Saturday, August 30, 2014
It's sure been a busy month!
Fitness challenge is going well... been walking daily and feeling great. I did get a bit sidetracked when I went to North Carolina for my Azuli Skye conference on the weekend of the 15-17th, though. I am in direct sales and decided to go to the national conference, which was down in Raleigh, North Carolina. I had the most amazing time! Truly fantastic! I even won an award that I was not prepared for! Fourth in National Sales! Wow! So, that was pretty awesome! I was able to see the new line of jewelry coming in the fall, which was so exciting and I know that my sales are going to get even better, which is so thrilling. The drive was super long, that was rough, but overall, I enjoyed the weekend... will definitely do again!
When I got back to town, I started giving thought to my direct sales businesses and actually decided to put more focus on the Azuli Skye and gave up Avon. My friend decided to sign up with Avon and take over my customers. I feel really great about that, as it really wasn't making me any money and when I move next year, it'll be very hard to keep that business going with the bi-weekly deliveries. However, the jewelry party deliveries are so much simpler and can be delivered to where the parties are, so I just felt that it was easier to take that business with me.
Anyway, I've gotten back into my healthy eating and exercising in the past week and am feeling great. I'm back into physical therapy and my shoulder is starting to loosen up as well... so things are starting to get back to basics here.
As for the downsizing, we are moving along quite nicely with that... I've started with it and have already made some money and am paying some bills with it and items are moving out of the house on a daily basis... it's very encouraging! I have still soooo much work to do in that area, but it's a fantastic start!
I'm grateful for a three day weekend and La Festa is on Monday here in Scranton. It's an Italian food festival. It's not the healthiest of options, so we've all decided to treat ourselves to an Indian lunch and then maybe go and walk around the festival afterwards, hoping that we are too full to eat anything! (I have a feeling that I may be tempted to get a cannoli, though). We'll see how that plays out.
Need to get some school clothes for Christopher tomorrow... he starts his senior year on Thursday. They had their first football game today (lost)... but he said that the field show went well (he's in the Marching Band).
This summer is slipping past so very quickly. I have so much planned. It'll be a busy fall as well. I'm going to try to do Christopher's senior pictures myself (wish me luck) and so we have got to start planning that out soon. More downsizing... and the big RV Show is coming up in Hershey on September 14th! Ivan is too excited!
He is one day discussing the 5th wheel benefits and the next day saying that nope, we are going to go with the Class A... and he wonders why I'm not "excited" about it... it's not that I'm not, but honestly? With him going back and forth and I haven't yet been in either ONCE, I'm just going to keep selling things and paying bills and get us closer to buying what it is HE finally decides on (with my stamp of approval, of course!)
Well, toodles! I will try to keep up with posting on a timelier manner now that things are more in a flow.
Friday, August 08, 2014
At my job, the company started a 12 week fitness challenge and it's just what I needed to get myself back in shape! I'm just thrilled it's not a 3 week challenge and that it is for 12 long weeks! I really feel that it is a long enough time to REALLY see and feel a difference, as long as I put in the effort. So, I've made a personal goal to do a minimum of 3 miles a day. Now, personally, I do the Leslie Sansone walking tapes because they are low impact and I have degenerative arthritis in my lower back, three herniated discs in my back as well, arthritis in my knees and am currently dealing with bursitis, tendonitis and arthritis in both shoulders (not fun!). This challenge started on the 4th (this past Monday) and on Monday and Tuesday, I did her 3 mile walking workouts. I not only did that, but I walked on my breaks at work. On Wed, Thursday and Friday, I walked her 5 mile workouts and also walked on my breaks. I've lost 5.5 lbs since Monday as well.
