Would you like to translate this into another language?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Envelope System for Kids

Oh how I LOVE back to school shopping!

Last year, we tried a new system. We did a repeat this year, but we tweaked it just a little bit.

We cleaned bedrooms in the morning. As we did so, I asked the kids to pay attention to what they felt they needed for school clothes. We put each child's name on his/her own envelope and jotted down just what he/she needed on the same envelope.

We estimated what we felt shirts, jeans, etc. would cost, figured a total for each child and headed to the bank. Before we got to the bank, we totaled the number of 1s, 5s, 10s, and 20s we would need. We divided the correct money into the correct envelopes.

Each child carried his/her own envelope into the store and shopped for what he/she needed. There were items that couldn't be afforded. There were no temper tantrums; they just found other items.

Of course, they couldn't wait to wear what they'd purchased and offered to do a fashion show for me when we got home. I had already seen what they'd bought, so I made them wait until their dad got home. So fun to see them so excited.

Before you go shopping, one last hint. We went online before we left and found that Old Navy had a printable coupon. We were able to use that in the store and saved 25% off our entire purchase. Make sure you take a look around online before you go.

Because we saved more than $12 out of the budget allowed, I took the kids to get frosty's at Wendy's. It was nice to teach the kids that just because they had it didn't mean they had to spend it. After our frosty's, we were still in the black--a pretty sweet feeling!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Cleaning Bathrooms and Losing Weight

image credit: easternshoremedicalweightloss
image credit: greatleadershipbydan
Why is it when I start going in a good direction I have this great desire to sabotage myself?...and I don't mean just a little bit. I'm talking ALL OUT sabotage.

You know, when I was losing weight before, I had people that I'd see week after week. They weren't anyone I knew. They were complete strangers to me, actually, but regardless, they were a face-to-face accountability crew. Is that what would make the difference here?

image credit: hersheys
I can choose to account here or not, right? Maybe I don't want this badly enough. I mean, if I did, I wouldn't be eating Krispy Kreme donuts whenever they're offered to me, and I wouldn't have purchased those ginormous Symphony bars and smuggled them into my closet, right?

Back in the day, there were people who'd ask, "What did you do good this week?" I'd share with the world how many great things I'd done.
image credit: gregsalerts

The other day, I taught #6 a more thorough approach to cleaning the bathroom. He is five, so it's about time he knew more than just how to pick up the towels and empty the garbage.

image credit: bibleprophecyupdate
As I did so, I remembered a principle that's been in my brain for the past couple years. I guess you could call it the "creation" approach. I didn't learn this from anywhere; it just kind of popped into my brain one day while I was reading Genesis chapter one and wouldn't leave. I've probably even blogged about it, to some degree or another, before.

image credit: whatsinsidescjohnson
The first thing I had #6 do was clean the mirror. We decided on, and verbally listed, the things that would need to be cleaned that day. I told him that he would need to clean the high up things first, and then I let him decide just what the highest up thing was.

He sprayed the mirror, wiped it beautifully and started to climb down off the counter. I stopped him before his feet hit the floor and directed him to look back at the mirror. I asked him how it looked. He shared that it looked "good."

I replied, "Yes it does. Was it the best work you could have done?"

He responded, "Yes."

I said, "Then take a look at that mirror and repeat after me....'I did it, and it looks great.'"

He repeated these words and beamed. He was so proud of himself.

As the bathroom cleaning continued and #6 became very aware of doing a good job, all I had to say was was this job worthy of your good words to yourself. If not, work until it is. He became very good at this.

We moved from job to job. By the time we were finished, the room was practically glowing and so was he.

I've pondered on this from time to time since then and realized that this really is a great way to look at life....Not always thinking "What could I have done better?" but "What have I done today that was great?"

