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Welcome to the second 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 two of the Spring Shed and week twelve 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)

Usually I do really well here, but with this week having been Sean’s Spring Break we ate out a lot and I didn’t try as hard to follow this.

B. Continue to practice portion control and count calories.

Likewise, I did not use my app and keep track as much because of our out of routine Spring Break Staycation meals and activities.

C. Limit my intake of sweets, soda, alcohol and other pelvic floor flare up triggers.

I did fairly well with this and did not experience a lot of flare ups.

2) Keeping Fit (Physically/Emotionally/Spiritually) & Shedding Weight

A. Get 7 – 8 hours of sleep every night

I did this 5 out of 7 nights. But I really need to aim for 7 out of 7, as less than 7 hours just isn’t enough sleep for me.

B. Drink enough water

I did well with this overall.

C. Exercise 5 – 7 days each week

I exercised 6 of our 7 days this week, which I am proud of. I did not do any formal exercise last Friday. On Saturday I participated in a great “Workout to Wipeout Domestic Violence class at Beverly Bodyworks benefitting A New Direction Beverly/Morgan Park. On Sunday I ran 3.1 miles by myself in our neighborhood. Monday I powered walked while Sean was at his Tae Kwon Do class. On Tuesday and Thursday mornings, while Abby was at preschool, Sean and I ran 3.1 miles together in our neighborhood. On Wednesday I powered walked with my Mom in Evanston.

D. Train for a few Spring 5K races

I ran 5K three time this week! This was good preparation for the race I am participating in tomorrow morning, March 4 Meg benefitting an endowment being set up in honor and memory of a neighborhood friend’s cousin, Meg Moonan, who died on melanoma skin cancer one year ago on March 30th.

E. Shed 1 – 2 lbs. per week

I actually gained 0.5 lbs. this week, for a total loss of 6.5 lbs. in 12 weeks (since Friday, December 28, 2012).

I am 7 lbs. above where I had hoped/intended to be today, which was my original goal for getting where I want to be on the scale. 🙁

That doesn’t tell the whole story though, as on Saturday, I was down another 1 lb. from Friday, which is the lowest I have been in about 2 years! 🙂 I was so excited, but then with all of the meals out at restaurants and on the go during Sean’s Spring Break I struggled to watch what I ate and control my portions. That’s okay though, as I really enjoyed time together and know I can and will get back on track in the week to come.

F. Meditate & pray daily

I practiced my meditation every day this week as part of Oprah and Deepak’s 21-Day Meditation challenge. There are only a few more days in the challenge and then I will need to find another way to incorporate meditation regularly into my life. As for prayer, with this being Holy Week in our Catholic Church around the world, I was more focused than usual on prayer, especially in conjunction with Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday and Good Fridays services.

3) Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy
A.  Go to my physical therapy sessions as scheduled

I did not have physical therapy this week, which was a nice break after almost 12 weeks straight.

B. Watch my dietary triggers

I did fairly well with this, which I think contributed to minimal muscle spasms/flare ups.

C. Do my “homework” (i.e. PT exercises, stretches and such)

I did a bit better with the stretches, but there are other “assignments” which I totally bombed. I have to do better with this in the week to come, if I want to continue to make significant progress.

4) Housekeeping
A. Basics Daily (dishes, laundry & straightening)

I did better with this, this week, in part because we were on the go so much, there wasn’t as much to keep up with.

B. Weekly Cleaning (dusting, sweeping, scrubbing & mopping)

On Saturday we knew we were having some friends over that night and that our house really needed to be straightened and cleaned. So Bob and I worked together to get the first floor of our home in great condition. We have a system where we start at one end of the house and work our way to the opposite end. I straighten, put away things and organize and then Bob follows me and cleans, dust, etc. It works well and from then on we do our best to keep the rooms that way for as long as we can.

C. Organizing & Purging (sorting, filing, selling &/or donating)

See 4B, I didn’t do a lot of purging, but a good amount of organizing last weekend.

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).

A highlight this week was a double date with some friends on Saturday night. We went out to a nice local restaurant, followed by seeing an awesome musical biography called “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill” at our local Beverly Arts Center. Afterwards our friends came back to our house to watch some of the NCAA Tournament second round games. Bob and I really enjoyed watching March Madness together.

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.

We had a lot of fun this week celebrating his Spring Break from school with a “staycation!” We did everything from seeing the movie “The Croods” with Abby, to visiting my parents and going to the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian in Evanston, painting ceramics at Joliet Pottery Lounge and playing at a local park with friends. We enjoyed many meals and special treats out at restaurants with family and friends, including dinner one night at the Rain Forest Cafe in downtown Chicago (which was our kids first time there). I also really enjoyed Sean and my first two 5K training runs together this week. We got them in while Abby was at preschool, which was nice to have that quality time together.

C. Abby: Spending quality time and have fun together when she is not at preschool, playdates or other activities.

It was not Abby’s Spring Break this week, but since she only attends preschool a few mornings a week, we planned most of our activities around her preschool schedule so she could participate.

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.

