Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Hi all! I am not Sparking nearly as much as usual these days for two reasons:
1) I just bought a house and we still don't have internet there yet. Plus, the house is a fixer-upper so I need to dedicate most of my at-home time to working on the house.
2) The school year just started so I'm extremely busy while I'm at work...plus my computer at school is verrrrry slow. (I'm on it right now.)
So....I'm not tracking these days, so, predictably enough, my weight has gone up a few pounds. I'm hovering around 160 these days after having been firmly in the 150s for so many months, so that's no good. Hopefully I will resume tracking soon, but until my life calms down just a bit and I get internet at home I don't see that happening. At least I'm not gaining rapidly... I am trying to live by the same general principles:
*Smoothie for breakfast
*Portion control at lunch and dinner
*One snack bag of almonds per day
*All other snacks fruits and vegetables
However, I have to admit I've also been having one granola bar per day...I should probably cut that out and eat more "freggies" instead...and also I've probably been having beer or wine with dinner and/or ice cream for dessert a bit too often... but the good news is that I'm not binge eating the ice cream - we either go to the ice cream shop in our new neighborhood and order small cups, or we get those adorable single-serving ice creams from the grocery store (my favorite is Haagen Daaz chocolate peanut butter). Another good thing is that for the first time my husband and I are actually eating dinner together like a mini-family, rather than me eating some batch-cooked, frozen, and microwaved meal before he even gets home. So I don't know how many calories there are in my dinner, but the food is usually pretty healthy and I never overeat in front of my husband (he's a big supporter of putting leftovers in Tupperware for the next day's lunch before you even start eating dinner).
The other good news is that I am back to regular exercise. I am going to Body Pump 2x/week instead of my usual 3x because I'm skipping the weekends in order to have more time to work on my house, but I go on Tues. & Thurs. evenings (heading to the gym as soon as I'm done blogging, in fact!). I am also jogging outside, or using the elliptical when it's raining. And of course owning a fixer-upper continues to mean that I'm burning calories at home with yardwork, cleaning, organizing, etc...but I will admit that it's not quite as strenuous as it was the first couple weeks when I was stripping wallpaper all day every day.
As for the house, it's coming along...slowly.... my in-laws are helping a lot with all sorts of projects which is great...my MIL is doing a lot of painting and my FIL, who is a pro, is working on EVERYTHING! (It's fun to come home and realize, OMG, my FIL fixed the ___! Fill in the blank almost any way you want: door, steps, walls, sinks, siding, etc.......... he's fantastic) A lot of friends and family have come to visit and everybody who visits uses the same word:
My house has a lot of potential. What this means is that it's awful right now : )but could be really great someday...after a WHOLE LOT MORE WORK has been done!
Hope you're all well and I apologize for not being up to date on reading everyone's blogs and stuff...I've saved the email notifications and I will! Someday soon!
Friday, August 19, 2011
...and my right hand is SORE!
I really want to post pictures but they're on the other computer. There are a bunch of photos of the house on my husband's facebook page...but I admit I am not very FB savvy. If you are my friend on FB, can you see my husband's photo albums? Anyway, here is the link:
Please let me know if it works - and if we're not FB friends yet, add me! :)
Anyway, this house is The Ultimate Fixer-Upper. It was built in 1823 and we're thinking that in twelve years, when the house has its 200th birthday, we MIGHT be done with the renovations. So far, with the help of family and an electrician with four assistants, we have done the following:
*cleaned the fridge (my 1st job)
*created two huge piles of brush from throughout the yard (now...what to do with them??)
*weeded and trimmed the front yard
*stripped wallpaper from 5 and a half rooms (didn't quite finish a room yesterday) and a hallway
*partially gutted and started rebuilding a bathroom
*new lighting, switches, and outlets in several areas throughout the house
*purchased gorgeous white marble 4-inch (I think) tiles for the bathroom floor
*put up new sheetrock where needed
*started the process of patching cracks in walls and ceilings (my FIL called it the "crack house" - I told him that has a totally different meaning in certain neighborhoods!)
I've been working mostly on wallpaper removal personally, which is why my hand hurts so much. I've been going over to the house right after breakfast each day and staying until around 10 pm, then we come back to the condo to shower and sleep. So not much SP - I log in each day to spin the wheel and update my weight and that's about it. I'm not tracking my calories right now and my weight has gone up a few pounds....but not too many. As long as I can keep it under 160 I'm okay with that even though we're going to the beach next week (I want to stay and keep working on the house, but a little vacation will do us some good I'm sure and it's all paid for by the in-laws). I also haven't been to the gym or had a formal workout since we bought the house, but I'm basically exercising all day every day with the renovating work. I kind of feel like going to the gym would waste time and energy I could be spending on the house! I go back to school on Monday the 29th, so I want to use as much time as I can now on the house! It's so far from even being ready to be lived in, let alone in a finished state, but we haven't gotten a buyer or renter yet for the condo anyway, so in the meantime we can live here at the condo. The house and the condo are only 3.5 miles apart, by the way, but the neighborhoods are totally different. The condo is in a very urban area, and the house, even though it is in the city of Boston, is in a very woodsy, quiet, residential area. Guess where I'd rather be living!! But at the very least, the upstairs bathroom needs to be finished before we can move in and right now it's still in a partially gutted state! My husband is working full-time and only has an hour or two each night to work on it, and the bathroom is really his project.