A few posts ago, I shared some of the ways I communicate with my children. A friend asked me what I say to my children to praise them. I really don't have any special words I use. As I read her question, I thought that it's in my demeanor--in how I say words not necessarily what the words are that makes the difference--but as I pondered this "and it was good" experience with #6, I see now that the best thing I can do is teach my children to praise themselves when they know they've done well. This behavior needs to become their reward.

image credit: lifeasiknowitv1.wordpress
So....Here's my lesson to myself. In this weight loss experience, as well as other experiences in my life--whether cleaning the bathroom or losing weight,--I'm seeing that I need to seek to treat myself well. I need to do this with the idea that at the end of the day (or maybe at first, at the end of the meal), I need to pat myself on the back and tell myself the things I've done well.

I need to be worthy of my own praise.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Just So You Know

A glazed ring Krispy Kreme donut is 5 points for me. The Warden is doing the new system. It's 6 for him.

image credit: http://www.freedozen.com/

Does this give you some indication of what's going on? Yup. I'm struggling! But....that I'm still aware of how many points it is, that's a good sign, right?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Have You Seen This?!

This makes my heart happy!....

Want In?

Are you sick of eating the same things day after day?

I'm hoping you'll help me out.

I want to create another cookbook. This won't be just any cookbook, though. By Christmas 2013, I want you to be able to gift your friends and family the "Neighbors of the Madhouse" cookbook.

image credit: http://sarahcwainright.wordpress.com
So, here's the deal....If you would like to appear in this book, will you come up with your very favorite recipe and send it to me? I will also send you a questionnaire and ask you to answer as many questions as you'd like. From that questionnaire, I will create a biographical sketch; unless, of course, you'd like to submit your own. I will also ask for a photo of you. The photo and bio will go on one page; the recipe will go on the facing page.

If you'd like to share the recipe of someone close to you--your mom, your sister, your next-door neighbor, I'm great with that too. Just make sure you get his/her permission. I will still ask for the biographical information and a photo in this case as well.

I will try the recipe you send and highlight it on my blog. At this point, I'm picturing two posts like this a week. When I try the recipe, I will take a photo of it for the book as well.

The only thing I ask is that your recipe not contain things that LDS people choose not to consume. If you need clarification on this, please don't hesitate to ask. You should know by now, there's not a whole lot that I hide.

Unlike the first cookbook, this one I'm picturing as a hardbound photo book. I would like it to be around 100 pages long. That would mean 50 recipes. If I end up with less than 50, I won't make it into a book, but you will still be highlighted on the Madhouse blog. If it's more than 50, the book will end up being a bit more expensive, but I figure, we can adjust and change my image a bit--recipe and bio on the same page, more than one recipe on a page--stuff like that.

After checking on Blurb.com, I can see that this book, if hardbound will be around $30. The more sold, the greater the discount. My hope is to have the project done in time for people to order for Christmas 2013. If you submit a recipe and are thus entered in the cookbook, you will have first dibs on ordering. There will also be a discount applied to your order. The cookbook will also be offered for sale to the general public.

So....are you in? If so, please take a moment to email me--jolierufus(at)gmail(dot)com. I'll email you back the questionnaire. Thanks! This is going to be so much fun!!!

Checking In

Time to check in....

I weighed in on Monday. I'd lost three pounds. Pretty exciting, huh? Twelve to go.

I'm doing the Jillian Michaels 30-day Shred workout level 1. I do it everyday but Sunday. To make up for it this past week, I walked home from church. It's about a mile.

I'm no longer sore when I do the workout, but I was for the first four days or so. I struggle more with the aerobic endurance stuff than the weights and other exercises. I'm thinking I'll switch to level 2 on Saturday. I did a quick preview of it this morning. It doesn't look all that much harder than what level 1 requires.

As far as points go, I slacked for two days this past week--Saturday and Sunday. I mean "slacked" in regard to counting points. I was still very aware of what was going into my body and was careful, but I didn't take the time to write them down. That's a pretty dangerous thing to do this early in the game.

