the women that have a full-time paying job and then come home and need to do the things that are my job. But I have always said that all of my volunteering is to help those that can’t volunteer because they have paying jobs outside the home.I volunteer at my church, volunteer out at the church camp which we are involved, do a lot of running around for my husband since he is very busy with his software consulting business.

I would not change anything in my life even though I am constantly busy. It helps now that my son has his driver’s license and my daughter has her school permit for driving. She actually took my car to school three days last week. It is so nice not to have to add all of those miles to my vehicle by needing to make multiple trips to take her and pick her up from school. Not needing my car is very freeing and if I don’t have a car, I have to stay at home.

Whatever you do and however you do it, I hope you can be like me and know what is a priority and work to do what is right for you, for your loved ones, for your community, for the world. My laundry can wait. It is clean. It is not wrinkled in the basket. It is just not put in the drawers. My home is clean and I don’t need to be embarrassed if someones stops by but it is not spotless. Once again, my family is more important.

Tomorrow, after church, my son and I head to the Camp Fontanelle Corn Maze. He has a paid position running the laser tag area. I am a volunteer and work the ticket booth. Is it worth it, YES because it supports a fabulous church camp. Will my laundry take priority, NO. Who knows, maybe I will get it put away after I publish this. Let’s hope. Maybe I will get a glass of wine and relax while getting the laundry put away! That is a great incentive.

DIET (Do It Every TIme)

Today I subbed at the high school. I went in having limited knowledge as to what Math Analysis or Discrete Math entailed. After looking at the worksheets for Math Analysis, I knew it was more complex than any math I had ever taken. Let’s see, Advanced Algebra, my sophomore year in high school, that was over 34 years ago!

I fessed up to the class and told them they were further along than I ever went in math. I originally was going to sub for a teacher that always uses a Podcast. That sub job was cancelled last night and I got this sub job after the cancellation. I hate to say that for the first class, I truly was worthless. Luckily the day was planned for a sub so the work was sub-worthy.

The rest of the day was interesting. Normally I would teach 3 blocks but today I taught 4. There was a teacher that did not have a sub so the subs filled in during their planning time. So on top of 3 math classes, I also had a Physical Science Class. I earned my money today!

NOW ON TO MY TOPIC OF THE DAY, my weight loss.                                                .

Like many American women, I struggle with my weight. I have never been bulimic or anorexic, but every day I look in the mirror and think, “Ugh, you could be thinner. Why do I look so fat?” Even when I was a size 4-6 in my 20’s, I always had too much cellulite or tummy rolls in my eyes.

I probably have done almost every weight loss program around. Except for Weight Watchers or paying hundreds of dollars for a Jenny Craig-type program, I am sure I have tried it. The Grapefruit Diet, Slim-Fast, doctor (maybe a Quack) prescribed medication, the Soup Diet, Atkins (That actually worked when I was younger), I think I dieted away 3-4 ME’s and then gained it all back.

A little over a year ago, on September 19, 2011, I thought I would try something ingenious…calories in…calories out. AND I would look at long term, not short term, results. I wasn’t going to eat anything special. I wasn’t going to deprive myself. I was just going to track calories. I was going to exercise! Usually I would have a 900-1000 calorie intake.. I was going to be a rebel and figure out how many calories, for a person my sex, my age, my size, burns daily. Then I would go from there.

My Google search found a website, Calorie Counts. I know there are a lot of sites like this one, but Calorie Counts called to me. The site calculated that I burn about 1600 calories a day. I double checked with other websites and they were all consistent in what they calculated. WOW, I had a plan!

Calorie Counts computed that I burned 1600 calories a day. In my research, I also found out that a person should consume a minimum of 1200 calories a day so your body does not go into starvation mode and stop burning calories. So…if I took in 1200 calories, I would have a 400 calorie deficit before I even exercised. My research also found that 3500 calories is the equivalent to one pound. Without even trying, I could use .8 pounds a week. The calculations are always a guide (do we really have exact calculations for that piece of cake or how much you walk?) My treadmill, at the best of its ability, can determine calories burned. If I walked one hour at a 15% grade, I could burn between 750-800 calories at my beginning weight. It was kicking in. I could do this! And if I walked twice a day, I could take in more calories.

