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Welcome to the sixth 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 six of the Spring Shed and week sixteen 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 could have had more servings of veggies and fruit this week.

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 did fairly well with this. I think I got less than 7 – 8 hours of sleep only one or two nights.

B. Drink enough water

I did pretty well with this, but I could have been better. When I am very busy sometimes I forget to drink as much as I intend to.

C. Exercise 5 – 7 days each week

I exercised 6 out of 7 days this week. The only day I did not to any formal exercise was last Friday. On Saturday I did Jillian Michael’s Ripped in 30 DVD – Week 2 Routine. Sunday my family and I went for a neighborhood bike ride. Monday I powered walked with my mom. Tuesday I ran a neighborhood 5K route “for Boston.” Wednesday I taught Dance `n Sculpt at Beverly Bodyworks. Yesterday/Thursday I walked to/from Abby’s preschool while pushing her in the stroller. I am very pleased to have exercised so much/consistently this week. I know how great it is for my mind and body.

D. Train for a few Spring 5K races

I ran 5K/3.1 miles only one this week. It was one of the best/fastest runs I have done in a while. It was especially meaningful because I dedicated it to everyone in Boston and who has been touched by the tragedy there in recent weeks.

E. Shed 1 – 2 lbs. per week

I lost 0.5 lbs. this week, for a total loss 8.5 lbs. in 16 weeks (since Friday, December 28, 2012).

Early on this week I was down 1 lb. from last Friday, but then went up a bit again. I am encouraged to be making slow and steady progress.

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

A.  Go to my physical therapy sessions as scheduled

I had a good PT session this week and got more homework/new exercises to try. I was having trouble keeping up with the homework I had already, so have not been doing a great job with the additional exercises.

B. Watch my dietary triggers

I did well with this.

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

I did significantly better with this, this week, before new exercise were added. Since then I have done little to none. So I need to try to do what I can and not get so overwhelmed by the options.

4) Housekeeping

A. Basics Daily (dishes, laundry & straightening)

I did well with this.

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

I didn’t do much in this category this week.

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

I rocked this, spending a lot of time transitioning my children’s clothing, as they are both moving up a size and so I am working packing away their clothes that are too small to lend to their younger/smaller cousins and unpacking some of the hand me downs and/or things I bought ahead on sale that I have for them in their new sizes.

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).

Recently Bob was given a well-deserved promotion at work! This has kept him even busier, but at least he feels validated and appreciated for the wonderful work that he does. We got to spend some quality time together this past weekend, which was nice, as well as a few weeknights. We are slowly catching up on the backlog of shows we enjoying watching together on our DVR.

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.

Parenting a nine-year old boy/our son can be very challenging and this was definitely a week in which that proved to be true. There were some highlights, which included helping him to practice performing his oratorical declamation “People Will Come” from the movie Field of Dreams for his classroom speech competition this week. Even though he was not one of the three students chosen from his class for the school-wide competition, as in past years, we think he did a fabulous job as Terrance Mann, in the role James Earl Jones made famous. On Saturday night Bob and I introduced Sean to the movie Field of Dreams, in part to inspire him for his speech, which he and we really enjoyed. It had been awhile since I had seen that movie and remember now why I love it so much.

Another highlight included attending Art Night at Sean’s school and seeing some of his art work/creativity on display. Finally, we had one of our nieces and nephews staying with us overnight this weekend. These cousins are younger than Sean and he seemed to have fun playing with them and Abby, as well as serving as a bit of a parents’ helper/babysitter-in-training at times, helping Bob and I to care for his cousins.

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

Abby loved having her cousins here this weekend and getting so much quality time with our family. She also continues to thrive in preschool, at her sports class and in her dance class. A highlight for me with Abby this week was some reading we did together. I also appreciate how she likes to do pretend play and enjoy entering “her world” and playing along at times.

