Tuesday, January 12, 2010
My last spend blog is about spending money, so I suppose that that's appropriate. In the knowledge is power groove, you can't know what you're spending each month if you don't track it. Just like you can't know what you're actually eating if you don't track it.
In Austin, I'd gotten into the habit of writing down everything I spend on a tracker -- you can get it here at SP under the Financial healthy lifestyle center (see, sparking is really more about a healthy lifestyle than just losing weight) or use a spreadsheet or whatever. I keep a running total of how much I've spent, too, and then total up the categories at the end of the month.
I'd gotten out of the habit with the move. Too much going on. Too much weird spending -- you need stuff when you move. Too many excuses, right?
I am back to it. A new year definitely seems like a time for a new start. My only problem is that I can't get DH to do it. He always says it's right on the CC bill, since we charge most everything (and pay off our bills every month). He's right, but that only works if you actually track it, which he doesn't.
How do you keep your spending in line? Do you track what you spend? Do you have a budget? Do you have any idea how much money you need to live every month? Knowledge is power, and the truth shall set you free!
On a not so bright note, my Magic Bullet (yes, I did go back & buy it) bit the dust already. In less than a month. And sadly, I'm not sure where the receipt is, altho I know I charged it (but don't think I have that bill yet). I'll be contacting them anyway.
It was definitely handy, and I had my suspicions about how long it might last, but I think it only lasted 3 weeks!
Monday, January 11, 2010
Sorry, I just couldn't help myself. There might just be one more "spend" blog. We'll see.
This is a concept I absolutely can't get my husband to buy into to. That if you exercise, you actually feel more energetic.
Some of you may be reading that after having started a new exercise program, and thinking to yourself "yeah, sure". Maybe you're feeling a bit overwhelmed or sore. And I would ask you -- did you start out small? If you've never run a step in your life, you're unlikely to be able to run a mile, much less a marathon.
Both diets and exercise regimes tend to fail because people have an all or nothing attitude. They think they have to kill themselves to get healthy, and then they end up either burning out or injuring themselves.
I didn't get to my 1 to 1 1/2 hour exercise habit overnight. It's taken me 20 years to work up to it. Just like I started out learning to run in my late 40s by only running for 30 seconds at a time at first. Now I can run for 40 minutes straight. Yes, I'm very slow, but I'm gaining speed bit by little bit.
How many times have you started a new exercise routine only to crash and burn quickly? How do you feel when you go from nothing to an hour all at once? Now think about how you feel after just 10 minutes of exercise. I'll bet you actually feel more energized.
Start small. Build slowly. Be consistent. With those 3 steps, you'll find yourself actually looking forward to exercise because of the way it makes you feel. You'll sleep better, you'll burn more calories, and you won't have killed yourself.
Just don't make the mistake of thinking you can exercise your way out of fat. It doesn't work that way. It's a mind, body, spirit thing.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Ok, I already know that it takes time to lose weight. I wish it didn't, but it's the simple, honest truth. I just figured I was on a roll with the titles!
I have resisted getting a monthly pass for WW for a year and a half now. As a lifetime member, I don't have to pay for missed meetings. I don't miss a whole lot, but I do occasionally miss a meeting when I'm traveling. So it irked me to pay for meetings when I didn't have to.
I no longer have some of the payment plans I had available to me in Austin, so I broke down & did it. With my monthly pass comes Etools. And with that comes the recipe builder, where I put in my ingredients & it tells me how many points per serving.
I spent some time with recipe builder yesterday. I admit it: I cook from scratch a lot, and not all my recipes have nutritional values. I was winging it, looking at the recipe, mentally tallying points or even just guessing.
Sometimes I was spot on. Other times I was, shall we say, a bit off in left field. And it is time to push thru this plateau to the finish line. As we get closer and closer to our goals, we do have to be more accountable. We may be able to get away with a lot in the beginning, a little in the middle, and not much at all in the end.
So I'm keeping some dates with the recipe builder. It's time to take back my power, because knowledge is power. For you, it may be SP's food tracker. Or a written journal. The bottom line is it's whatever WORKS for you. And if it's not working, then it's time to take a different tack.
