Welcome to the ninth check-in for the Spring Shed!
Here is the back story about this support group/blog hop for those trying to be accountable for the positive changes we are making in our lives in 2013. After ten weeks of doing the Winter Shed, we moved on to this Spring Shed. Whether you are trying to shed weight, find more balance or let go of something else that is dragging you down in this second season of the New Year… We can do this — together!
Now to report on how I did during week nine of the Spring Shed and week nineteen in 2013:
1) Healthy Eating
A. Try to follow the U.S. government’s “Eat My Plate” recommendations (with emphasis on 3 servings of veggies & 2 fruit)
I did well with this, but still need to work on a third veggie serving most days and sometimes a second fruit serving.
B. Continue to practice portion control and count calories.
I did very well with this.
C. Limit my intake of sweets, soda, alcohol and other pelvic floor flare up triggers.
Again, I did well with this and experienced very few food related flare ups.
2) Keeping Fit (Physically/Emotionally/Spiritually) & Shedding Weight
A. Get 7 – 8 hours of sleep every night
I could have done better with this, this week, there were at least two night that I stayed up past 1:00 a.m.
B. Drink enough water
I did well with this.
C. Exercise 5 – 7 days each week
I exercised 6 out of 7 days this week. Last Friday I didn’t do any formal exercise, but it was a very active day (including grocery shopping and bowling). On Saturday Sean and I ran 5K in our neighborhood, I also did a good amount of walking and some toning/stretching. On Sunday/Mother’s Day my family and I participated in the Beverly Breast Cancer Walk, which is a 3 mile walk through our neighborhood. On Monday I got up early and walked with some neighborhood friends and the later in the day also walked with my mom. On Tuesday I ran 5K in our neighborhood, while pushing Abby in her jogging stroller, on the hottest day we have had this year, so we were slow going. On Wednesday I taught Step `n Sculpt at Beverly Bodyworks. On Thursday I ran 5K in our neighborhood, walked and did some toning/stretching.
D. Train for a few Spring 5K races
I ran 5K/3.1 miles three times this week, including one run with Sean and one pushing Abby in the stroller. Our neighborhood’s annual Memorial Day Ridge Run 5K is only 10 days away! Sean and I are getting excited for his second and my
E. Shed 1 – 2 lbs. per week
I lost 1 lb. this week, for a total loss 9.5 lbs. in 19 weeks (since Friday, December 28, 2012).
As of Wednesday, I was actually down 1.5 lbs. for a total loss of 10 lbs. since December, which was a big milestone for me! I was 0.5 lbs. from what I weighed in early 2007 before we began our first of four ART cycles! I am almost there! I did bounce back up 0.5 lbs. since Wednesday, but am pleased to have gotten there, if only for a day so far!
F. Meditate & pray daily
Again I did not formally meditate much, but I did focus on my breathing some when I was stressed and I did pray a lot.
3) Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy (& Other Health Issues)
A. Go to my physical therapy sessions (&/or other doctor appointments) as scheduled
I had a good PT session this week. Things are going so well that we may soon switch to every other week or even once a month!
I also met with an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist to have him evaluate why I might be having nausea and dizzy spells (possibly vertigo). It went well and over all he and the audiologist who checked me out didn’t find anything wrong. He wants to me to keep a diary of when I feel nauseous or dizzy and note if there is anything I ate or did that could have contributed, such a not enough sleep the night before (which I definitely struggle with at times). He said that he thinks my issues may be connected to my allergies, law jaw issues (I have a bit of) and intake of sodium and caffeine (which he said can exacerbate the problem). He changed my allergy medicine from a 24 hour generic Zyrtec (daily in the morning) to a 24 hour generic Allegra (daily in the evening) and added a saline nasal spray. He mentioned that gum chewing (which I do a lot) can contribute to lock-jaw issues and if I grind my teeth at night (which Bob says I don’t) I could ask my dentist for a mouth guard. I will be watching my sodium and caffeine intake, but I don’t have that much to begin with. Finally, he doesn’t expect them to find anything, but is sending me for a baseline MRI next week, just in case. So that will be a first for me and I am trying to keep calm and not worry too much about the experience.
B. Watch my dietary triggers
I did well with this.
C. Do my “homework” (i.e. PT exercises, stretches and such and now also keeping track of what could be contributing to vertigo issues)
I did okay with this, but not great.
A. Basics Daily (dishes, laundry & straightening)
I did well with this.
B. Weekly Cleaning (dusting, sweeping, scrubbing & mopping)
I didn’t do much here this week.
C. Organizing & Purging (sorting, filing, selling &/or donating)
I did well with this.