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 continue to work on my project in honor and memory of Molly’s 5th Heavenly Birthday this month. If you haven’t already read my Team Caring Connection post, click here to check it out. I am pleased to share that the t-shirts we are having made in honor and memory of our babies (with their names listed on the back) now represent 38 families and over 50 babies. I am placing the t-shirt order this weekend and we are ordering about 100 shirts, which is pretty amazing to me. The fundraising component of the project is also going well and I am moved by the generosity of our family and friends who have donated in Molly’s honor and memory.

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.

As I shared earlier, we had one of our nieces and one of our nephews in our care this weekend. It was challenging at times caring for four children at once, three of whom are young and require a lot of time and attention, but it was also a lot of fun to be with them all together and a learning experience for the future when we watch them (understanding what works and what doesn’t). We also enjoyed  getting to see and spend time with my parents who are retired and visit us weekly.

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

It was a busy week and so I didn’t get many opportunities to connect with friends, except for in passing/on the go. But I did enjoy the conversations I did have with friends when I saw or talked with them on the phone briefly.

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 night my friend and CRHP Co-Spiritual Director and I led our second team formation meeting. We continued the process of “History Giving and Faith Sharing” with our team and felt the meeting went well. I shared my story/faith journey with our team at the meeting, which was a positive experience. One of the priests also joined us for part of the time, which was nice. At one point we discussed what happened in Boston the prior week and how many of us were struggling with the tragedy. It helped to have his input and theological perspective on the events which have taken place.

6) Writing & Reading

A. My Blog: Aim to write at least two – three posts each week.

I shared three blog posts this week:

On Monday I wrote a National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) post about how those dealing with Secondary Infertility often do not receive enough support from their loved ones. If someone you care about is struggling to have another child, please read this and/or share it with them: NIAW: Join the Movement to Support those Dealing with Secondary Infertility.

On Wednesday I launched a new series on my blog called “Secondary Infertility Stories,” shining light on families who have had difficulty trying to expand their families. If someone you care about is struggling to have another child, this is another resource you may want to read and/or share with them: Secondary Infertility: Just One More….

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

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 43, I wrote about what I did growing up that got me into trouble.

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.

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 prepared for my interview for a part-time job (10 hours a week, which I could do from home) that I am really interested in and excited about. I did not find time to do much else in this category.

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 continue to read and enjoy Jill Savage’s new book No More Perfect Moms, I have not kept up with her book study on Facebook, but may jump back in, if and when I catch up to where the group is in the book (I am a bit behind). I also enjoyed my guilty pleasure of reading my Us magazines, though I am a week behind with the issues.

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 not do a lot of reading and commenting on other blogs this week. I tried to keep up with return comments, but have even fell behind with that and will try to catch up over the weekend.

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.


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 April April 26, 2013 at 8:49 pm

Kathy, I know I’ve skimped on commenting, but I’ve been reading all of your Spring Sheds and rooting you on! It sounds like you did pretty well overall this week. Keep up the good work!
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2 Kathy April 26, 2013 at 8:56 pm

Thank you April! xoxo
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3 lostintranslation April 27, 2013 at 8:42 am

Wow, Kathy, I’m impressed by everything you’ve accomplished this week and during the entire Spring Shed! I’m starting to wonder if I did well by making my list much more vague for the Spring Shed than for the Winter Shed, because I’m again doing a report for the past three weeks and actually haven’t done much to get out of mommy-mode. Although I spent the last hour reading a book (while the kids were napping) and did write two blog posts yesterday, so hopefully I’m getting on the right track again…
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4 marwil April 28, 2013 at 6:58 am

Sounds like a productive week for you. Slow and steady with the weight-loss is good I think, well done with the run and all the other activities as well. I’ll come back after next week for a round-up since last time. Enjoy your Sunday 🙂
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5 Olga May 2, 2013 at 12:56 pm

It’s great to get self-disciplned! I try to do exercises every day – I run in the forest, do their simple exercises and run back home. It’s a fills me up with energy for the whole day. And thanks for the hints, because I don’t do some things you’ve described.

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