Welcome to 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 are moving 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!
You are welcome to join us whether you previously participated in the Winter Shed this year or not. For those who want to continue on, feel free to take a look at your goals for this Winter/New Year and adjust them as you want or feel the need to, in effort to better represent where you want your focus to be during this next season.
For anyone new, who might want to join us for this round/season, by all means, please do! I have really enjoyed the connections I have made and the accountability it has brought me through shedding during this Winter Season at the start of this New Year.
These are the three areas that I tried to focus on during the Winter Shed and a report on how I did with them:
1) Keeping Fit & Shedding Weight
In December 2012 I was determined to try to lose the last 5-10 lbs. of my postpartum/IVF weight to get back where I was around 2006. When I made that resolution I was 5-8 lbs. from my goal weight, but in pretty good shape from regular exercise. When we began the Winter Shed I was about 10-12 lbs. from where I want to be AND had managed to let regular exercise become less of a priority than it had been in recent years. Not exercising consistently over the past few months had led to weight gain and more stress, as running, group fitness and practicing yoga typically helps me to keep both in check.
I was determined to get back on track.
I am pleased and proud to report that overall I have gotten back on track and as of Friday, March 15 (Week Ten and the last week of the Winter Shed) I have lost 7 lbs. since Friday, December 28th! Shedding 7 lbs. in ten weeks works for me!
I also have done well with trying to eat healthy, eat smaller portions and count calories, as well as regular and consistent exercise. Finally, I am done with my first twelve weeks of pelvic floor physical therapy and have seen positive results!
As I said when I set this goal at the end of December,
I won’t bore you with my excuses, some of which are valid and others, not so much. The bottom line is that I have not been doing enough as often as it is needed.
I can and will do better.
Unfortunately I have not done a whole lot better with this one. I have made some progress, but not enough. This is one of the goals that for the Spring Shed I have set very specific objectives, which I hope will motivate me to “just do it!”
3) Balance & Harmony
This what I wrote for this one in December 2012,
I want to strive to not let any one area in my life out weigh the other priorities. I want to be a good, even better, woman, wife, mother, writer and group fitness instructor. I know that it is possible for me to do all these thing well, but I don’t have to attempt to do each them perfectly, which often trips me up when I am trying find that “harmony” as Brooke from Redhead Reverie wrote about in her “My One Word” post this week.
wantneed to find balance and harmony in my life.
I feel pretty good about how I did with this one, though it is hard to quantify. I just returned from a Hearts at Home conferences for moms the weekend of March 15 – 16, with a theme of “no more perfect moms.” The message really resonated with me and I learned a lot at the various sessiosn I attended geared towards helping me to be a better mom, wife, family member, friend, Christian, etc. This is another area that I chose to spell out a bit more for the Spring Shed.
For the Spring Shed I am adapting my focus some, including being more specific about my goals and objectives, as well as separating some of them out into their own categories. This week’s report, on how I did during week one of the Spring Shed and week eleven in 2013, includes my adapted goals and objectives:
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 feel I did well with this, even when I was out-of-town at the Hearts at Home moms conference over the weekend and at our MOPS meeting this week where there was plenty of temptation to eat less healthy and larger portions.
B. Continue to practice portion control and count calories.
I also did well with this overall this week.
C. Limit my intake of sweets, soda, alcohol and other pelvic floor flare up triggers.
This being the first full week during which I was allowed to start reintroducing a lot of the foods and beverages that I have not been consuming to try to minimize my pelvic floor muscle spasms flare ups, I enjoyed experimenting to find out which things seems to trigger flare ups. In the end it may be that I will choose to eat or drink something understanding that it may lead to a muscle spasm and thus some discomfort, but knowing it is not a UTI and won’t last long, I can make that call.
2) Keeping Fit (Physically/Emotionally/Spiritually) & Shedding Weight
A. Get 7 – 8 hours of sleep every night
I need to work on this. There were at least three nights over the past week when I got less than 6 hours of sleep and that just isn’t enough for me.
B. Drink enough water
I usually do really well with this, but a few days this week I didn’t prioritize drinking water, which can lead to me getting headaches and also contributes to pelvic floor flare ups and constipation, which also affect my muscle spasms.
C. Exercise 5 – 7 days each week
I did a lot of walking at the Hearts at Home conference for moms held at the Illinois State University campus in Bloomington, IL on Friday and Saturday. I didn’t do any formal exercise on Sunday. On Monday my Mom and I powered walked for about an hour. On Tuesday I was active, but didn’t get any formal exercise. On Wednesday I taught my Dance `n Sculpt group fitness class at Beverly Bodyworks in the morning and went over to a friend’s house in the evening and we practiced yoga together. I had never done yoga like that with a friend before and it was a cool experience. Thursday was another active day, but I did not do any formal exercise.
D. Train for a few Spring 5K races
I did not run at all this week… 🙁
E. Shed 1 – 2 lbs. per week
I held steady this week, for a total loss of 7 lbs. in 11 weeks (since Friday, December 28, 2012).