My three pound loss put me down one more point. I'm now at 21. I went back to Wendie's and recalculated my points per day.

image credit: http://www.famousdaves.com
So, confession time, yesterday, we went out with some friends to dinner (I mentioned that on my most recent post). I knew we were going the day before, so I went online and looked up Famous Dave's. There it was on One More Pound. I did some research and learned that the grilled chicken sandwich was only 5 points, so that's what I went for. After I was done, I also ate a cornbread muffin. I thought that should be pretty harmless, so I went for it.

image credit: http://www.mobypicture.com
Last night, as I was adding up my final points for the day, I remembered the muffin. Get this....7 POINTS! 7!!! Considering everything else I ate during the day, that put me well above my 21, and actually, with Wendie's plan, I was supposed to consume 23 points. Well, that took me above that as well.

I think in this case, Wendie's plan saved me. What Wendie's does is it takes your regular point allowance and takes the additional 35 points you're given per week and divides them amongst the other days of the week. When I set up on Wendie's, I chose Saturday as my big point day. I get something like 36 points on that day alone, so last night I simply took all of the points that I shouldn't have eaten yesterday (anything over 23) and subtracted them from Saturday's planned points. Does that make sense? Because I had eaten them already yesterday, those points will not be eaten on Saturday. I think it took me down to 25 for Saturday. Yikes! That's some serious over eating. Darned muffin! But, it was delicious.

So, how are you doing? Any great workouts you're doing? Challenges?

Back Roads

The Warden and I met up with some friends for dinner last night. Before we drove home, the Warden got out his phone and started messing with his GPS. I assured him that I knew the way home. I was pretty sure he did too. His reply, "Yah, but let's take the back roads."

We took Beef Bend Road, Roy Rogers Road and Tile Flat Road to Grabhorn Road. The sun was gorgeous! The weather was absolutely perfect.

We were in #1's little car with the top off. The wind was blowing through our hair. It was honestly blissful.

As we drove, I realized how much I love taking the back roads. If I can, I'll take them every time.

Such a metaphor of life.....

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Magic Words for Moms

image credit: www.lastmom.com
We all know "please," and "thank you" are magic words for kids. I figure they're my payment for doing things around here. If I don't hear those words, I don't move.

But...do you know the magic words for moms? As I was getting breakfast ready for #7 this morning, I noticed that there are certain phrases I use with my kids that work some great magic around here. These words and phrases have been tested on seven children. So far, so good. Here they are for your perusal....

image credit: es.dreamstime.com
1. "while"
This morning I was getting the cereal out of the cupboard. #7 was standing there next to me, but I noticed that her blanket was laying on the kitchen floor. I said, "Hey, while I'm pouring this cereal for you, will you please go put your blanket up in your room?" She took off running, blanket in hand, and put it away. She returned as I was getting the milk out, so I tried it again, "While I'm pouring this milk for you, would you please go put this toy in the toy closet." Again, off she went.

This is a great tool for getting two things done at once. I figure each time my kids ask for me to do something, I can have them do something in return. It's good for them to know that family means helping each other.

2. "as soon as"
#7 hates sitting in the chair with the tray, but if she didn't, we'd end up with a thousand and a half spills in this house. She almost always puts herself at the table where everyone else eats. This morning was no exception. I walked in with her newly poured cereal and saw her sitting at the table, so I said, "As soon as you're in your chair, you can have your cereal." She protested. Would you expect anything else? I mean, really? I stood there holding the bowl of cereal and waited patiently. It took a few moments, but next thing I knew, there she was climbing into her chair.

image credit: www.thinkgeek.com
3. "or"
When she climbed into her chair, she had a large board book in her hands. One of the rules at our house is that no books are allowed at the table. She put the book on top of her tray (leaving no room for the bowl of cereal), so I went to remove it. She argued that she wanted it. I stood there and reminded her of the "no book" rule. I held the book in one hand and the cereal in another then I offered "Would you like the book or the cereal." She had to ponder it for a few moments. She chose the cereal. The book went on the table to wait for her to finish.