I still intend to share about this more in a separate post, but I am helping to plan and organize a team to run/walk in a local 5K race that will benefit the local hospital where all of our children were born and where Molly died. I am doing this in part to honor the five year anniversary of Molly’s birth and death next month on April 17th.

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.

We enjoyed spending time with my parents when we visited them in Evanston one day this week. Abby and I also had a wonderful time attending a baby shower for an extended family member on Sunday. We are so happy for the expecting parents and can’t wait to meet their new addition!

E. Friends: Keep in touch, check in and show them I care. Get together when possible to spend quality time and have fun together.

As I mentioned above in 5A, Bob and I enjoyed a fun double date with friends on Saturday night. We also got together with other friends throughout the week during Sean’s spring break, which was nice.

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.

As I mentioned in 2F, with it being Holy Week in the Catholic church, my family and I spent more time than a typical week at our church. I always enjoy participating in Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday and Good Friday (or Stations of the Cross) masses and this week was no different. Holy Week always helps me to feel more connected to my faith as we revisit Jesus’s final days on this Earth. I also taught RE on Sunday. I look forward to the culmination of it all this Sunday, when we celebrate Easter!

6) Writing & Reading
A. My Blog: Aim to write at least two – three posts each week.

I shared three blog posts this week.

The first was for Lori Lavender Luz’s Perfect Moment Mondays, called After All.

The second was a post that I wrote about my experience opening my mind and heart to marriage equality being a civil right. It is something I have wanted to write about for a while now, the process of how I changed my perspective on this issue. I woke up Tuesday morning aware of what a hot topic it was in our country, with related cases going before the SOCTUS. I decided that was as good a day as any to do it.

My post called On Marriage Equality became one of the most read and shared blog entries I have ever posted here. I was moved and humbled by how it seemed to touch others, especially my friends who are gay and lesbian. I chose to cross-post it on BlogHer which led to it being featured there on Wednesday. They renamed it How I Changed My Mind About Marriage Equality. I have been overwhelmed (in a wonderful way) by the response to my post here and on BlogHer and am grateful to everyone who has shared it with others, participated in the conversation in one or both comment sections, as well as on Facebook.

Yesterday I also shared my monthly round-up of my weekly Today Voice posts, Thursday’s Voice: March.

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 39, I wrote about how I learned what it meant to be a woman.

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 didn’t do much for this one, other than some prescheduled posts which I uploaded went live throughout the week.

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 much in this category this week and have not heard anything from the place where I sent a job application last week. I finally called and left a voicemail this afternoon, saying that I was wanted to confirm that they received it.

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 finishing reading The Sound of Hope by Anne Bauer for Lori Lavender Luz’s upcoming book tour next week. I have been so busy I haven’t opened this week’s Us magazine. Beyond that I have read some articles online about marriage equality and  a few that were written the day after my college’s basketball team lost in the NCAA tourney, which involved a questionable call benefitting the other team towards the end of the game.

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.

Overall I kept with return commenting this week. I commented on all of the Perfect Moment Monday posts that had linked up the last time I checked, which was mid-week. I still need to catch up on some return comments from my On Marriage Equality post, though I did reply in the comment section (and email directly my replies) to all of them.

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.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 marwil April 1, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Just joined you 🙂 and looking forward to see how doing so can help. You have got some great goals and focus going on. I have heard that weight can really fluctuate with a kg or so depending on when you weigh yourself during the day. So don’t be too hard on yourself. This is an area that I will be tackling the coming weeks as well.
marwil recently posted..AccountabilityMy Profile


2 lostintranslation April 3, 2013 at 2:57 pm

Oh… I’m so sorry for commenting so late and completely failing to join you in the first two weeks of the Spring Shed!! This wasn’t planned at all! I was away the second half of last week but had planned to schedule a combined week 1/2 post, but somehow I didn’t manage to do that. Then when I came back I was so sleep deprived that I needed a few days to recuperate. I fully intend to write a Spring Shed week 3 post though and include a recap of week 1 & 2.

I’m in awe of all the things you have on your list! It’s funny – as you will see Friday I decided to make my Spring Shed list a lot simpler, while you extended your winter shed list.

2A: I know how important this is! From Wednesday-Sunday I got a max of 4 hours of sleep a night and I’m amazed I could still function, because it felt like I was stuck in an eternal jetlag or something!

3C: I can totally relate! Here in France you get 8 pelvic floor and abdominal physical therapy sessions covered by state insurance after childbirth (another topic for a Cultural Differences post) and I never got around to doing the exercises at home. The therapist advised doing them first thing when you wake up. To which I replied “do you know how I’m woken up in the morning – having a newborn and a toddler…?!”

6A and 6F: you’re doing great! I’m behind in both writing (I was supposed to get another Cultural Differences post up this week!) and commenting (mainly because I read many blogs on my phone/ipad and I find commenting cumbersome that way, and then afterwards I forget + of course I couldn’t think of anything intelligent to say being so sleep deprived…).

Looking forward to linking up with you again on Friday!
lostintranslation recently posted..Perfect Moment Monday: on the bikeMy Profile


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