I was given a food scale as a gift, so in the beginning, I religiously weighed food so I could figure out calories in real food. I ate what my family ate, only less. I drank wine and figured in those calories; 6 ozs, of red wine = 150 calories. It was amazing! I didn’t have to hide diet pills or gorge myself on proteins. I could be a normal person!

The weight started coming off after I got serious in October. By December, I was losing 2-3 pounds a week and had lost 20 pounds. By February, I had lost 10 more. I had survived Thanksgiving and Christmas without gaining weight and still enjoying the holiday food. In February, I was going to Spain with my husband and one of my children. I needed new clothes!

I will tell you that one of the best things that I did was get rid of all of my baggy clothes. It was costly but I thought if I got rid of my “fat” clothes, I wouldn’t have anything to fall back on; I couldn’t backslide. I had to be conscious of my food intake and exercise regime. I would not have clothes that I could go to if I started gaining back the pounds. It was, by far, the best weight loss incentive I have. I can’t gain back the weight because I don’t have any clothes to wear. So I have to keep the weight off. I have no other option.

The ultimate compliment was when I had my annual exam in march. My gynecologist came in and gave me a big hug and told me how proud he was of me. This is a doctor that I have had for 22 years and the most we have ever done was a handshake, even when my children were born. I told him that I figured if I wanted to live a full life, I needed to get more healthy and start taking care of myself.

I fell off the diet wagon and exercise routine about 6 months ago. I probably have gained 2 pounds back but because I have no fat clothes to go to, I have control. My size 6 clothes still fit. I still have about 10 pounds to lose. I have started walking again, not 7 days a week but 3 or 4 days a week. The plan is to get back to 7 days walking and to throw in weights to speed up my toning. I just need to make it a priority again.

About a month ago, I went to a dietitian at our local Hy-Vee Grocery Store. She tested my RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate). It was calculated that to lose weight, in a healthy way, I should take in 1389 calories. If I exercise, I should consume 1600-1700 calories. This RMR is the calories I burn if I were to lay in bed all day and not do a blessed thing.

I think my new FLA (Four-Letter-Acronym) is DIET…Do It Every Time, meaning that dieting shouldn’t be limiting, It should be freeing; allowing you to feed your body, celebrate good food and drink, without destroying your health or limiting your life.

I feel better and look better than I have in 18 years. At age 50, I have more energy and stamina than I have had in years. I look forward to my next 50 years and take on the challenge with gratitude.

Image before        Image after (and ongoing)

Life Just Never Slows Down

It has been over a year and a half since I last posted. I wish that I had a good excuse. My only excuse is that “Life Just Never Slows Down”. I honestly don’t know that I would want it any other way. While my grand parent’s photos are still sitting unscanned (He has been gone for over 6 years) and my grandmother’s cookbooks are still in the attic, not reviewed (She has been gone 20 years this December), I have had a full year and a half. I took a college course so I could get certified to substitute teach. Now I am what is called a “local sub”, which means I need to register with a school district and then I can sub 40 days a year.
I have really enjoyed subbing. My favorite school is the high school and if I had to choose, I would rather sub “the Specials”. That means music, P.E., Special Ed. I have only subbed two elementary classrooms, and while they are ok, I like having different students throughout the day. I have subbed numerous times in the elementary level but most of the time they are the specials.
The reason I am subbing now is that both of my children decided to attend public school full time last school year. So after 6 years of homeschooling, I found myself with an empty classroom. Both of my children are excelling in high school. I am so proud that they are such a shining example of what a positive influence homeschooling can be. They are respected by their teachers because they are kind, respectful and helpful.
Also in the last year and a half my son has completed his Eagle project, my daughter completed her Silver Award, my kitchen was gutted and remodeled. Oh, and add to that, I lost 30 pounds! I have so many topics to cover that will be many future posts.
I just wanted to say, I’m back and I hope that I will be able to be productive and write every day because, I have a plan for my life. And I need to be productive to see it come true.
I will work on covering the past year and a half in the next couple of weeks. Tomorrow I will talk about my 365 day journeyto weight loss.