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Posts Tagged ‘Take Action’

Yesterday I went to the doctor, and I walked out with more than I’d bargained for.

The initial reason for my visit was because I’d been having fairly severe lower back pain as well as numbness in my right arm, from my shoulder to my fingertips.  After examining me, the doctor said that she wasn’t at all concerned with my back (the pain had significantly subsided in the last couple of days) and she thought that the problem was a muscular strain.  She said that I could ice it and take Advil if the pain returned. That unless I got numbness in my lower extremities,  it was really nothing to worry about. I agreed.  The arm numbness, however, was a concern to her (and to me).  She said that it could be caused by several things – carpal tunnel or an issue with my neck or chest.  She had me move my shoulder and arm several times and saw that I didn’t have any sort of strain or pain in that area.  She ordered x-rays of my neck and chest, and said that she’d also like me to start wearing a wrist/hand brace day and night to see if that offered any relief.   If it does, then my problem is most likely carpal tunnel. If not, or if the x-rays show something, the problem is more likely a disc or pinched nerve or something.

I tend to think that this is  being caused by some sort of disc or pinched nerve because the numbness has been occurring much more frequently and often comes on when I’m sitting.  It happens in the car when I’m driving to and from work.  It happens when I’m sitting at my desk or at the kitchen table for too long.  And it happened yesterday while I was sitting on the examining table.

The x-rays themselves were very awkward.  I had to wear the “old-fashioned” type of gown (two of them – one facing front, one facing back) to make sure I was covered.  I cannot wait until I’m “normal sized” and don’t have to worry  or be embarrassed by my hugeness. I didn’t like being without a bra in an x-ray room with just the x-ray tech.  He was a very nice person, and he was completely professional, but it was so strange having him move me into these various contortions so that he could do the imaging.  I felt uncomfortable and self-conscious, which is never a great feeling.  But, if the x-rays show something, it will be worth it.  I should know more in the next couple of days, and I’ll definitely keep you updated.

Since I was there, I asked my doctor if she’d order a TDAP for me, because my surgeon requested that I get it before the weight loss surgery.  A TDAP is a vaccine for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping couch) and mine had expired long ago.  Since we’ve been experiencing an outbreak of whooping cough in my area (especially with those who deal with little children), I figured that was a good vaccine to get anyway.  I’m trying to get all my ducks in a row so that once these 30+ lbs are gone, I will have nothing standing in my way to get on the list for surgery.

The last bit of health news wasn’t good.  My blood pressure is high again, although part of it might have been caused because the first blood pressure machine I went to wasn’t working, so the assistant ushered me down the hall to the next one.  We didn’t walk really quickly, but maybe quickly enough to get my blood pressure up?  Honestly, though, I’ve been going through quite a bit of stress at work lately and things at home have been so out of the norm that I’m sure that’s throwing me off, too.  My doctor seemed extremely concerned about the blood pressure and told me that I really had to calm down and not get so stressed out.  So I am taking that to heart.  I really need to remind myself that the parts of my job that frustrate me are small things that don’t matter in the scheme of life.  Sure, this has been a challenging year with two of my classes, but so what?  I can’t take it all so seriously.  Plus, I have taken steps to alleviate some of the burden, so that should improve.  And in terms of things at home, I’m sure once we all get used to this new routine of watching my nieces and helping my sister I will feel calmer and more relaxed.

On my drive home last night I did get a bit depressed about the situation.  I wasn’t thrilled with the number I saw on the scale, especially when I compared it with the last number I saw several months ago when I was there.  But I did remind myself that in those 5 months I’d given up a terrible habit – smoking – and it was the holidays, so some weight gain should be expected, if not accepted.  And that’s just it.  I don’t accept it.  I want it gone, and I need to make sure that I’m taking the steps so that it is.