5) Family & Faith Focus
A. Bob: Hanging out together with my husband at home, on date nights and spending quality time and have fun together with our family (including family meals, game nights, movie nights, day trips and vacations).
On Saturday evening Bob and I watched the movie 50/50 together, which we have both wanted to see for a while and really enjoyed. As you may know, it is a comedy about cancer, but also really makes you think about life and relationships, especially how they can be tested when faced with serious illnesses and other unexpected game-changing experiences.
Bob, Sean and Abby participated in the Beverly Breast Cancer Walk again this year on Mother’s Day with me, which was awesome. Then we went to church and Bob made a delicious brunch for us at our home, preceded by donuts as appetizers from our local Beverly Bakery (which are some of my many simple pleasures in life).
For Mother’s Day Bob and the kids got me the Sliver Linings Playbook DVD, which I have really wanted to see! We tried to watch it together on Sunday evening, but I fell a sleep (not because it wasn’t good, I was just really tired from getting up early and walking a lot)! So we hope to give it another go this weekend! They also got me a new clock radio that charges/is compatible with my iPhone 5.
We also had family dinners almost every night, which was really nice!
B. Sean: Spending quality time and have fun together when he not in school, activities or doing homework. Helping him to learn to manage his time well, take care of his belongings and keep his room and the basement play area clean and organized.
One highlight from this week was attending a Mother/Son bowling night hosted by the PTA at Sean’s elementary school on Friday evening. I really enjoyed spending time with Sean and some of his classmates’ moms. Sean also made me a creative homemade card/gift for Mother’s Day which was sweet.
Other memorable moments include Sean reading to me the third Harry Potter book as we drive around town. He is frustrated with me that I haven’t read all of the books in the series, like he has, and suggested he do this to help me catch up! Sometimes he even reads in a British accent with is cute/fun!
C. Abby: Spending quality time and have fun together when she is not at preschool, playdates or other activities.
Abby colored some pictures for me for Mother’s Day and made a beautiful hand painted pot for a plant at preschool that has a butterfly on it made out of her handprints and a flower made with her thumbprints. I also realized/was reminded that Abby likes to “help me” a lot around the house, whether it be sorting laundry or making things in the kitchen. This was a good reminder that I don’t have to wait until she is sleeping or busy to clean and organize, when she can do it with me or play near by.
Abby is getting ready for her first dance show and it is fun to watch her practices and dress rehearsals gearing up for the big recital in early June!
D. Molly & Babies Benson: Honoring their lives and memories, as well as trying to minister to other bereaved families and friends who have lost loved ones.
It meant a lot to me to visit the cemetery where Molly is buried on Mother’s Day.
I also continue to work on my project in honor and memory of Molly’s 5th Heavenly Birthday this year. If you haven’t already read my Team Caring Connection post, click here to check it out and maybe even make a donation. I am pleased to share that Team Caring Connection has raised over $2,100 for Advocate Children’s Hospital (including their Bereavement Program) and our local Ronald McDonald House and hope to raise more between now and the Running for Hope 5K Run/Walk that we are participating in on Sunday, June 2nd.
D. Extended Family: Appreciate the roles they play in my family and my life, be patient with the areas in which we don’t always see eye to eye and prioritize spending quality time and having fun together when possible.
It was wonderful to have our Axe family join us for the Beverly Breast Cancer Walk, church and brunch on Mother’s Day. Later that day we got to spend time and celebrate with Bob’s parents, which was nice and including ordering-in my current favorite kind of local pizza, Deep Dish Sausage from Palermo’s in Oak Lawn, for dinner.
E. Friends: Keep in touch, check in and show them I care. Get together when possible to spend quality time and have fun together.
On Friday afternoon Bob, Abby and I returned to the Catholic Theological Union (CTU) Graduate School of Theology and Ministry, where I last worked 10 years ago, before becoming a SAHM, to celebrate retiring President Fr. Don Senior’s 23 years of service. It was awesome to see Fr. Don and so many former colleagues. I also got to meet the current Director of The Peacebuilders Initiative and his family, which was the position I held when I worked there. At the luncheon they even unveiled the new “Fr. Donald Senior, CP, Honorary Way” at the intersection of 54th and Cornell in Hyde Park!
On Saturday afternoon we attended the First Communion Party for a good friend and his family. We have known him since he was born and it was an honor and a lot of fun to celebrate this milestone with his family and friends.
F. Faith Community (Parish, RE, MOPS & CRHP): Stay actively involved in our parish church community. Fulfill my responsibilities and enjoy the last two months of my involvement with the second grade religious education program, as a catechist, and the MOPS group I am a part of, before I transition out of both to focus more of my time and energy as Co-Spiritual Director for the Women’s CRHP retreat program at our parish.