Okay, so #4 isn't a word. I cheated.

4. silence
When #7 blatantly ignores or breaks a rule, I don't say anything. I take her by the hand, as calmly as possible and help her to do or undo what she's done.

What I'm learning is that sometimes I have a tough time keeping my mouth shut. When my older kids misbehave, I just want to talk it out and make sure they understand, but I'm learning that when a logical consequence is applied, I have to just be quiet and let the kids' brains do the work. When things are calm, that's the time to talk. I think, having as poor a memory as I do, I just want to talk it out before I forget. Maybe I need to take notes.

Anyway, there you have it....How some of our potentially ugly situations are defused in the Madhouse. So easy and simply...magical!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Envelope System: Month 8

I'm learning to tweak the system in new ways. Ways that'll help us be on top of our game at the end of the month.

image credit: http://www.123rf.com
I decided that this month I'd go back into the checking account to see just how much is being borrowed and deposited from other accounts. I first, reduced our budget by that much, which made things a bit tighter than usual.

I did this just as a mental game for myself. I have myself tricked that we have less money to work with this month. In the past, when I've left any money unbudgeted, I've spent it in my brain in multiple places until I find myself in trouble. If I think there's extra money, I spend like there's extra money, but this month, because I think there isn't enough, hopefully there will be extra at the end of the month and even more can be added to those accounts that have been drawn from.

The biggest expense this month will be the trip to take #1 to school. This is a new expense that will have to be added to the budget. That's the joy of budgets, though. They are personal and can flex as your life changes.

I know in some of the previous posts I've given specifics about this process, but if you haven't read any of those, here's how it shakes out.....

Create a spreadsheet and document your expenses (this is a partial snapshot of what ours contains):
  • Income - we do his, mine and other and then I total them all
  • Fixed expenditures
    • Mortgage
    • Insurance - detailed homeowners/renters, car, life, property, etc.
    • Savings/investments, etc.
  • Variable expeditures
    • Fuel
    • Utilities - I detail these: electricity, water, garbage, etc. They each have their own line.
    • Household operation expenses - again, detailed: lawn/garden, fridge water filter, etc.
    • Transportation - oil changes, repairs, etc. I also just added a "new car fund." There isn't any money budgeted for that yet, but when we've decided that that will become more of a priority and set a goal for what we think would be sufficient for our family, we'll start stowing money away for that as well.
    • Birthdays/gifts - I put every person in the family's name on their own line.
    • Pocket money - This is just for me and the Warden. We have a completely separate account set up at a completely different institution for our children's savings, etc.
    • Food
    • Personal care
    • Recreation/entertainment
    • Medical/dental
    • Special expenses - This includes sports, Christmas, etc.
    • Miscellaneous - I even detail this--future ACT/SAT test fees, Christmas cards/postage, EFY, etc. This, if left undetailed, will fall under the same category I was describing above. It would be like unbudgeted dollars, and I'd spend it over and over again without hesitation.

image credit: http://blogs.babble.com
As the year has gone on, I've added some expenses that I've found come around seasonally, so I can save for them for the next year. This month I added on a school supply and school clothes budget. I wish I would have thought of those things earlier, so I would have been set by now.

After you set up your categories, go through past records and find an average of how much you spend on each thing. This can be rather time consuming if this is your first budget. The first time I set it up, I went through the three most recent months' bank statements and figured the amounts from that. It might be an even better idea to look at statements that came out three months from each other just to give you an idea on seasonal spending.

For those bills I pay every other month or quarterly, I divide them into equal portions and pay the same amount each month. For example, we pay our garbage bill every other month. I called the garbage company (my kids call them the "WMDs"--the Waste Management dudes) and asked them if they would be okay with this arrangement. They gave me the thumbs up, so that's how we've done it ever since. This way, we're not $64 richer one month and $64 poorer the next. We're just out $32 each month.