I know a lot of people thinking tracking food, calories, points, whatnot is obssessive. Maybe it is. But it is what works for me. My husband commented yesterday that I'm all skin & bones. It was supposed to be a compliment, I know, even tho the truth is that it's so far from the truth it's laughable. I'm definitely more skin and bones than I used to be -- and that's a good thing -- but I've got a nice layer of fat there still.
I've been spending a lot of time on my goals lately, too -- figuring out some on my own, being spurred to figure out some by reading the Spark, too. And as I blogged yesterday, it's actually helping me to stay more focused and spend my time more wisely (at least most of the time).
I did spend more time online yesterday than I have been recently, but that's only because I was figuring out points for recipes, so it was time well spent. Anyone know of some free software or Website that will count points for me if I put in servings & ingredients?
So what are you willing to spend your time on? What gets the most bang for your buck? What is your favorite way to track food?
Saturday, January 09, 2010
It seems ironic, doesn't it? I have definitely spent more time than usual on my goals lately. The whole-year goals, action plans for those goals, my monthly challenge.
The upside is that I am much more focused and am getting more done. I even squeezed in a bit of painting yesterday. It's nice to see I haven't totally lost my skills. I haven't really gotten in the groove there yet -- only painting for maybe half an hour usually; when I'm in the groove, I could paint all day!
Yesterday I barely knew what to do with myself in the afternoon because I'd already accomplished much of what I set out to do. The one thing I screwed up was taking the dogs for a walk. The snow was winding down, and I figured I'd take them for a short walk. By the time I was done on the computer, tho, it was really coming down again!
I didn't have to walk inside, tho, because we were out there after dinner shoveling. I don't think I've ever shoveled so much in my life. It's not that we have a lot of snow, thankfully we don't, it's just that we've been shoveling it almost weekly and then some. I keep thinking it will help me lose more weight, but it doesn't seem to.
I am not sure how long I'll be in the groove with all the focus and organizing. I've been here before, and fallen off the wagon (much like weight loss, hum?), but I am still filled with optimism and momentum. There is so much to tackle in this house still -- moving is not fun! -- but I am slowly chipping away at it, just like I'm slowly chipping away at my weight.
So yes, planning & organizing do take time. But they make time. It's true!
My new organizing took you can find at www.getfitbook.com , altho I ordered mine from Amazon. I have tried a variety of journals over the last year and a half, but I really like this one. I'll probably go ahead and get a 4 pack of them. Gotta get myself some stickers, too, so I can give myself smiley faces and gold stars and whatnot.
What's your favorite organizational tool? How do you keep up your motivation to stay organized?
Friday, January 08, 2010
I create a new healthy habits challenge for myself each month. This month's was a bit delayed because I've been working so hard on my goals for this year -- dreaming them up, coming up with an action plan. The good news is that DH & I seem to be finally be in sync toward finishing up the kitchen! Oh, we don't have the same opinions, but we both seem to have the attitude of now is the time to get it done.
So on to my challenge:
Mind: Read "Eat to Live" every day. Started yesterday. Am also reading some of "The Spark" each day.
Body: Make sure to walk at least 15 minutes inside when I can't walk the dogs outside in the afternoon. If I can't walk them at all, walk 40 minutes.
Spirit: See at least one movie in the theater. Watch one insipring movie at home (I'm thinking about "The Rookie" -- you're never too old to follow your dreams! What movies inspire you?).
Food: Have fruit for dessert after lunch at least 3 times per week.
I need to come up with some rewards, too.
Yesterday I spent about 15 minutes working on some action plans for my goals. I chose 4 of my 10 goals, and came up with some specific things I need to do to accomplish those goals within the next 3 months.
We are already one week into the new year. How's it going for you? Have you changed anything? How are you feeling? Still full of excitement, or has your job or the weather beaten you down already? What do you need to do to keep your motivation going?
The biggest thing I'm struggling with right now isn't quality of food, it's quantity. I feel I've mostly been eating healthy, but there is just a day or two per week that I get so hungry. Yes it's TOM, but that rolls around every month. I'm reviewing my food log more often to try and figure out what's going on.
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