It’s so obvious that working out will help me in all areas – not only will I be able to burn calories, but I’ll also be able to relieve some stress.  Now that the doctor cleared me to workout, nothing is stopping me.  Last night instead of wallowing in self-deprecation, I did steps on the Wii for the first 45 minutes of BL.  (Thank you to HealthyLoserGal for tweeting that you were going to do this, because you inspired me).  And even if I wasn’t burning that many calories, I definitely burned more than I would’ve just sitting on the couch.

Doing the Wii steps was something that was so, so easy to do, and I felt really proud of myself for doing it.  I didn’t even track the exercise, because I did it more for the act of moving than for worrying about the calorie burn (last night, at least).  So from now on I’m going to do the Wii step for at least 30 minutes each night while I watch t.v. (this is in addition to whatever else I do for activity during the day).  I always watch t.v. for a little while at night, so doing the Wii step while viewing will be a really good way to make sure I’m doing something active each and every day.

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For the month of December, I’ll be participating in Reverb 10. Each day gives a new
prompt, which is a chance to reflect on 2010 and manifest what’s
next in 2011. December 29 –
Defining Moment Describe a defining moment or series of events that
has affected your life this year. (Author: Kathryn Fitzmaurice)
2010 brought many defining moments: getting Lulu, deciding to move,
and choosing to apply for lap band surgery. Each of these actions
had positive ripple effects that will last into 2011 and beyond.
For this post, I’ll focus on the 3rd item – lap band surgery. In
late June of 2010 I finally decided to take my doctor’s advice and
look into lap band surgery. And that decision allowed me to move
away from the thought that wls was the easy way out. Far from it,
it’s a tool that aids in weight loss, but it only works if the
person is 100% committed. I feel strongly that lap band surgery is
going to be exactly what I need to finally take this weight off.
It’s not magic, it’s a method. One of the requirements of the
surgery is to lose 30 lbs (for me, everyone has individual goals
set by their surgeons). Faced with this seemingly daunting
challenge I started tracking in LoseIt and cut my daily calories to
Kaiser’s recommended 1200. I had lots of stops & starts,
but decided to eat frozen entrees for dinner as a way to control
portions. That, coupled with finding my “sweet spot” of 1400
calories helped me finally figure out how to start losing weight. I
can confidently write that I will have all 30 pounds off by March
2011. The most significant moment came when the surgeon told me I
had to quit smoking or he wouldn’t operate. Before that, I’d wanted to quit but wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to. That was the only impetus needed. I’ve been smoke free for 143 days!!!

And here’s that moment of definition: I proved to myself that if I put my mind to something and completely commit to it, I can do anything.

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I have to share a little something that I’m proud of: I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before or not (I’m sure I have at some point, on this blog), but I am the WORST about keeping closets neat and organized. I don’t know what it is. The rest of my house is always super clean, neat, and tidy, but I am notorious for having messy, disastrous closets. I’ve been this way since I was young.

I really want to go into the new year in this new house feeling totally and completely organized and in control. I feel more in control of my entire life when my house (including the closets) is organized. Imagine the time I will save each morning (or, better yet, the night before), if my clothes are on their hangers rather than strewn across the closet floor or crumpled in laundry baskets.

I definitely think there’s a strong corelation, for me at least, with having my home in order and being able to keep to my weight loss program more
completely. I remembered a book was written about this a few years ago, and when I looked it up on Amazon, I found Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?: An Easy Plan for Losing Weight and Living More, which apparently isn’t the best diet book ever written, but it does make me think my theory is true. It definitely won’t hurt to keep my closets more organized.

In the past, I’ve started out with completely organized closets and dresser drawers, but after the first laundry day, things start to fall apart. I don’t know why I find it so difficult to fold/hang up the clean laundry, but I usually do. It’s the weirdest thing. I have no problem folding and putting away the clean towels and sheets, but the clothes offer a challenge. But not in 2011!

