Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Weight Loss Wednesdays: A Look at my Weightloss Goals

I have never, ever, ever been skinny, plain and simple. Well, not by the rest of the world's standards. I think the smallest I've ever been was a size 10/12 in junior high and high school. Even then though, I was still bigger and taller than the rest of my friends. Forget swapping clothes. Even if the waist would fit, my legs were longer and my boobs were too big to fit their clothing. But, I was healthy and that's what mattered. I was involved in sports which meant I was at practice 5 days a week. I probably wasn't eating the healthiest (if I was eating at all), but who does when they're a teenager?

I haven't grown vertically much since then. I was and still am about 5'11". If I remember correctly, I weighed about 140-160lbs. I would absolutely LOVE to be that size again. I may not have grown vertically, but I have grown wider, which I absolutely HATE! Near the end of high school, I started working at a fast food restaurant and stopped playing sports. I moved during high school and the new school already had their players picked (despite the fact that I actually tried out and was better than some of the girls that were on the team) so I decided to cut out sports and got a job instead. There aren't many places besides fast food restaurants that will hire high school students, so that's where I went. I worked full-time after school, so I often had dinner there. BIG mistake. After about 6 months, I started noticing that my clothes weren't fitting well anymore. I LOVED the money, so I wasn't going to quit. But the food was so good and I was so hungry. After high school, I continued working there and tried bringing my own, healthier food. But even that wasn't enough to take the weight off. I was working even more and had even less time to exercise.

Anyway, long story short. I'm now 24 years old, still 5'11", but I weigh around 315 pounds. I've gotten married, enjoy cooking, enjoy eating out even more, and I'm not a mommy. It's hard to work out when you have a little person depending on you every moment of the day! I'm sure you other parents out there know that.

Moving onto my weight loss goals:

Find Exercise Videos and Other Workout Methods That Can be Used at Home

I don't think I'm quite ready to take the plunge into getting a gym membership. As awesome as it would be, I'm just to self-conscious to go to a gym right now.

  • Our Netflix subscription has a "Watch Instantly" feature so we can watch things on our computer (or other compatible machines) and I found out not too long ago that there are exercise videos to watch! How awesome is that? So, I'm definitely going to be taking advantage of this feature!

  • I'm also going to be looking into other free exercise video offerings online. Surely YouTube or other networks have videos available for streaming.

Research Local Gym Offerings

Pretty explanatory. Even though I'm too self-conscious to step foot in a gym at the moment, I'd like to know what's available.

Put an Exercise Plan into Place

This will probably be an at-home exercise plan at first. I'd like to get comfortable with working out before I put myself on display in front of all the in-shape people! It's finally getting warmer outside, so I can utilize the out doors too.

Buy a Scale

Again, self-explanatory. We don't have a scale in our house right now. I've been avoiding them for years. When I was going to the doctor regularly for my prenatal appointments, I even avoided looking at the scale. I DREADED getting on that thing even though I only gained a grand total of 7lbs during my entire pregnancy. I left the hospital smaller than I was when I got pregnant. And that was without doing any exercise or anything of that sort.

I've finally decided that I want a scale so I can actually track my progress with a real number, not just the fact that my clothes are fitting better. I want to know exactly how I'm progressing.

I'd like to do some research on the kinds of scales offered. I know there are a lot of fancy scales with cool features. I'll probably go with something simple, but I'd still like to know what's available.

Keep a Food Journal for One Month and Use it to Adjust My Eating Habits

Over and over, I've heard how keeping a food journal is the best way to take responsibility for what you ingest. I had to do this during a college nutrition class for 3 days, so it wasn't quite as eye opening as a full month, but I know what I need to do.

  • I'm going to create an easy form to print off to keep track of my progress. I could do this with just a simple notebook, but I prefer the "form" method. I'll even share it with you when it's completed!

I know, from past experience, that the key to weight loss for me is exercise and controlling what I eat. I need to make time for myself so that I can be a healthy mom and wife.

Do you have any advice or tips for someone starting their weight loss journey? Do you have an inspiring story to share? I'd love to hear what you have to say and might even feature you in a future post!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Time at Home Tuesdays: A Look at my Homemaking Goals

Alright, before my hiatus, I was plowing through my goals and taking a more in depth look at what I was going to do to achieve them. So we'll continue forward in that direction. This time, we'll focus on my Homemaking Goals.