The only company I found that wouldn't go for this set up was our life insurance company, which is a yearly expense. We used to just pay it when our tax return came out, but now I took the total amount, divided it by twelve and have my bank automatically transfer 1/12 of it to a special account each month. It will accumulate there until I need to pay it. That way if, by chance, there is no tax return, we can still pay it without sweating it.

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At the bottom of the spreadsheet, after I've categorized all of my spending, I have a section for a "summary." In this section, I add up the cost for both fixed and flexible expenditures and subtract them from the total income.If that total line is a negative number, clearly I'm planning on spending more than I have coming in. In that case, I need to do some re-thinking. If that number is positive, which is wonderful, I have extra to spend and can reallocate those funds to which ever area I want to. When all is said and done, however, that number HAS to be zero. Even if you put all of that extra money into an emergency fund, which I would advise, do it. Get it out of there, or you'll be continually thinking of all the wonderful ways you can spend it. Before you know it, you will have spent it in not just one but all of those ways because heck, why not?--There, now you've seen into my brain. Scary how it works, huh?

Recently, just to make things easier on myself, next to each category, I have added a line for how that particular bill is paid. There are some I use my bank's online bill pay system for, there are some I use that institution's autopay feature for, there's one I pay with a check, and the others are cash.

image credit: http://www.torange.us
Next thing I do is go through the cash paid categories. As you go a wee bit farther out to the right on my spreadsheet, you will see, way across the top, a space that says 100, one that says 50, and then continues with 20, 10, 5, and 1. As I go to each item that says cash after it, I figure out how many of each of these denominations I need to cover that expense for the month. I have a friend that figures this weekly, which I think is a fabulous idea, but I just don't want to run to the bank every week. You're lucky to get me there monthly, as it is. I prefer the conveniences of online banking and the ATM usually.

I total how many of each type--how many 100s, 50s, 20s, and so on--I need. I then figure out how much money that comes to both individually and collectively, print it out, and head to the bank. At the bank, they ask for my account number and my photo I.D. I also have to sign for the money before she goes to count  it out. She counts it in front of me, puts it in an envelope, and I'm off.

image credit: http://inzolo.com
I go home, pull up my spreadsheet, get out my marked envelopes (the envelopes titles correspond with the items on my spreadsheet) and divvy up the cash. Some things I split between the Warden and me. Other things I put in my purse for this week's use. Still others I put away for future use. I have envelopes for longer term spending and those for shorter term--an envelope containing smaller denominations marked for groceries week 2, 3, 4, and 5 and for dates weeks 2, 3, 4, and 5 that I stash away.

That's about how it goes. I love that when I go to my bank statement and see the same few things paid there each month. I love the lack of guess work that this creates. I love knowing where I stand financially at any given moment.

Just a Little Piece of Unwanted Advice...

Oh my goodness! I just found this at the bottom of the annex blog. I don't even remember putting it there, but I really need to share it....for those who asked me to change my blog, a little word of advice:

"...My counsel to members would be to relax, lighten up, mellow out, and not get so huffy. While the gospel is sacred and serious, sometimes we take ourselves a little too seriously. A sense of humor, especially about ourselves, is an attribute worthy of development."
--Glen L. Pace

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Not Again!

Okay, confession to make....

image credit: http://asmallpieceofgodsplan.blogspot.com/
I'm kind of getting on my minimalist kick again. What is up with that?

I got to looking through a list of some great minimalist bloggers and found at least two of them who have large families.

image credit: http://rumblings.org
Could it be that we, who have large families, are just surrounded by too much stuff and therefore, want some order and peace? Umm...Yup. I think that's very possible. So, I'm starting to think that my overwhelming desire to hike through the world with nothing but my backpack on my back, completely unfettered, might just be one of those grass being green on the other side of the fence-type things and not a quirky, neurotic dream. You know, you always want what you don't got.