Last night was my brother's last night in MA before his early-morning flight back to CA today...so we went out to dinner, and then a friend surprised us by bringing over champagne to celebrate...so we were up late without getting any work done last night, and then thankfully my husband volunteered to get up at 4:15 to drive my brother to the airport so I could sleep, and I didn't wake up until after 9:30!! I try to be at the house by 9ish each morning but that just doesn't always happen. Today's probably the latest - it's already almost 11:30 and I'm sitting here blogging/babbling on! I should go...oh, and my 15-year-old Jeep has issues so I'm worried it'll strand me somewhere....luckily it's a short drive to the house...but my parents might be giving me their Prius (as a housewarming gift?), so it'll be nice to not have to worry about car issues, and I'll probably cut my gas expenses in at least half.
So! That's my rambling update on what it's like to own The Ultimate Fixer-Upper!!!
**EDIT: Thanks Moxie for letting me know the link doesn't work...maybe go to FB, search for me ("Susan G" - my last name doesn't start with G anymore but I don't know how to change it!) and then maybe once you find my page you can find my husband Jess' page and then see the pics? If anyone knows an easier way to link you guys to the FB pictures please let me know. :)
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Today is an exciting day - it is the last day of summer school, but more significantly, today is the day Jess and I close on our house! We had our final walk-through last night and it was so surreal...all that space, all that 200-year-old charm, all that WORK this house needs, will all belong to us, in a matter of hours.
I hope - no, more than hope - I PLAN to put forth a lot of positive energy tackling the many projects this house needs. I will be able to use what I've learned on Spark about setting and accomplishing goals to do this. Maybe I can even get a workout out of doing yardwork, stripping wallpaper, painting walls, moving heavy items, etc. I have to miss Body Pump tonight because of the closing, but I will try to squeeze in either a trip to the gym or (preferably) an outdoor jog before the closing (it's at 3 P.M., and it's in an unfamiliar part of Boston).
My husband, Jess, has been stressed about the huge change looming. He normally only goes to the gym on the weekends, but working out makes him feel better so he's trying to come with me more often during the week. The problem is that the gym is not conveniently located for him, and he doesn't get home from work until usually around 7, so we have to work out late and eat dinner late. Plus I can't wait for him when I have a class, which I do on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
Hopefully I'll have some great "before" pictures to post of the house soon so you can all see the kinds of immense work this place needs! It'll be more fun to post the "afters." :)
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
My weight hasn't changed much in about five months now. Is this good or bad?
On the positive side, this is probably the lowest weight range I've ever been able to keep relatively stable over this length of time, if that makes any sense. What I mean is that ever since I started losing weight, I HAVEN'T seen any stability until now. Ever since starting SP 4.5+ years ago I was always either in the process of losing or the process of gaining. I have pants that fit me five months ago that still fit, and I've even given away some of my tiniest pants knowing that it's not realistic for me to expect to wear them again any time soon. I have a healthy routine that includes good exercise and eating habits, while allowing some indulgences, and it's easy to stick to yet challenging enough that I have seen fitness improvements.
On the negative side, my BMI is hovering around 25, which of course means that I'm borderline overweight. I still LOOK overweight in certain outfits, from certain angles, on days when I'm just not feeling so secure.
Who remembers RUN_LIFT_EAT? She was only on SP for a relatively short time, but while she was here she was so bubbly, so friendly, and shared such thoughtful advice/opinions on her Spark friends' blogs. I miss her! Anyway, she shared with me an article that suggested that you should only lose small amounts of weight at a time - I think the specific number might have been 10 percent of your starting weight, but I might be mixing that up with Weight Watchers?:) Anyway, after you lose that small amount, you let yourself acclimate to that new weight before trying to lose any more - possibly resetting your set point.
So....maybe that's what's going on for me. I weigh just about ten percent less than what I'd consider my set point, and I am learning to maintain this weight. What I'm unsure about is what happens next. Obviously if I keep doing what I'm doing I'm not going to lose any more weight. I'd have to lower my calorie intake to make that happen. For me lowering my calorie intake will really mean restricting my eating - even if I don't go very low, it's still restricting because it's less than I want. And I'm not sure whether that will backfire again like it's done in the past...eating too little for too long seems to trigger bad habits for me. If I stay where I am now I won't have to RESTRICT as much as just stay mindful, which is something I know I can do long term. BUT, if I stay where I am now, I'll be borderline overweight forever. So, this is where I am now. Not really looking for answers...just wanted to kind of lay it all out.
PS - we finally got our mortgage committment yesterday, so now buying the house is one hundred percent definitely going to happen. Closing in 8 days!!
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