Tomorrow and Sunday, I hope to get outdoors and walk our local lake, which is 3.5 miles around and I'm not sure yet, but I may attempt to walk it twice tomorrow... My son will go with me and he'll run it at least once and he'll probably just sit down and wait for me the rest of the time! LOL
With this boost to my exercise, my diet has jumped right back to where it should be. I rarely feel like eating poorly when I'm in the exercise mode. So, I've been feeling pretty good, except that early this week, my legs were cramping up alot when I slept. I have been going to the physical therapist for my shoulders and they said to keep well hydrated and stretch very well and that my body is just adjusting to the new fitness and diet (as I was not very faithful to it for the past few months as I used to be).
A friend from work who I had turned on to the Leslie Sansone tapes has lost over 60 lbs since using them and watching her diet came to visit and talk with me the other day. She is constantly thankful to me for introducing her to these tapes. She let's everyone she comes across know that she has lost all the weight due to my influence on her (which is sweet of her). She and I were talking and she told me that her sister and niece saw her at a family gathering not long ago and never said one thing about her weight loss... although everyone else were gushing over her. I told her that it was not at all a reflection of her or anything to do with her, that I came across that all the time. Since I've lost about 140 lbs myself, I see this all the time. I know that some people are just not ready to "see" weight loss in someone because it's almost like them seeing themselves all too clearly. That isn't something they are ready to do.
What almost all those people don't understand and REALLY get is that I KNOW them! I was them. For about 20 years, I was who they are. I've had people hear me talking about my weight loss to someone and walk away. I've had them go to another part of the room, so as not to hear me, while many others want to know how I did it. When I've put my mind to losing the weight, the weight usually came off. The key to my success with weight loss was usually me, my mind. The mind is soooo very powerful. There are tricks and key things that I've learned along the way that help me out but basically it boils down to just plain discipline.
When I start to hear the excuses, then I know they aren't ready. Excuses? Do you think I'm being harsh? I'm sorry, I don't think so. I was near 400 lbs for near 20 years. I KNOW excuses. I used to give them! I haven't heard one that I haven't used myself. Let's put it this way. There isn't one that I haven't heard that is new to me. But, when people are ready? That's when I'm excited! I'm absolutely ready to help out.
My friend is one of those people. She came up to me. She had huge back problems. She told me that she couldn't exercise. I told her that when I started, I felt that I could not either. She told me that she had a bad back. I told her that I did, too. She told me that she had disc problems and it kept her from exercising. I told her that was an excuse. This is the part of the conversation where people usually walk away from me. But, she stayed. She now tells me that she knew that I had some secret to share, because she saw that SOMETHING was working for me, so she stopped to hear what I had to say and that was someone who was ready to listen. For me, the Leslie Sansone tapes were perfect for me and my low impact needs. So, I told her about them... told her the moves I used to have a problem with, told her that Leslie tells you that if you can only do minimal moves, that's ok, just to move. She must have kept up with the workouts, because she's down more than 60 lbs now! She gives me the credit daily, but it was really her! She did all the work and she was READY! She was determined.
That's the determination I currently feel in this challenge. I have done this before and lost 150 lbs, then gained some of it back... now I'm ready to go forward again and this 12 week challenge is going to help me do that. The last time I pulled out Leslie's tapes, I only exercised 4-5 days a week and I'll be honest, it was probably 4 days a week. I also probably averaged 2-3 miles a workout... well, maybe 3 miles. I saw results... but I want MORE. You have got to put in the work if you want the results, you just have to. It doesn't come if you don't work for it, but it's soooo worth if it you do!
I'm so looking forward to how I will look and feel at the end of these 12 weeks and since I have about 70 lbs to lose, I'm pretty sure that I'll make another daily challege for myself after these 12 weeks are up!
Sunday, August 03, 2014
It is so hard to continue to go to work everyday knowing the life we want to live isn't exactly what it is now. We want to live one that is more on our terms. We always do have fun and make the most of what we have, but we desire more freedom. To cut our living expenses down is key to being able to bring things to a manageable level for us. When you are able to look for a job and not have the stress of needing the pay to be a certain amount but knowing that you can take a job that will make you happy and being confident that the paycheck you bring home will actually cover your expenses. Now, that is security!