Stuff also requires maintenance. I would rather maintain my relationships than my stuff. After all, I'm not taking the stuff with me when I die. No, this is not an announcement or a prediction or anything of the sort. Just an off-the-cuff statement.

image credit: http://www.qcveterans.com
Although, along the lines of death, would it be too terribly morbid of me to write a post on what I want for my funeral? I've been thinking of doing this for a long time. Part of the reason is that before my mom died, the topic of death was completely taboo, and we just had to guess at what she would have wanted.

The truth of the matter is, you never know when you're going to go, and I don't want to keep anyone guessing.

image credit: http://sunshinepromises.blogspot.com
Maybe all this talk is because it's pioneer season in Mormon-ville (July 24th is when the Mormon pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley), and we're singing a lot of dirge-ish versions of the fourth verse of "Come, Come Ye Saints." That'll get to you, I tell you. Ugh! The song directs--"with conviction." It is not a death march. Yet every year, it's the same thing. That moan you hear, when the introduction is played, is me. Sorry. I dread it more than words can say. "Happy day. All is well." Yah, right. I don't believe you.

....Okay, enough of that soap box....

So, who knows where this minimalism thing'll go this time. Time will tell.

I've written about ten posts in the last three days. Have I posted any of them? Umm, no. Why? I don't know. I wrote a pretty good parenting one today, but I can't figure out how to end it well. Do I post it unended? I just can't bring myself to do that. Maybe this week I'll spend some time going back to unpublished posts and get them wrapped up and online.

This week will be back to life as normal. No Cub Scout day camp. No E.F.Y. Just cross country and soccer practices--life as usual.

image credit: http://chattahbox.com
I'm still working on counting points. Did really well today. I've cut back my water to a normal amount and so far so good. No symptoms of anything, so maybe I washed it all out. I have to share, though that maybe a slight reason for cutting back has to do with the fact that the neighboring water district has problems with e coli to the point that people are having to boil their water before they use it. It's not our water district; the website says we're all good, but still....

cherry blossoms pressed in my journal
I'm typing up my mission blog diligently. I'm up to 39 posts, and I'm not even halfway done with the MTC yet. Hmm.... maybe this writing thing has been big in my brain for a very long time. I didn't even have a clue. I'm excited to start scanning photos and getting them on board too. It's a fun project. I highly recommend it to anyone who might have old hand-written journals and printed photos laying around.

image credit: http://nbsmith.blogspot.com
Other than that....planning the trip to taking the oldest to college. Yikes! Meeting what I think are complete strangers while out driving on the road only to find that we're not strangers at all--long, funny story. And, a ton of recurring themes that I KNOW I will eventually HAVE to blog about.

All in all, life is good.
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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Third Day In

I did the Jillian Michaels workout alone yesterday and with #1 today. #1 is in really good shape. I, however, am not. Did I really need to say that? I got through the whole workout yesterday without too many problems. I used weights that were a bit too heavy (5 pounds--makes me sound super wimpy, huh?), but otherwise, I really enjoyed it. I got a really good workout from it.

Today, I gave blood right around 4pm. To take it easy on the arm I gave blood out of, I decided to lift cans from the pantry instead of the weights. #1 used the weights. I got light headed a number of times, so I didn't work as hard as I would have liked, but I'm finding that, as I'm getting older, the after effects are a bit more defined.

We are both feeling it tonight. I love that feeling!

image credit: Jack Everett
I did great on the water and the food. There was one piece of banana bread left this morning--SCORE! I knew I had a bunch more points today than yesterday (28), so I didn't even hesitate to partake. So YUMMY! With the workout, I ended up with 31 points for the day. I had leftovers for lunch today and just to be safe, I only ate half of what I originally served myself. I had one serving of Life cereal after the banana bread, so that was an 8 point breakfast. For lunch, I had a handful of blueberries along with those leftovers I mentioned. For dinner, we had wraps with ground beef, rice, refried beans, etc. I didn't count up those points, but I really should have. I just kind of estimated what I thought they might be.