One of my new year’s resolutions is going to be to keep my closets clean and organized at all times. Which means:

  1. Folding, hanging up, and putting away the clothes as soon as they’re out of the dryer.
  2. Never throwing clothes at the bottom of the closet because I’m too lazy to do #1.
  3. Never throwing my shoes at the bottom of my closet because I’m too lazy to lay them neatly.
  4. Never having to search a shoe/item of clothing for several minutes because it’s not where it’s supposed to be.

This mainly applies to by bedroom closet, but I’m also vowing to maintain the orderliness of the closet in my spare bedroom, as well. Which means that instead of looking like this:

the closets will look like this:

throughout 2011 and beyond.

And yes, I know how lucky I am to have such big closets.  This is just my bedroom closet, I have another one just as large in the 2nd bedroom.  And with those two sentences, I just made everyone reading this REALLY jealous.  😛

I’m happy that the closets are now organized, and since I’ve now made keeping them that way one of my New Year’s Resolutions, I’ll check in monthly (with a current un-retouched photo) to let you know how I’m doing.  I really need to stay accountable on this, and I’ll need your help to do it.

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BTW, FatGirlvsWorld turned me on to TheDailyChallenge from MeYouHealth, and I joined yesterday.  Every day they give you a different challenge to complete, and as you do it you get points.  (I’m not sure what the points add up to, other than these cute little online stamps, but that’s not really the point of doing the challenges).  Yesterday’s challenge was to clean out your inbox, today’s was to set a resolution (the closets were mine!).  So the challenges are little things that can have a bigger impact on your life and well-being.  Easy and good for you, what’s not to like?  You sign in using Facebook and can ask your friends to “connect” with you.  I’m looking forward to completing each day’s challenge, and I hope some of you guys join me.

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For the month of December, I’ll be participating in Reverb 10. Each day gives a new prompt, which is a chance to reflect on 2010 and manifest what’s next in 2011.

December 28 – Achieve
What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today. (Author: Tara Sophia Mohr)

What a great prompt!  I love that it asks me to not only think about a goal (which is easy), but also to experience the “feeling” associated with it, and it wants me to give myself that feeling today, right now.  Love it!

So, it will be no surprise to you that the thing I most want to achieve in 2011 is significant weight loss.  It’s a 3-step process: 1. lose 30 lbs to get on the list for lap band surgery, 2. have the surgery, 3. use the lap band as a tool to achieve weight loss success.

How will I feel?  Relieved, satisfied, accomplished, overwhelmed with happiness, and (to take one from the prompt) blissful.

So how what can I do/think today so that I can feel those feeling right now?  Hmmm, this is a bit more difficult:

  • Relieved, satisfied, and accomplished – I can reorganize my closets and have that sense of a job well done.  The new-found organization will make me feel very relieved, I’ll be satisfied that I got rid of some clutter, and I’ll feel a huge sense of accomplishment that I finally completed the task, and I can cross it off my “to do during Winter Break” list.
  • Overwhelmed with Happiness – This is a pretty tall order, especially for an ordinary Tuesday.  I suppose that walking Lulu makes me feel extremely happy because I love seeing the neighborhood through her eyes, I love getting out in the fresh air and taking a long walk, and I enjoy our bonding time.  As I write this Lulu and Minnie are wrestling/playing with each other, and it’s the cutest thing ever to see them so happy.  I also think I’ll feel this way when my sister has moved in tomorrow, but since this is today (and not tomorrow), that can’t count.  😉
  • Blissful – After a long day of managing two puppies, cleaning & organizing my house, and helping to prepare for the impending move, I think a relaxing bubble bath with a big glass of wine sounds quite blissful.  Actually, it sounds exactly like a plan to me!!

What about you?  How can you make sure that today, right now, you feel the way you would when you achieve your biggest goal?

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For the month of December, I’ll be participating in Reverb 10. Each day gives a new prompt, which is a chance to reflect on 2010 and manifest what’s next in 2011.