Plan and Prepare a Weekly Menu that Includes Healthier Meals

I used to be pretty good about planning meals a week at a time. A long time ago I went through and made a list of our favorite and most-eaten meals. I have to say though, we've had to stop eating a lot of those things though because our budget just couldn't afford them. It's cheaper to buy things we eat regularly and use them instead of buying random things here and there for other meals. Does that make sense?

I do my grocery shopping on a weekly basis, so in the past, I've made my meal plans based on what's on sale and what we already have. I admit that most of our food is processed and packaged and just plain unhealthy. Isn't it terrible that the most processed foods are cheaper while the healthy, even organic, alternatives are more expensive. Somehow that doesn't seem right. Anyway, I find that meal planning helps me create a list of the items I need, and in turn I'm more likely to stick to the list instead of going to the store and buying whatever sounds good. I'm also more likely to make dinner instead of going out to eat if I know what's available to cook and I know that I have everything for it.

We don't eat out a lot, and when we do we always use coupons or discounts to bring down our cost. But of course, there's always room for cutting out the eating out part of our budget. Really, I'd say we eat out maybe 2 or 3 times a month. But even only 2 or 3 times a much isn't great. It's much more expensive and usually filled with an exorbitant amount of calories. I'd like to cut it down to only once a month, at the most. A step further would be only for celebrations (anniversaries, birthdays, etc) if desired. I don't want my children growing up eating only french fries and chicken nuggets. So here's how I'm moving forward:

  • The grocery store sales start on Wednesdays here, so I spend Tuesdays going through the ads, and making my lists. At this time I will also make my weekly meal plan.
  • Within 4 months (by the end of May), eating out will be cut down to once a month. By the end of the year, eating out will be cut down to only at times of celebrations. This excludes traveling, but only when packing our own meals is unrealistic.

Plan At Least 2 New Meals Per Month

I'm very bad about getting into a rut and eating the same things over and over each week. I get tired of it and I feel bad for my husband because he's probably getting tired of it too.
  • Go through my cookbooks, the recipes stored on my computer, and any online resources to find recipes that sound good and that I'm willing to make.
  • Compile these recipes into folders on my computer, for easy access.
  • Print out a blank monthly calendar on which to write meal ideas/meal plans

Create a Cleaning Schedule

I've become a slacker when it comes to housework. I want to have a clean and pleasant home, really I do. But it's so much more fun to play around on the internet or spend time with my son. I don't want to waste my son's childhood cleaning because I'm afraid someone will see the dirt and dust. My apartment is lived in. Real people live here and *GASP* my child makes messes! I can clean up nicely though - when I have expected guests, lol!

That said, my home still needs to be a little cleaner. I love walking into or waking up to a clean home. I just love the feeling and the spirit I get from knowing that everything is in it's place. I hate waking up in the morning to my son's toys scattered about or trying to make dinner knowing that every single dish is sitting in the sink. I just hate that feeling.

I could use nap time to clean, but I usually have to spend that time cleaning myself, rather than the house. And by the time bed time rolls around, I'm so exhausted that all I want to do is sit on the couch and write blog posts. So, the only other option is to take time out of playtime and spend some time cleaning. My son is getting older and is getting MUCH better about playing on his own for short periods. So I think I'll have to take advantage of that fact.

  • Set aside a week to do some deep, "spring" cleaning to get it all done.
  • Using a calendar or spreadsheet, create a schedule to maintain the housework, so that it doesn't pile up and become unmanageable.
  • Set aside an hour each day (can be split up) to get housework done.

Focus on a New Fruit or Vegetable Each Month

I have a hard time eating fruits and vegetables. I think it's the texture. Unfortunately I think the lack of healthy foods is what's gotten me to the point I am now with my weight. Even more unfortunate is that I think I'm passing on my dislike of fruits and vegetables to my son. Understandably, I think it's the texture that he has issues with. So hopefully, if he sees me eating them, he'll learn to like them too. He needs more than pasta and cheese in order to grow up healthy and strong.

  • Learn what fruits and vegetables are in season when and use that to cut costs while focusing on them.
  • Decide on 12 fruits and 12 vegetables to focus on and find recipes that are healthy and that incorporate the chosen fruits and vegetables.
  • Let my son see us eating the fruits and vegetables and offer them to him at meals also. I need to be more diligent about offering them to him. He LOVED the purees, so I may need to go back to pureeing and slowly add in more chunks for him.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sorry for the hiatus!

Just wanted to apologize for being MIA. It's been a crazy busy couple of months and I'm finally back on track. Stay tuned for more awesomeness!!!