Sunday, November 30, 2014

A Month of Thankfulness

A while ago, I posted that I was going to "pay it forward" this month, literally.  I don't live a charmed life, but I have TONS to be thankful for.  I found it harder than I thought to pick one charity a week to support.  Four great causes?  Just four?  Oh, my!  There are SO many!  But in the end, this is what I ended up doing...

Week 1 - The Food Bank.  This was a no brainer.  I donate to the food bank a few of times a year (both by the way of actual goods and financial support).  I am thankful for the food my family has and hope that my contribution helped others who may not otherwise have had something to eat during this holiday time.

Week 2 - Toys for Tots.  It is getting harder and harder to separate Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It seems like the two have morphed into one (Harry Thanksmas!)  The stores, the ads, the seems that we are bombarded by Christmas as soon as the back-to-school displays are put away.  By Thanksgiving, it's full on Christmas EVERYWHERE!  My kids aren't "little" anymore.  So those doll buying, perfect-toy-seeking days are over for me.  It pulls at my heart strings to imagine a child without any gifts at Christmas time.  Toys for Tots is a great program that makes kids' Christmas dreams come true.  So even though it was too early for ME to think about Christmas, I happily supported them this month :)

Week 3 - The Tomorrow Fund and Make-A-Wish.  These charities support making wishes come true for critically ill children.  I am so thankful my children are healthy.  Knowing that can change in an instant is sobering.  My cousin was diagnosed with cancer when she was a teenager.  We almost lost her.  Charities like this were there for her when she started on the long road to recovery.  After giving it lots of thought, I feel that paying it forward gives other families a chance to have something positive happen during some of the darkest days any family can have.

Week 3 - Woman's Shelter.  I am thankful for a safe haven to call home.  I am thankful for a supportive husband who thinks to world of our kids.  As a teacher, I see all kinds of family situations.  I am thankful there are places for women and children who don't have those things.  Women who take their children and leave their situations with nothing but the clothes on their backs; women who choose to live in their cars, rather than go "home"; women who need help getting back on their feet so they can make a better life for themselves and their kids.    

So that's it.  In a nutshell, I am simply thankful for the basic things in life.  It is hard to express thanks for everything that is good, especially when it seems to come at the expense of what others don't have, so this month has been a nice way to show my appreciation and gratitude while hopefully helping someone else.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

This BS is Killing Me

Okay, I am admitting to maybe having to tone it down just a bit.  Here's my sad tale of woe... Two weeks ago I was diagnosed with having a Bone Spur.  My foot, well, it hurts.  It hurts ALOT.  I've been a little gimpy since July (I don't rush to the doctors, as you can tell).  I was ignoring managing the pain and making an attempt to self treat.  Icing, massaging, stretching, ibuprofen...doing all the things the internet doctors recommended.  When I decided to notch it up with the 100 mile challenge, I knew I could be asking for trouble.  So here it is in a nutshell... 

These last couple of weeks weren't too bad, until Veteran's Day.  I had the day "off", so I stayed home and worked at taming the dust bunnies and cob webs.  I moved furniture, changed the curtains, washed walls, dusted, and vacuumed. etc.  It was fabulous.  Until Wednesday morning when I got out of bed.  YOWZER!  To say my foot was desperately unhappy is an understatement.  Apparently climbing ladders and standing on my tiptoes to reach the high places was just a little too much.  Since I am a slow learner, I made sure to do 2 miles on the dreadmill on Wednesday night and another 2.6 on Thursday.  'Cuz, ya' know, why not?

Well, last Friday was not a fun day.  When I got up in the morning, I almost cried.  Walking around usually helps to stretch things out and alleviates some of the initial discomfort.  Not Friday. Friday was bad.  I hobbled around work and was glad to get home.  I decided to take it easy and just did a brisk 30 min walk instead of the 2 mile walk/intermittent run that I normally do.  And then I took a break from the whole "I must do 2 miles a day" thing.  The days following, I did a couple days of easy miles and then took a couple more days off.

