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 and thirteen doing the Spring Shed, we have moved on to the Summer Shed. Whether you are trying to shed weight, find more balance or let go of something else that is dragging you down in this third season of the New Year… We can do this — together!
You are welcome to join us whether you previously participated in the Winter or Spring Shed this year or not. For those who want to continue on, feel free to take a look at your goals for this Winter/Spring/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 this year.
These are the six areas that I tried to focus on during the Spring Shed and a report on how I did with them:
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)
Overall I did very well with this, this Spring. I need to continue to maintain focusing on this, as well as work on getting a third veggie serving in most days.
B. Continue to practice portion control and count calories.
I well with this during the spring season too.
C. Limit my intake of sweets, soda, alcohol and other pelvic floor flare up triggers.
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 struggled with this many weeks, but usually got at least 7 – 8 hours of sleep at least 5 – 6 nights a week.
B. Drink enough water
I did well with this.
C. Exercise 5 – 7 days each week
Most weeks I exercised 5 – 7 days each week, with only a handful that I did so only 4 days.
D. Train for a few Spring 5K races
I trained for and completed three 5K races during this Spring season! Two with my son Sean and one on my own.
E. Shed 1 – 2 lbs. per week
Between Friday, March 15 (Week Ten and the last week of the Winter Shed) and last Friday, June 14 (Week Thirteen and the last week of the Summer Shed) I have lost 3.5 lbs. I know that isn’t great progress in 13 weeks, but it is still moving me in the direction I want to go. During the Winter and Spring Shed combined, since I began actively trying to shed weight on Friday, December 28th, I have lost 10.5 lbs. in 23 weeks!
F. Meditate & pray daily
After completing Oprah Winfrey’s and Deepak Chopra’s 21-Day Meditation Challenge earlier this year, which I really enjoyed and felt was good for my mental health, 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 (& Other Health Issues)
A. Go to my physical therapy sessions (&/or other doctor appointments) as scheduled
I made a lot of progress with my pelvic floor physical therapy this season.
I also made some progress, or at least we were able to rule out some things, related to the nausea, dizziness and vertigo symptoms I have been experiencing in part from working with an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist.
B. Watch my dietary triggers
I did well with this as far as muscles spasms/flare ups in my pelvic floor regions. I am trying to also be aware how foods might be impacting my nausea/vertigo issues.
C. Do my “homework” (i.e. PT exercises, stretches and such and now also keeping track of what could be contributing to vertigo issues)
I still need to work harder on remembering to do and doing my homework for both Pelvic Floor PT and ENT recommendations.
A. Basics Daily (dishes, laundry & straightening)
Overall, I did well in this area.
B. Weekly Cleaning (dusting, sweeping, scrubbing & mopping)
This is still an area I need to focus a lot more time and energy on.
C. Organizing & Purging (sorting, filing, selling &/or donating)
I made significant progress in this area and could stand to do a lot more.
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 a very busy spring for our family, but Bob and I still managed to find time to spend alone together, mostly watching movies and favorite TV shows together. A highlight was the 24 hours that my sister and our brother-in-law kept our children overnight, so we could have a fun date weekend, including playing golf and a delicious dinner out! We also enjoyed a lot of fun family time together with Sean and Abby.
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.
Sean made some significant progress this spring with helping around the house and chores. I hope to continue to help him with his work ethic over the summer (and I could stand to improve my own at times), as well as have a lot of fun. Highlights from this Spring with Sean included training for and running two more 5Ks with my son and watching So You Think You Can Dance together.
C. Abby: Spending quality time and have fun together when she is not at preschool, playdates or other activities.
We have spent a lot time this spring working on potty training and eating habits with Abby, which has been challenging and also rewarding for Abby and our family. Abby has thrived in preschool and now camp and is such a joy to have in our family, when she is not throwing a tantrum (as three-year olds often do). Highlights from this Spring included Abby’s first class culminating in her first dance show, which she really seemed to enjoy. I am really looking forward to spending quality time with Sean and Abby this summer at home and on our Summer Adventures!
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.
This spring we celebrated Molly’s 5th Heavenly Birthday and in honor of that milestone I started Team Caring Connection. Forming the team and fundraising to give back to the hospitals who cared for us during our journey with Molly and Babies Benson was very therapeutic for me and many others who have also lost babies who joined our team.
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 spent a lot of quality time this Spring with our family at parties and more informal gatherings. We are blessed and lucky to live so close to our parents, siblings, in-laws, nieces and nephews.
