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Welcome to the seventh 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 seven of the Spring Shed and week seventeen 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 great with this.

B. Continue to practice portion control and count calories.

I also 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 think I might have actually done this every night this week!

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. The only day I did not to any formal exercise was last Friday, but it was an active day during which I did a lot of projects around the house, including transitioning my children’s clothing (packing away stuff they have grown out of and getting their next sizes up organized in their rooms). On Saturday we went for a long neighborhood family bike ride and on Sunday we went for a family 5K run, after which Sean and I did some toning and stretching. On Monday I rode my bike (while pulling Abby in the trailer behind me) to/from her park district sports class, which was a great workout. On Tuesday and Thursday I ran 5K in our neighborhood, walked a bit before and after and then did toning and stretching.

I was not able to teach my Step `n Sculpt class on Wednesday, as Abby was sick and we had to stay home. That night she was feeling better and we played some basketball outside as a family, which was a lot of fun. I was never very good at basketball growing up and learned a lot from Bob that night, that I look forward to using in the future. Santa brought our basketball hoop for Christmas last year and we are excited the weather is getting nicer now, so we can use it more. A big breakthrough for me this week was 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 family run in which Sean broke his own personal record by 3 minutes and lowered his average pace by over a minute!

E. Shed 1 – 2 lbs. per week

I lost 1 lb. this week, for a total loss 9.5 lbs. in 17 weeks (since Friday, December 28, 2012)!

This is another big weight shedding milestone for me, as I haven’t weighed this amount since early 2007, before our first IVF cycle and I am not only one pound higher than I was at my lowest back then! 🙂

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.

4) Housekeeping

A. Basics Daily (dishes, laundry & straightening)

I did okay with this.

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

Again I didn’t do much in this category this week. Clearly this needs to change.

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

I rocked this again, spending more 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).

For the first time in as long as I can remember our family had no formal plans this weekend! We resisted the urge to make some and it was wonderful! Outside of Bob and Sean’s commitments with Cub Scouts on Friday evening and Saturday morning and Sean and my commitments with religious education and church on Sunday morning were able to do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted to! We got a lot done outside and around the house as a family. We also exercised together on Saturday and Sunday with a family bike ride and a family run in our neighborhood.

Bob and I also enjoyed renting the movie Zero Dark Thirty, which we had been wanting to see for a while, on Saturday night and found it fascinating. On Sunday night we rented Argo, which we also really wanted to see. Bob loved it and I somehow managed to fall asleep, even though it was very interesting. So we plan to rent it and watch it again soon, this time I make sure I stay awake.

Sunday night we capped off our weekend with a family dinner at one of the newer restaurants in our neighborhood, called Horse Thief Hollow. It was the perfect way to wrap up our wonderfully under-programmed weekend together. I enjoyed my favorite meal there, known as “The Shoe,” and one of their house beers, called “Kitchen Sink.” I think drinking the Kitchen Sink may have contributed to my not being able to keep my eyes open during Argo later that night.

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.

A highlight for me with Sean this week was our family run on Sunday during which, as I shared earlier, he broke his own personal record by 3 minutes and lowered his average pace by over a minute! We had so much fun that day knowing how fast and well he was running, as I have an app on my phone that we use to track our progress. He was so motivated to break another PR, but we never dreamed he would do so by that much!

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

This week Abby got sick with a fever, which lasted for a few days. She missed school and her dance class on Tuesday, which she was disappointed about. But it was good for her to rest and take it easy. She got to relax at home and watch a lot of her favorite shows, as well as to snuggle up with me and read some of her favorite stories. She got a new Dora book recently, which has seven stories in it, and one afternoon we sat together on the couch and enjoyed reading every single one in a row.

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.

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.

My mom was also sick this week unfortunately, so she and my dad were unable to come visit. We missed getting to see and spend time with them, but are glad she took good care of herself.

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

This was a crazy busy week with my faith-based volunteer commitments. So I did get to see a lot of friends that I care about, but it was mostly in that context, at meetings and such.

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.

I am in the processing of transitioning out of some of my volunteer commitments in order to be able to focus more on some new ones, but in the mean time and I am doing all of them!  This week is especially crazy busy as three of my commitments have all converged, including leading a formation meeting with the CRHP Women’s Retreat Team that I am Co-Spiritual Director for on Monday, helping with First Communion Practice for the 2nd graders at our parish as one of the 2nd grade Religious Education teachers on Tuesday, MOPS meeting on Thursday at which I am a small group/table leader and speaker coordinator and First Communion coming up at church tomorrow (Saturday)!

6) Writing & Reading

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

I shared only one blog post here this week. It was for Lori Lavender Luz’s Perfect Moment Mondays, called 38.

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 44, I wrote about if there is anything that would be a “relationship breaker” for me.

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.

Last Friday morning I had my phone 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. The interview went very well and I was told I would likely hear something by today (either an update or whether they want to offer me the job). I have mixed feelings, after 10 years of being primarily a stay at home mom, taking a job like this, even though it is very part-time. But I am trying not to worry about making such a choice until if and when I have a decision to make. I know they were interviewing other candidates, so I may not get an offer and that is okay. Time will tell.

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 Momsstarted Lori Lavender Luz’s new book The Open Hearted Way to Open Adoption which I am loving, even more than I expected too, and signed up for Melissa Ford’s new GRAB(ook) Club which is reading her new novel, Measure of Love (the sequel to her first novel Life from Scratch)! I will be starting Measure of Love very soon and am excited to find out what happens with main character Rachel Goldman next!

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, but not great.

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 lostintranslation May 3, 2013 at 2:55 pm

You did amazing this week Kathy! Great to have such a relaxed weekend – I think ours might be similar this coming weekend and I’m looking forward to it. I’m sorry Abby and your mom were sick – hope they both are feeling better again. I got my Week 7 post up too!
lostintranslation recently posted..Spring Shed – week 7My Profile


2 Lori Lavender Luz May 3, 2013 at 4:57 pm

Kudos to you for meeting so many health goals! I’m jealous of the sleeping one.
Lori Lavender Luz recently posted..Q&A: Adopted Reality, where adoption and mental illness meetMy Profile


3 marwil May 5, 2013 at 6:15 am

Wow, what a busy week you had! Lots of great things wrapped up with a relaxing weekend. Sounds like fun with the basketball and running/work-out together. I’ll check out that film you mentioned, I’m in need of some new titles to my Love Film list.

Your volunteering commitments are inspiring. I’m looking for more to do in that area as well, it’s so rewarding, but there must be a balance as well like you write and sometimes it’s good to shift things around. Best of luck with the job, you can always try it out for a while to see if it suits you. I hope you get the position if that’s what you want.
marwil recently posted..Spring Shed: week 6-7My Profile


4 Em May 5, 2013 at 6:24 am

My goodness! These are some serious goals and it looks like you’re doing really well at them too! Good for you! What an inspiration!
Em recently posted..a birthday of a different sortMy Profile


5 Jjiraffe May 5, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Kathy, I am so impressed with your progress! It’s inspiring to see. Good work!
Jjiraffe recently posted..How To Dress: The Maxi DressMy Profile


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