English: A pile of Cheez-It crackers made by K...
image credit: Wikipedia
My one fall back today was after I gave blood. I didn't even think...I took the orange juice they offered me and didn't even hesitate to grab a package of Cheez-its (210 calories--I didn't figure points). When I realized what I'd done, I quickly stopped eating and handed them to #5 who was with me. I took a package of raisins instead.

Tomorrow I get to go to Cub Scout day camp for the afternoon. I figure I'd better get my water all drunk early. I'm not thinking a lot of trips to the outhouse is something I will look forward to.
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Still Feeling the Effects

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Second Day

Knowing that twenty-two points lay ahead today, I tried to go super easy on breakfast, but one of the kids wanted bacon. UGH!!!! NOT BACON! I have two weaknesses in this world....cheese and BACON!

I sauteed some zucchini and yellow squash in 1 tablespoon of butter--one point. And yes, believe it or not, there was a piece of bacon left over from that I made for the kids, so I ate it. I mean, I couldn't just leave it there. Consider it a service I was providing, but regardless, it still cost me.

I had some bananas that were getting a bit overly ripe on the counter, so you know what that means, and you can't bake banana bread without having a piece, so I had a small piece. That was five lousy points. I mean delicious points, but lousy in the way that that's five points gone.

At lunch, I had chicken nachos, blueberries, salad and one large, amazingly sweet strawberry. I also drank a chocolate milk. I'm not even sure how many points that is, and it may have sucked up every remaining point I had with that, but since I don't know the point value, I'm estimating and leaving myself four points for dinner.

image credit: http://www.topnews.in
At this point, I've drunk seven of my sixteen glasses of water.

A friend is coming over early this evening to do our kickboxing workout with #1 and me, only she suggested we do it on the trampoline. YES! This is going to be SO FUN! I figure yesterday I got a medium-intensity workout. I'm wondering if I can pick it up a little bit and really concentrate on working hard, so I get three more points instead of just one.

I noticed that onemorepound.com has recipes with good point values, so I may go there to figure out what to do for dinner.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Finishing off the Day

image credit: http://bringittomeusa.com
Dinner tonight was turkey kielbasa, rice and broccoli. I put a little bit of beef boullion in the rice and the broccoli was the Green Giant brand with the cheese sauce in it. The broccoli was only one point per serving. The rice was four points for 1/4 cup, so I went fairly easy on the rice. The kielbasa was only two points per serving (1/7 of it). Anyway, I just stirred these ingredients together. We also, last minute, found a number of zucchini and yellow squashes ready to be eaten in our garden, so those were sauteed in a small amount of butter and served as well. They were really good stirred in with the rest.

Everybody else had bread and butter. I passed because I also ate a very small piece of strawberry rhubarb crisp with about a tablespoon of vanilla ice cream on top. YUM! I just couldn't resist, but that's the joy of the points....you just serve yourself a smaller portion.

image credit: http://www.amazon.com
So, I went over in my points by one, but #1 and I did a kickboxing workout in on our back deck after dinner. We did "10 Minute Solution: Kickbox Bootcamp" on Netflix. There are five different workouts. We did three of them--basic, fat burner and abs.

I've drunk twelve glasses of water at this point. Do I dare drink four more? If so, I'd better down them all rather soon.

I've had my veggies and fruits and met my points as well as ate my exercise point. It kind of irks me that I can work out like crazy but still only get one point. Ah well. If I'd worked a bit harder, I'd have gotten three, but I was unfamiliar with the workout. I will definitely do these again. They were very doable, and I tend to be on the less-coordinated side of things, so that's saying something.

All in all, it's been a good day. Tomorrow will be 22 points. Yikes! I felt spoiled with my 27 today. That's okay. If I exercise more and harder, I can work it up to more points and get to enjoy a little extra.
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Starting Off

"To reach a goal you have never before attained, you must do things you have never before done."
--Richard G. Scott, "Finding the Way Back," Ensign, May 1990, 74

As I venture once again into this portion control and exercise thing, I'm finding that having been there before and knowing that it's achievable is a HUGE help. The quote above is for anyone joining me who hasn't done this before.

