Wednesday, January 01, 2014
I have recently been told by numerous people "I wish I had the time to do what you do." I used to just smile graciously, but inside, I would start to boil. Why would someone else just assume I have loads more free time than they do?
Recently, I decided that since it bothered me, I would try to nicely point out that their assumption is erroneous. It is not that I have more time than others, it is that I have probably prioritized my life in a different way and insist on multi-tasking, and that is not better or worse, just different.
I am a single mother. I work full time (many weeks I work up to 50 -55 hours per week) as a Child Abuse and Neglect Social Worker, I am on call about every four weeks (meaning I can work up to a 20 hour day and then go right back to work 6 hours later), I am the sole person financially responsible for my daughter so there is pressure to take overtime when I can, I have friends, I have a large dog, and I have a family. Does it sound like I have loads of time, or at least more than the average person?
Here is where the "BUT" comes...I also have a reasonably clean house most days, healthy home cooked meals most days of the week, I have re-committed to my exercise regime (yeah, it is New Years), I journal, I bake, I sew clothes for my daughter and make handmade gifts for Christmas and Birthdays. I knit scarves each winter, and redecorate my home on a budget when I can. I do all of this in my "free" time, and I don't feel over worked.
Here is where I catch people off guard, I ask "how much TV did you watch this week?" or "how many times did you go out to eat?" Think about how much time you waste driving and waiting at a restaurant. I also point out that it is possible to do other tasks while watching a favorite show? That is my saving grace, I cook and I don't plant myself in front of the TV or with a book all night. I love to read, so this one is hard, but I have learned to place limits on my time.
I knit while I watch a Law and Order marathon if it is Sunday and I am sick. I sew while I listen to music. I journal each night, even if it is just a paragraph or two, before I go to bed. I have friends over and we make projects such as holiday wreaths. I don't sit still often and I don't just SIT. That is the difference between a productive person and an unproductive person.
Don't get me wrong, there are days I am dead tired after work, I buy take out on the way home and my daughter and I watch a movie after dinner while I try not to fall asleep on the couch at 7:00 pm. That is normal, we all have those days, but the difference is I make sure those days are rare. Even if I am tired, I try to get something done: I vacuum, I sweep, I load/unload the dishwasher, I run a load of laundry or take the dog for a walk. It isn't much, but get a little bit of activity and you begin to wake up and FEEL better even if it is because you wake up the next morning and your sink isn't full of dishes and your favorite To-Go cup is already clean and waiting for it's coffee.
Sunday, September 01, 2013
Here's a secret: I'm not perfect. I am, however, making better choices and I am proud of myself. One of those choices is to select healthier foods, and this can be difficult at parties. Last night I went to a football party (first Husker football game of the season!). One friend made beef fajita mixings and another her chicken corn chili (chicken breast, fresh corn, salsa for seasoning, and kidney beans in a broth base). I had some fajita beef with sour cream (no tortilla) and some of the chili. i did have an extra beer (I had allotted myself two). So I went about 100 calories over yesterday.
Did I beat myself up? Did I throw in the towel today because I messed up a little yesterday? Nope. I had fruit for breakfast to help hydrate and give my blood sugar a boost. I chose to take my daughter downtown for the day and we walked for about 2 hours and went to a museum. I added some might activity into today which would have normally been a rest day and I have stayed on track today. While this may not sound miraculous, it is for me. I am currently the heaviest I have ever been in my life and I NEED to lose. Not only for my self esteem, but more importantly for my health. I am proud that I have made small adjustments in my life to create bigger changes.
Sunday, December 30, 2012
I have always been a social person, but discussing being overweight is embarrassing for me. Let's be honest, it is pretty obvious I am overweight, but it isn't something I like to talk about. I will excitedly report that I have lost a few pounds, but nobody really knows how much I need to lose. I am embarrassed that I have let myself get to this point.
I have a friend I have known now for about four years. She is a runner and in much better shape than I am. I tried going out jogging with her once, and I nearly died. :) I like having someone to work out with, but it is hard for me when I cannot do as much as they can. She joined the gym that I attend, and we went to spin class together this morning. I'm happy to have someone to go with me. In fact, she was impressed that I did much better (e.g. could keep my RPMs up with higher resistance). I felt really good, not only that I got out of bed early on a Sunday morning to go to the gym, but that I found something I could keep up with her on.
I have always heard finding a friend for encouragement and you are more likely to stick with it. I do much better with someone holding me accountable, so I am hopeful I can create a routine and stick with it! My new job makes it hard, but it is something I need to do.
Tuesday, May 08, 2012
My weight has been a struggle for so much of my life. I have bought into the gimmicks, the schemes, the idea that it can be easy, but I just haven't found that magic solution. The truth is: there are no secrets. There are no little hints, little tips, forbidden knowledge that only the successful people know.
There really is only one way to lose weight: eat healthy and exercise more.
Now there are small changes that a person might not have considered, but ultimately any weightloss comes down to eating less/better foods and exercising. I finally decided in April to stop allowing my insecurities keep me from losing weight. I had joined a gym in January, but was embarrassed to go to the Group Ex classes that I had wanted to attend, and were the reason I signed up. I finally forced myself to get over that. In a month I have become a four day a week gym goer (Sun-Wed) with an occasional Fri/Sat. I am eating less/eating better food, drinking less alcohol, and guess what.....I've lost nearly TEN POUNDS since March!
Ten pounds, it is an amazing thought. It is the kind of progress I used to envy in others. The kind of thing I used to say only other people could do. I know it will slow down and I will have to make adjustments as I progress, but I'm already noticing big changes: My stomach is slightly smaller, I have more energy, I can work harder and faster in my spin classes, I am not so sore after my lifting class, I am proud of myself!
The last one is perhaps the best...I am proud for sticking with it and making a change for the better!
Thursday, March 08, 2012
I have longed for a sun warmed garden fresh cherry tomato these long winter months. I am from Nebraska where we experience severe wind-chills in the winter and extreme heat indexes in the summer. It is a place where the seasons unmistakably change around you every four months. We are finally shrugging off winter with a sunny fresh smelling spring that will soon change into a humid hot Nebraska summer.
Last year my neighborhood built a community garden conveniently located right across the street from my home. My family helped build the fence, lay out the garden beds, and weed the community veggie plots in addition to our own plot. My daughter (four at the time) learned how plants grow, she enjoyed watered the vegetables, creating compost piles, and loved eating food that was still warm from the sun. Her only regret was that the bunnies liked the broccoli as much as she did, so there was none left for her to eat.
My daughter and I started our seedlings indoors last week, and the weather has finally allowed me to put them outside for some real sun, and they are growing so fast. The peas have burst into 1.5 inch tall stalks, the okra seeds we saved from the plants last year are thick and milky white, the spinach has grown into thin stalks that seem to double in size every two days. I can't wait to get my hands in the dirt and plant my precious seedlings. In just a few month we will harvest shelling peas, cherry tomatoes, purple okra, and some of the large carrots you have seen. Dinners will burst with flavor from fresh basil, rosemary and thyme, the house will smell of lavender and our ice tea will be flavored with lemon balm from the kitchen garden.
In our house we love summer, not just because the weather is more pleasant, but because we can enjoy the produce from our garden and share food with our neighbors outdoors. Food brings people together in ways other things in life can't, but it is even better if that food was lovingly grown in a garden, and the kids can run barefoot through the grass as they munch on healthy veggies they helped to grow.
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