I'm not sure about you but I've watched those tv shows like Cedar Cove or Haven (well, not Haven so much if you have actually WATCHED that show! LOL) but shows with beautiful landscapes and thought to myself... "now, I'd really like to LIVE in a place like that!" Well, with RV Living, I might just be able to! I can then relocate and move to another gorgeous place and try that out. How cool is that? That's part of the dream. To experience an area, really experience it. Live and work in it, meet the people, KNOW it! That's part of the dream.
Since we've lost a considerable amount of weight, we've both become more active. We used to just sit in front of the tv and not move... EVER! Well, now that we are more active, we'd like to take that and BE more active out in the world. That's where the blog comes in. The direction I want to take the blog is to go into these communities and then write about our experiences... write about their hiking trails, their biking trails... the farmers markets (that'll keep us healthy) and any other healthy type of thing I can think of.
My son was involved with local theater and that gave me a love for local talent and I'd like to explore local talent wherever I am, so I'd like to check out local theaters, free concerts, festivals and things like that.
We live in a town with the most amazing library. Actually two. A wonderful Children's library and an Adult one with some amazing programs like Author lecture series and just some amazing things they offer the community for free. We'd like to explore other libraries in the country to see what they offer their community. My husband reads books constantly and will possibly give a review or two of books.
We are nerds and geeks and if there are science conventions out there or something like that, we'd find them and go to them as well.
I love photography and day trips to things that even the locals never seem to know about, so I tend to find those types of things to do.
We don't drink and we would be living frugally, so we probably won't be reviewing bars and restaurants that much... although Ivan does love coffee and I love Chai, so that may be on the agenda from time to time.
I'm looking forward to the kind of website/blog we'd be writing and the kind of life and explorations we'd be making! Do you see now why it's so hard to go to work every day???
Saturday, August 02, 2014
Today, I took a trip into NYC. I watch a site called gothamist.com and it basically tells all the goings on about NYC. Since it's a town I often like to visit, I like to go there to see things that are unique and different and inexpensive. Well, this month, NYC is doing a "Summer Streets" program and today they were doing a Trumpet City installation. You can read about it here: www.onfootproductions.org
Christopher is due home today from his time away at PGSS (Pennsylvania Governor's School of Sciences) and I know that he'd have truly enjoyed this (plus, he loves going into the city for ANY reason!)... but he wasn't home today. So, I asked a girlfriend of mine from work, as Ivan was working tonight. So, we headed out and really enjoyed ourselves!
Usually when I go into NYC, I head into Greenwich or Chelsea and hang out down that way, but this time, I was over in Upper East Side. The Trumpet City installation was showcased on Park Avenue between 46th and 72nd. We found parking on 63rd between 2nd and 3rd Ave for only $10 using the Best Parking app! Love that!
I noticed, when I was looking at the map this morning that we were very near the Roosevelt Island Tram and I had seen it before but have never been on it, so I googled it and saw that it was only $2.75 each way. The tram station is located on 60th and 2nd Avenue. We were able to head over there after checking out Trumpet City and then we walked around Roosevelt Island for a bit... not long, as I had to get back for Ivan to get to work, but we truly had a great day today!
Not the normal activities for a trip into the city, but for a quick trip, it was very artsy and very inexpensive! LOVE THAT!
To see a few photos of the day, go to my blog www.extendingourhappilyeverafter.com . You might not "get it", but as we walked up (or down) Park Avenue, the sounds of the trumpets as you walked by and another trumpet taking over the notes/tunes, blending in with the sounds of the city... it was just such an awesome experience... one I won't forget and one I am glad I got to experience! BTW, my son would have LOVED it!
Friday, August 01, 2014
Lots of plans and they basically started with our weight loss! March 2012, we took a look at ourselves and decided that we wanted to live longer and healthier lives. We started the 17 Day Diet and then about 34 lbs later, I started exercising and today, we are over 150 lbs lighter between us... I'll have an exact figure on Monday when we are both getting back into gear with the diet and the fitness, as we've both been a little slack with it lately.
