Welcome to the eighth 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 eight of the Spring Shed and week eighteen 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 have slacked off a bit in the veggie dept. I still get two servings most days, but lately have found myself allocating more calories to “special treats” (desserts and snack foods), as opposed to a third serving of veggies.
B. Continue to practice portion control and count calories.
I did well with this, but did notice that most days this week I used up every last calorie I was allotted each day and am not sure that helped me to shed as much weight as I would have liked, in fact I actually gained this week, which I am not pleased about.
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 am pretty sure I did this all but one night this past week and that night I still got about 6 hours of sleep, which isn’t too bad.
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. I didn’t exercise last Friday, for no good reason other than I wasn’t feeling it and thus took a day off. On Saturday I rode my bike to/from the Live, Love Learn – Chicago alternative healing expo, where I was representing Beverly Bodyworks Inc. where I teach group fitness classes in our neighborhood. On Sunday I ran 5K in our neighborhood with Sean, walked a bit and tone/stretched. On Monday I walked with my mom, not as long we usually do, but some is better than none. On Tuesday and Thursday, I ran 5K in our neighborhood, walked and toned/stretched. On Wednesday I taught Dance `n Sculpt at Beverly Bodyworks.
As I shared last week, a breakthrough for me has been coming home from running and adding about 15 mins. of toning (strength training/core work), before stretching and wrapping up my workout. I felt like I hadn’t been doing enough of that and am pleased to have extended my workouts on running days that way, as well as exercising consistently again this week!
D. Train for a few Spring 5K races
I ran 5K/3.1 miles three times this week, including one run with Sean! I wish Sean and I could fit in more runs together during the week, but with school and his extra curricular activities we are settling for once a week (usually on the weekend) for now.
E. Shed 1 – 2 lbs. per week
I gained 1 lb. this week, for a total loss 8.5 lbs. in 18 weeks (since Friday, December 28, 2012).
I was disappointed to be up this week, but felt I was “good” this week and know I can and will bounce back. With the increased strength training/toning I have been doing maybe the increase is due to muscle?! 😉
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.
B. Watch my dietary triggers
I did well with this.
C. Do my “homework” (i.e. PT exercises, stretches and such)
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)
Bob did great with this and I helped a bit. 😉
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).
This week was the opposite of last in that I had little to no volunteer commitments on the weeknights, but was very busy over the weekend. So Bob and I got to spend quality time together and with the kids every night when he got home from work, including four nights of family dinners in a row (Monday – Thursday)! We also enjoyed a family outing on Saturday night to our good friend’s home to celebrate their son’s birthday.
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.
On Friday night Sean tested for the next belt level at his Tae Kwon Do school and became a red belt! We are proud of him and it was fun to see him achieve this milestone on his journey to be a black belt. I really enjoyed our weekly 5K training runs and this week was no different. Finally, we have been working a lot with Sean on his work ethic (or lack there of) and be more responsible with his belongings and daily chores. It is not always easy but he is determined to do better and we are committed to helping him.
C. Abby: Spending quality time and have fun together when she is not at preschool, playdates or other activities.
Abby was back to her old self this week, after having been sick last week, which was nice. She is really into pretend play lately, especially pretending to be a queen and wanting to be called queen when she is in her royal world. I don’t mind pretending with her and am enjoying this imaginative stage of her life. She continues to enjoy preschool, as well as her weekly sports and dance classes.
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 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 almost $1,800 for Advocate Children’s Hospital 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 great that my mom was feeling better, after being sick last week, so she and my dad got to come and visit. The kids and I always enjoyed spending time with them.
E. Friends: Keep in touch, check in and show them I care. Get together when possible to spend quality time and have fun together.
Over the weekend I enjoyed getting to see some good friends at a birthday party on Saturday night and on Sunday I went with friends to see Listen to Your Mother – Chicago, which was fun and moving to experience, after having heard so much about last year’s show. It was bittersweet to attend, having auditioned and not been chosen for this year’s cast, but I am still glad that I got to go. Afterwards I enjoyed a leisurely dinner with friends (in part because the restaurant hosting the official after party was overwhelmed by the amount of people who showed up and ordered dinner simultaneously).
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 Saturday I was honored to assist with the First Communion Mass at our parish and was moved, as always to witness the second graders make their First Communions, especially the students from the religious education class that I taught this year. It was also bittersweet, as after three years as a catechist, I will not be continuing in the Fall. This is because of my new role as Spiritual Director for the women’s CRHP retreat program at our church. Also, the Director of the Religious Education Program is leaving, after 11 years. So it was also bittersweet to see her coordinate her last First Communion Mass at our parish. I was pleased when the entire church gave her a standing ovation at the end of mass when our pastor thanked her for her many years of faith-filled service.
6) Writing & Reading
A. My Blog: Aim to write at least two – three posts each week.
I shared two blog entries this week.
Last Friday evening, we did some Gatekeeping (10th Edition) here for the first time in seven months. It was long overdue and I was reminded how much I appreciate this exercise, as do many of my readers. I promise not to wait so long before we do it again.
On Thursday I posted my review and book tour discussion for Lori’s The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption. I LOVED this book and highly recommend you check it out if you have a connection to adoption or even if you don’t, it is that good.
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 45, I revisited a post I originally shared in November 2011, On Having Enemies.
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 Editor did announce the theme of our next issue and call for submissions:
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.
On Monday I found out that I was not offered the job I interviewed for two weeks ago. They chose to hire someone else. The hiring manager did tell me she intends to keep my résumé on file in case a related position or project work opens up in the future, which I appreciate knowing.
Hearing this news was both a relief and disappointing for me. I had such mixed feelings about taking on a job at this time in my life, when I think my family needs me more as a SAHM. But it was also something I felt was a really great fit for the organization and for me and that hurts. My ego is bruised, but I am trying to focus on the positives, which includes more time with my children at such an important time in their lives.
I did not prioritize doing much else in this category, but not getting the job will allow me to focus on it more going forward, which is another silver lining.
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 finished Lori Lavender Luz’s new book The Open Hearted Way to Open Adoption which as I have shared I thought was awesome! CHECK IT OUT! Next up is Melissa Ford’s new novel Measure of Love (the sequel to Life from Scratch)! I look forward to discussing it with Mel’s new GRAB(ook) Club which is reading her book, followed by some other intriguing titles in the months to come.
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 pretty well with this, at least as far as return commenting.
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.