E. Friends: Keep in touch, check in and show them I care. Get together when possible to spend quality time and have fun together.
Likewise, we had a lot of fun this Spring getting together with friends and we are grateful for that.
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.
As I shared here, it was a very busy Spring for me transitioning out of teaching religious education and participating in MOPS (as a table leader and speaker coordinator) and into being a Spiritual Director for the Christ Renews His Parish (CRHP) womens’ retreat program at our parish. Things should be less hectic going forward, as I am not just doing CRHP.
6) Writing & Reading
A. My Blog: Aim to write at least two – three posts each week.
Most week I wrote two or more posts.
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.
I am almost done with this year-long writing project that I have been participating in! I will write my wrap-up post next week, but have definitely learned a lot from this experience! I really enjoyed this opportunity, but am also ready to be done with it. For one thing spending time every week writing post to be shared there has kept me from spending as much time sharing my voice here on my own blog, which I hope to do more of over the summer.
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 don’t do a lot with Exhale these days, but am glad to help as needed, doing things like uploading and scheduling posts for our seasonal issues, writing book and movie reviews and this summer I will also have an essay that I wrote specifically for Exhale about the scars that were left behind from my journey through secondary infertility and loss and how I am still learning to how to heal them.
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 very little work on special projects this Spring and intend to get back to this in the days and months to come. Though realistically, I may not do so until this Fall. We’ll see. I know 15 minutes a day isn’t much and I should be able to do it, if I really want to this Summer.
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 really enjoyed the books, magazines and blogs I read this Spring, especially those written by my friends. It is so awesome to be able to read things that people I know have written!
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 did well with return commenting, but not much beyond that.
For the Summer Shed I am adapting my focus some, including being more general about my goals and objectives. I found during the Spring season I spent more time that I would have liked doing these weekly check-in posts, so want to simplify the process over the summer. So though I am keeping 5 of the 6 categories I used in the Spring, I am nixing the sub-categories and combined the one about Physical Therapy and other Health Issues with #2 about Keeping Fit & Shedding Weight. I intend to just share highlights in each category weekly, as opposed the amount of detail I did this spring.
This week’s report, on how I did during week one of the Summer Shed and week twenty-four in 2013, includes my adapted goals and objectives:
I will start off by saying that I have had a bad cold for the past week that had dragged me down and Abby was sick too for much of the week, which kept us homebound.
1) Healthy Eating
I tried to do well with this, but with my cold, could have done better. I am used to how I eat when I exercise regularly, but since I didn’t exercise much this week, my body craved special treats and snacks that I can usually have when I am exercising a lot. In many cases I ate them anyway, including lots of chocolate cake (that Abby and I made for Father’s Day), which is my kryptonite. I tried to calorie count, as I usually do, but without the negative calorie balance that exercise gives me, I really struggled to stay under my daily limits.
2) Keeping Fit (Physically/Emotionally/Spiritually) & Shedding Weight
Between my period arriving with a vengeance over weekend and thus being bloated, overindulging around Father’s Day and not exercising much this week, because of my cold and our daughter also being sick/home from camp at her preschool, I only did formal exercise one day this week (Monday), I taught a Dance n’ Sculpt class at Beverly Bodyworks. This is the worst by far I have been all year and the scale reflected it. I managed to gain 2 lbs. since last Friday. So now since Friday, December 28th, I have only lost 8.5 lbs. in 24 weeks!
3) Housekeeping & Purging
I actually did pretty well with this! As being home with Abby much of the week, while she rested being sick, I did a lot of laundry and organizing around the house.
4) Family, Friends & Faith Focus
We had a lot of fun on Sunday celebrating Father’s Day with Bob and later in the day with his family. This weekend we will be celebrating with my family. Because of being sick, we didn’t get together much with friends. I spent a lot of time this week working on tasks related to being part of my high school’s 20th Reunion Committee. Only three more weeks until our reunion! I also did some preparation this week for our next CRHP Women’s Team Formation meeting. This was also Sean’s last full week of school, because of the Chicago Teachers Union strike last Fall they went longer than usual. He has one more day, on Monday and then he finally gets to begin his summer vacation!
5) Writing & Reading
I didn’t do a lot of reading or writing this week.
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 or sometime over the weekend, from now until at least mid-September/Fall, 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 “Summer Shed,” I will add a Linky Tool to my weekly Friday posts and you are welcome to link up to your Summer 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 third 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 Summer 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.