Yesterday, I went to the doctor.  And now I'm grounded.  No more running.  No more brisk walks.  LOTS of stretching, icing and massaging.  Plus the added JOY of a night splint (insert swear words here).  I'm going to look on the positive side.  With time (6-8 weeks) and strictly following the doctors orders, I should be able to walk pain free.  I CAN do slow/easy walks on the dreadmill, but the pace has to be kept between 3.0-3.5.  If I am a good girl and do everything right, when I go back to him in January there is a good chance I will be able to slowly reintroduce running into my life. 

Overall, I'm kinda bummed out.  I'm anxious to get better and I am concerned about the effect (or lack thereof) this is going to have on my weight loss goals.  *Sigh*      

Friday, November 14, 2014

Fitness Friday Update

ALG Uninterrupted
Happy Friday!!  This post is a link up with Aubrey over at ALG, Uninterrupted.  I'd love to get my act together and post more frequently, but I am having issues with time management (I don't seem to have enough time to manage!)  Anywho...

What a quick week!  Monday is my official "weigh in" day and I lost a tiny little bit this week (8/10th of a pound).  I was a little disappointed because I am killing myself on the dreadmill.  I have kept up with getting 10,000 steps in (at least!) every day, so that means making sure I spend time with my frenemy every day.  I had really hoped that that dreadmill would help me out, but I seem to still be stuck (I am attributing the 8/10ths to wearing jeans to weigh in last week and having lighter pants on this week.  The scale has. not. moved. at. all.)  It's hard to be motivated when nothing seems to be happening :(

In looking at the positive...  I did have a NSV this week.  I finally had to retire my "official weigh in pants".  I have been wearing the same pants on Mondays to weigh in since I started this journey.  Two weeks ago, I was thinking they were getting a tad bit loose.  Being that I didn't wear them last week to weigh in, I didn't think too much of it until this Monday morning when I went to get dressed and there was no way I could wear them... they just looked silly (and I was concerned that one wrong move would send them crumpling to the floor!)  So, I dug into the back of my closet and I now have two pairs of pants the next size down that I can wear.  Yay!!  

Quick fitness update... As of last night, I have logged 57.2 out of 100 miles for this month so far!  I do love the challenge of it all.  It has definitely helped keep my activity level up and I feel like I'm on the right track (even though the scale isn't really cooperating right now!)

Goals for this week....
1) Keep on keeping on... Continue exercising on the dreadmill and logging those miles.  It has to be helping, right?
2) Mix it up a little in the food department.  It gets boring eating the same things over and over again.
3) Make good choices... More birthday parties = tough choices.  Stay strong!!
4) Keeping this in mind as we move into another week...

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Being Thankful

       I am not a fan of the "30 Days of Giving Thanks" posts that appear daily on my Facebook feed.  It's not that I am not thankful for things in my life or that I think others are not appreciative for the things they post, but I think the concept of reiterating the same things, year after year, has become a little worn out.  Every year I read through post after post of the "typical things"... family, friends, health, children, spouse, etc.  Then there are the funny things, the things that I shake my head in agreement and say, "Yup, I am thankful for these things too!"  You know what I'm talking about... coffee, blow dryers, wine, chocolate, nail polish, etc.

       This year, I've decided to change it up.  I AM thankful for the things in my life.  I have been abundantly blessed and consider myself very lucky to have been able to take advantage of the opportunities that have come my way.  Life may not be perfect, but I am more than okay.  For the month of November I have decided to pay it forward, literally.  Each week I am choosing a charity that reflects something I am thankful for.