F. Meditate & pray daily
I practiced my meditation every day this week as part of Oprah and Deepak’s 21-Day Meditation challenge. I tend to pray on the go, but would like to spend more focused time in prayer, possibly on the front or back-end of my meditation practice.
3) Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy
A. Go to my physical therapy sessions as scheduled
B. Watch my dietary triggers
As I mentioned earlier, this week I was experimenting a bit with reintroducing some things. So I probably had more flare ups as a result, but was able to test which things seem to be problematic.
C. Do my “homework” (i.e. PT exercises, stretches and such)
This is the area I struggle the most with my PT and is also very important. I added this objective to remind me and help me feel more accountable for doing my “homework.” Though I did some of what I am supposed to at home this week, I could have done a lot more, as well as more consistently.
A. Basics Daily (dishes, laundry & straightening)
I did well with this, this week and a lot better than I have in a while.
B. Weekly Cleaning (dusting, sweeping, scrubbing & mopping)
I did very little in this category and intend to improve next week.
C. Organizing & Purging (sorting, filing, selling &/or donating)
Sold some of my maternity clothes in our local buy/sell Facebook group.
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).
It was another busy week for our family and though Bob and I did not get a lot of time alone together, we did enjoy the time we had catching up with some of our favorite TV shows on our DVR and hanging out at home.
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.
Since I was out-of-town this weekend at the Hearts at Home conference, Sean got to spend more quality time with his daddy/Bob, which was nice for both of them. One highlight this week was watching the exciting end of one of the opening round games of the NCAA basketball tournament with Sean on Thursday afternoon. We both have brackets in a family pool and had picked different teams to win the game. It was fun to cheer for the teams we each picked and to see how it came down to a buzzer beater, leading to Sean’s team winning!
C. Abby: Spending quality time and have fun together when she is not at preschool, playdates or other activities.
Abby also got to spend more quality time with her daddy/Bob, when I was at the Hearts at Home conference. A highlight of spending time with Abby this week was on Thursday when I got to chaperone her first preschool field trip, including her first ride on a school bus. She was so excited about the whole experience and we a lot of fun together and with one of her classmates that I was also responsible for on the field trip. As we walked out of preschool Thursday morning and approached the school bus, Abby looked up at it for the first time and said, “It’s beautiful!”
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.
The fifth anniversary of Molly’s birth and death is coming up on April 17th. Every year we try to do something special as a family to honor her life and memory. So we are making plans for that day, which Sean happens to have off of school and Bob is taking off of work. Also, being the fifth year milestone, we are also planning something else special to do in her honor and memory that I will share more about here soon.
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.
I had a great time with my sister Meg at the Hearts at Home conference, from road tripping there, to attending sessions together and sharing a hotel room. I also enjoyed our weekly visit with my parents. Bob and the kids also enjoyed getting to spend time with some of our extended family at a party while I was at the conference.
E. Friends: Keep in touch, check in and show them I care. Get together when possible to spend quality time and have fun together.
I enjoyed meeting up with some of my friends from MOPS at the Hearts at Home conference this weekend, as well as practicing yoga at a friend’s house one night this week. I had a great time catching up with my MOPS friends at our meeting on Thursday evening, including getting to meet one of my friend’s newborn babies. I am also grateful for Facebook which helps me to feel more connected to a lot of my friends who I may not get to see or talk with very often.
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 C0-Spiritual Director for the Women’s CRHP retreat program at our parish.
The Hearts at Home conference did wonders for my heart and soul this weekend, re-engerizing me and my faith! I taught second grade religious education on Sunday morning and also enjoyed the MOPS meeting I attended this week on Thursday evening.
6) Writing & Reading
A. My Blog: Aim to write at least two – three posts each week.
After being prolific here last week with five posts, this week I needed to focus on and catch up with other things. So I did not share anything new here since my Winter Shed: Week Ten post last Friday.
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 38, I wrote about the last time I was nervous.
C. Exhale Literary Magazine: 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 uploaded, formated and scheduled a bunch of posts to finish out our Fall/Winter 2012 issue, as well as some Still Standing Poetry Sunday submissions.
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 actually applied for a very part-time job this week, which was an interesting experience, as I haven’t done that in over ten years! I will share more about it here if and when I know how things go, but just updating my résumé after all these years was fun and interesting. Please send your positive thoughts and prayers my way as I wait to hear if I get an interview.
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 am currently reading The Sound of Hope by Anne Bauer for Lori Lavender Luz’s upcoming book tour. I also continue to enjoy the weekly subscription to Us magazine (total guilty pleasure) that my parents got me for Christmas last year. Finally, I have been reading a lot of articles with different perspectives on our new Pope Francis.
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 am doing really well with returning comments. If someone comments on a post on my blog, I always try to click-through and comment on a post on their blog, typically the one they choose to link up via Comment Luv. I could do better with this and intend to in the coming weeks.
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.