When we lost the weight (at one point, near 200 lbs between us), I had hopes (still do) of writing a book, I had started a blog and also a facebook page and called it Extending Our Happily Ever After (thought the title just FIT perfectly with our situation!). www.extendingourhappilyeverafter.com and I even started writing the book, but then work and life got in the way and it got moved to the back burner.
Then we've both been busy doing our daily lives, as does just about everyone. We all seem to get up, go to work and come home exhausted. Isn't that what you do, too? Aren't you tired of it? Well, so are we! LOL Plus, my son is 17 and going into his senior year of high school, which is a very busy time for us, so we have that going on as well, with college visits and then thinking of which college to go to and which major to pick. Lots of decisions!
In the middle of all of this, my husband's company decided to close up shop and move it's workforce to China. Luckily for us, they gave us notice. So, his last day will be the end of September. Like a growing number of people living in America, we struggle with finances and we live paycheck to paycheck. Add to that my hip replacement last year and my car accident only 6 weeks later and well, it's not been easy.
I've written about this before, but another goal of mine, a bigger goal of mine, is to move back to California, where my parents are. My mother is battling early dementia, which is getting worse and worse and my father is basically her only caregiver and both are in their 70's. My mother is riddled with arthritis and both of my parents are obese. I learned all of my eating and fitness (lack of) habits from them. I've been wanting to go home to help them with their weight, now that I have figured out what to do, hoping that I can help them. I know I can't help my mother with her mind, but if I can help them lose weight and help my mom, then maybe the weight loss can help her get her knees operated on (due to the horrible arthritis)... she can hardly walk as it is.
Well, that has been a goal of mine for a few years now, but it's so expensive to live in Southern California. Not to mention the cost of moving cross country from Northeast Pennsylvania and with us barely getting by now and then taking the job loss hit soon, well, we had to think of something and fast.
My husband came up with an idea that we both took to immediately. RV Living. Due to his age and him losing his job, we are going to use his 401K to buy an RV outright and a truck to pull it. Also, we'll outfit the RV with solar panels. Then, we'll move out of this house, which is financially killing us (two mortgages and a huge electric bill and oil bill).
We want to start up the blog again and the Extending Our Happily Ever After actually still fits as a great title to this lifestyle. We are starting this weekend to take each room of this house and sort through our belongings... we will SELL, DONATE, and TRASH all of our belongings til hardly anything is left. We only need what will fit into the RV.
We will document along the way. I have ideas of what I want our website to be once we are IN the RV, as I have been thinking about this non-stop for the past 6-8 weeks! lol Initially, our main focus is to get out of the house and save money. That's our primary focus... We'll still work full-time, so that we can actually keep saving money. Once we feel we can move to California, then we'll make the trek cross-country and both of us hope to take time doing that, to actually enjoy the RV a bit and get a taste of the life that we are dreaming of. We have friends and family across the country that we'd like to visit and this is what we'd like to do, but once we end up in California, then we do hope to settle near my parents, although we'll be living in parks that we may have to move from one to the other from time to time. Ivan will most likely get a full-time job for a while and I will either get a part-time job or a full-time job, depending on how I can be able to also fit in caring for my parents, which is my primary objective. We would like to end up full-time RV'ing and retiring early, if at all possible... that is our dream.
We looked at some RV's and very early feelings are 26', people are suggesting 5th wheel and a truck strong enough to haul it. We don't want the mobile RV at all.
Ivan and I are still discussing getting a dog. I don't want one and he does. I think "let's just save money and they cost and plus, let's just be free and not have any ties" (btw, we aren't going to kill off the cats, when they are gone, though, we are not planning on replacing), so this is still an ongoing discussion. At the moment, he talked me into the 2nd cat and he's been regretting it for years... so I am throwing that at him... his argument back to me "it's probably because you wouldn't let me get the dog"... ball in my court... "Probably?" Really? we are going to base a decision on "probably???" I think not! ;-)
So, what do you think of our BIG PLANS???
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