       When I reflect on what I am thankful for, my mind always seems to drift to those who may not have the basic necessities in their lives.  At this time of the year, I think of people who depend on agencies to help them through the winter months ahead.  The holidays are coming, the weather is getting colder, and overall expenses seem to just keep going up.  Families, who maybe were "just making it", find themselves struggling. So, for my first charity, I donated to a food bank.  This was actually an easy choice.  November seems to be ALL. ABOUT. FOOD, so I think it was a good way to get into the spirit of giving :)

How about you?  What do you think of the idea of giving thanks in this way?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Fitness Friday Link Up

ALG Uninterrupted

It's been a long time since I've done a link up... but I have been inspired by Aubrey over at ALG.  I don't consider myself very tech savvy, but I'll give it a go.

So far this week, I have been REALLY motivated, without very much success on the scale.  Some weeks have just been like that.  When I weighed in on Monday, I had lost 2.6lbs (for a total of 17.2 since September).  The scale has been stuck. on. my. weigh-in. weight. all. week.  It's been frustrating, but I'm hoping that it will start to nudge down (even a little!) before I have to go face the "official" scale again after the weekend.  On the plus side....  

My fitness this week has been fabulous!  On Monday, I splurged and bought myself a Vivofit and I LOVE it!  I can be a total gadget girl and this makes my heart happy.  It's a watch, a pedometer, it totals miles, sets goals, AND tells me how many calories I've burned.  Woot! Woot!  I figured that I "needed" it to help track my progress in the 100 Mile Walk/Run Challenge that I decided to do.  I was a little afraid that I was being unrealistic (100 Miles?  In a month?  Seriously?), but now that I am just a few days in, I think it is totally doable.  I have increased doubled my dreadmill use and actually look forward to ticking off the miles every day.  It's just the motivation I need as we roll into the holiday season.

My plan for the upcoming week?
- Keep walking/running everyday, even if I can only fit in a short period of time.
- Keep tracking those points.  It's working.  Don't give up!
- Make good food choices.  I have some challenging days coming up... Two birthdays, lunch out with friends, and a work related dinner... I got this, right?
- Be nice to myself.  Celebrate the positive... 

25 miles down....75 more to go!!

Happy Friday! :)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

October? Where did it go??

Holy Moly... October is a blur!! We've been caught up in volleyball season. I have loved it, but I am relieved, on some levels, that it is over. Sadly, this is going to be a year of "lasts". Girlie is a senior, so Tuesday was her last game. Last Friday was Senior Night and I managed to not embarrass myself (I cry during sad commercials, so this was quite an accomplishment for me!) This Friday will be her last Homecoming Dance. "Soon" (as in, before we know it!), it will be June and she will be saying good-bye to High School. Amazing, just amazing. We still have Bubba, who is a freshman, to get through school, but it's different with the first. In less than a year, I am going to be the mom of a college student. I shudder to think that far ahead. Anywho...

It's been a while since I have posted. I finally stopped whining about my weight and kicked my butt back to Weight Watchers. So far, it's been the best decision I've made in a long time. I NEED the accountability. As I have said before, I have the tools and theoretically "know" what to do, but I have been uninspired and unmotivated to help myself. My official Weight Watchers start date was September 22nd. As of last Monday, I have lost 14.6lbs. Yay, Me!! I love the ease of the phone app where I can track points every day and the meetings keep me motivated as far as new food ideas and "wanting" to exercise. Nothing is more motivating than success. My clothes fit better and I feel better overall. I don't care if I lost half a pound or three pounds in a week...I am going in the right direction :)

So, what's my end goal? Hmmm...I'd like to lose about 26 more pounds. I *may* decide to do a fitness challenge this month (I know the month has already time like the present to start, right?) While surfing through some blogs, I came across a 100 mile challenge for November. Yeah? Maybe. I walk/jog about 2 miles on the dreadmill every other day. I don't wear a step tracker, but I could. At tomorrow's weigh in, I'm going to see what they have for activity monitors. If I ramp it up, maybe more every other day or increase the number of days, it may be doable. With the holidays coming, I'm going to need all the help I can get. We'll see! As we can all tell just through my blogging habits, commitment and follow through are not always a strength for me! I'll leave you now with some final words (this sums up how I feel on this cold and rainy Sunday afternoon)...