On Monday evening our Women’s CRHP retreat team met for our Evening of Discernment to determine what roles each person will have on our retreat, including many of us giving witnesses (in which we talk about our lives and faith journeys). It was a prayerful and interesting experience to be a part of for the second time. I look forward to this next stage of the formation process with this wonderful and spiritual group of women.
6) Writing & Reading
A. My Blog: Aim to write at least two – three posts each week.
I shared four blog entries this week! I wasn’t planning to write that much, but sometimes I just roll with it when I am inspired.
On Saturday evening I wrote and shared this brief post with a nostalgic photo of my mom, sister and me when I was about the age that my daughter Abby is now: Celebrating and Remembering this Mother’s Day.
On Tuesday (the second of this month) I did the Time Warp by myself. I had considered taking a break after this month, but had the idea/inspiration to revisit someone else’s post, instead one of mine this time around, and felt that it would breath new life into this monthly blog hop/writing exercise to offer this alternative to reflect on going forward. I thought I had chosen a topic that would resonate with many, but for whatever reasons no one chose to participate this month, though Lori from LavenderLuz.com did link up one of her old blog entries that related to the topic of Cancer. I am also grateful for those who commented on my post, even if they didn’t choose to do their own. Here is what I wrote and shared: Time Warp Tuesday: Cancer
On Wednesday I wrote and shared this: A (belated) Special and Inclusive Mother’s Day Blessing about how I wish more parents got to hear the kind of special and inclusive blessing that we did at our church this past Sunday.
Yesterday (on Thursday), I wrote and shared this: A Dream Come True! about how excited I am to have the shirts that we had made for Team Caring Connection and what a moving experience it was for me to organize and sort them for our team members to wear on race day!
B. The Today Voice: Fulfill my weekly writing responsibilities through the end of June, which I have committed to and enjoy the process of writing about the weekly prompts.
This week, week 46, I shared about a few of my insecurities.
C. Exhale: Continue to serve as a Contributing Editor helping when I can with the publishing our website, as well as also writing reviews and/or essays each season.
I did not do anything with Exhale this week. But our call for submissions is open for our next issue:
Physical. Emotional. Mental. What Scars and Marks have you been left with during your journey through loss and infertility? Exhale is accepting submissions of short fiction, essay, poetry, art & photography for our new issue, “Scars and Marks,” which will begin posting at the end of this month. As always, we are also accepting poetry submissions for Still Standing’s Poetry Sundays, and book/movie/play etc. reviews. Email submissions to exhalesubmissions(at)gmail(dot)com
If this topic resonates with you, I encourage you to consider writing and submitting something for our Spring Issue.
D. Special Projects (First draft of my book & other freelance writing): Aim for 15 minutes a day, as when I have done that in the past I have been amazed at the incremental progress I am able to make.
I did not do anything in this category this week.
E. Read (books, blogs, magazines & other online news/articles of interest): This always seems to be at the bottom of my list of priorities, but is something I get so much out of when I find/make time to do.
I did not read anything but blogs and US magazines this week. Though Sean did read a bit to me, as I shared earlier. I look forward to starting Melissa Ford’s new novel Measure of Love (the sequel to Life from Scratch) in the week to come, followed by discussing it with Mel’s new GRAB(ook) Club.
F. Comment on others’ blogs: Prioritize this, with emphasis on return comments and then trying to check in and keep up with other blogs that I follow.
I did okay with this.
As I shared in the intro to my Winter Shed Series…
When I reflect on what has helped me to shed weight, get/stay in shape in the past, prioritize housekeeping tasks and find more balance in my life, accountability is huge! I have kept myself accountable various ways in the past, but this time I am finding doing so publicly here on my blog have been effective.
Once a week, on Fridays, from now until at least mid-June/Summer, I will continue to check in and share how my week has gone in the key areas I am working on. My hope and intention is that knowing I have this self-imposed report card to file will continue to motivate me to stay focused on my goals.
For those who want to join me in this “Spring Shed,” I will add a Linky Tool to my weekly Friday posts and you are welcome to link up to your Spring Shed blog entries, and/or you can comment here on how you are doing from week to week, so we can support and encourage each other, as well as share what works and what doesn’t for each of us when it comes to striving towards our goals.
Please join me and we can cheer each other on as we kick off the second season of 2013 strong (and stay the course long past February 16th)!
We can do this — TOGETHER!
You are welcome to grab the code for the Spring Shed button by clicking here and put it on your blog. The link will take you to a Google Doc where you can copy the code. If your browser does not allow access to your computer’s clipboard, you can use Ctrl-C for Copy and Ctrl-V for Paste, or use your browser’s Edit menu.