Before I was in my late 30s, I never had to watch my weight--thanks Mom. Now it's a different story. A friend asked, as a comment to the last post, whether I was doing this for reasons other than health, and to be honest, I am. I mean, of course there's always health reasons. I'm right now just at the cusp of the healthy BMI for my height. I want to catch it before it becomes discouraging and too difficult to battle.

image credit: http://comefillyourcup.com
To be completely honest, my main reason is more mentally based. I remember how great I felt about myself when I lost weight the first time. You know, when you first start out, it's a bit frustrating. The weight doesn't seem to come off as quickly as you'd like it to. But, once you get over that and continue to eat right and exercise, there's a point where your clothes become baggy and you start to notice the change. There's a great sense of satisfaction in knowing that you were able to rise above and control yourself and that that level of control has become somewhat second nature--you don't have to try so hard. That is my main reason for doing this. I just want to feel good about myself in that way again.

So, here's what's going on today....

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I had two pieces of 12 grain toast this morning with blackberry fruit-only spread on it. Although the website said bread was 1 point, I put in the numbers on the side and found that this particular bread is two. The jam is 1 point per tablespoon. I didn't measure it, but figured I put about a tablespoon's worth on each slice, so I gave myself 2 points for that.

Breakfast total:  6 points

I took the kids to the movies today. They had food to eat during the movie, and although I was tempted, I didn't touch any of it. Because of this, by lunch I was STARVING! We went to the Warden's school and had burgers. I threw caution to the wind and put mayo along with my ketchup and mustard on it. Ketchup and mustard are each zero points up to a certain amount, but mayo'll get you every time.

I'm SO LOVING onemorepound.com. I mean LOVE IT! I go there to search for point amounts. Just so you know if you go there, to find point amounts for jam and mayo, go to the section on the main page that says "POINTS for Thousands of Items" then go to "POINTS for Condiments, Dressings, Marinades, and Spreads."

I have the books that I purchased back in the day, but onemorepound.com means I don't have to spend the time looking things up in the index and rifling through the pages. Did I happen to mention that I LOVE onemorepound.com?! Well, now you know.

I also ate blueberries with lunch. They are zero points for 1/2 cup.

image credit: http://nutritionistics.wordpress.com
I created a simple spreadsheet to keep track of my current weight (I figure I'll weigh in every Monday), the points I have to eat and have eaten, and the goals I've set and where I'm at with those. I want to make sure I eat five servings of fruits and veggies a day, exercise for at least 20 minutes and drink a huge load of water. Normally that water would be somewhere around 64 ounces, but dealing with some health issues right now, it's been suggested that I double that. Ugh! But, I'm doing it. It seems to be making a difference.

Exercise is my hardest thing. It's just difficult to slip out of the house and get moving. I would also much rather have company, so I think I'll grab a kid or two once they get home from today's activities. It may end up being after 9:00 tonight, but it will happen! 

One other suggestion....As with all goals, in order to be successful, there must be an aspect of accountability. That's the very reason why I'm posting this here. Yes, dear reader, I'm using you for accountability purposes. I know if I'm going to have to fess up to what I'm doing, I'll be more careful about what I do, so thank you! 

Here's what's left to be done today....
image credit: http://www.home-gym-bodybuilding.com
  • 11 more points to eat
  • At least 20 minutes of exercise to do (which will add more points that I can eat)
  • 8 more glasses of water to consume
  • 3 more servings of fruits and/or veggies--our garden's needing to be harvested a bit, so I think I'll be spending some time out there.

If you're joining me, I'd love to know how things are going for you. What are your goals? Do you have any additional pointers for me? If you do, I'd be happy to share them in a future post--if you're okay with that.
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