December 27 – Ordinary Joy
Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year? (Author: Brené Brown)

This year has been filled with ordinary joy for me, so it’s really difficult to pick just one:

  • Watching Lulu and Minnie (my sister’s dog whom I’m dogsitting for a few days) chase each other through the house as I write this.
  • Watching Minnie & Lulu play/wrestle/rough house with each other. These two play together better than they play with any other dog, and it’s absolutely adorable seeing them together.
  • I’m thrilled that they’re going to be able to play all day, every day in 2011.

  • Spending a quiet night talking to my sister about reality tv on Bravo as we watch Shep and Tiffany Watch TV. (My sister doesn’t really watch tv at all, so it was hilarious trying to explain The Real Housewives to her).
  • In 2011, LC and I will be able to spend so much more time together, and I am so thankful for that.

  • A fridge fully stocked with healthy, good-for-me choices.
  • Since I always do well on with my weight loss on the weeks that I’ve planned, prepared, and stayed organized with food, I’m going to make srue that I keep the fridge, freezer, and pantry “healthy” every day in 2011.

  • Cooking a low-calorie, healthy meal that also tastes delicious.
  • I stopped cooking much for myself in the latter part of this year, but in 2011 I’m going to strive to cook more often, even if it’s for myself.

  • Moving my body every day makes me slow down and concentrate on only me.
  • This is going to become a regular, daily habit for me in 2011.

  • Stepping on the scale and liking what I see.
  • In 2011, I’m hoping to like what I see on the scale a lot more often.

  • Taking Lulu on a walk, anytime!
  • I relish my walks with Lulu, and I look forward to 365 more of them in 2011.

What are your Ordinary Joys?

 

 

 

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For the month of December, I’ll be participating in Reverb 10. Each day gives a new prompt, which is a chance to reflect on 2010 and manifest what’s next in 2011.

December 21 – Future Self
Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Bonus: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?) (Author: Jenny Blake)

I like this prompt a lot!  In fact, I already wrote a note to my 16-year-old self in the form of a bunch of tweets.  As far as my 44-year-old self writing to me next year (sort of awkwardly worded, no?), here’s what I think I’d say:

Bella,

You are about to enter one of the most exciting years of your life.  There are so many changes ahead for you and your family, and you’ll handle them all with grace and ease.  Some of them might seem daunting at first, but you’ll use your indomitable spirit to conquer/accomplish each one as they unfold.

Your sister and the girls moved in next door in late December 2010, but you all really began to get into a wonderful routine in January.  The girls loved their new school/daycare, Lulu and Minnie loved spending all day together, and you and kids had fun after school.  You and your sister saw each other every day, and you guys became closer than ever.  You often shared meals together, and it felt like old times.  LC knew that leaving her ex and moving back home (and in next to you) was the right decision to make.

It took an extreme amount of dedication and hard work on your part (you were never one to shy away from hard work), and you were able to lose the 30 pounds you needed to for the lap band surgery and it was scheduled by late March.

In late March/early April, you had the lap band surgery, and it changed your life, in terms of eating and your weight.  You were able to get used to the new way of eating, and smaller portions, and you lost a lot of weight.

Even though the lap band was helping you lose weight, you realized that it alone wasn’t going to do the trick, plus you wanted to avoid as much loose skin as you could, so you started working out in earnest even before you had the surgery.  From January 2011, you regularly attended spin, aqua aerobics, Zumba, and belly dancing classes.  You also did strength training – either on your own or in the Les Mills classes they offer at the gym.  You also incorporated bikram yoga into your exercise routine on a regular basis.  The nice thing was that LC joined the gym, too, so you and your sister were able to go together a lot, which made it so much more fun. You also began C25K training again, and were able to complete it this time, because you had lost enough weight that the jogging didn’t affect your knees as much.

The rest of the school year flew by and you enjoyed a long, peaceful summer.  You, LC, and your nieces went on bike rides, walked the dogs, went swimming, and enjoyed each other to the fullest.  You guys were very active, and the girls acclimated to their new house quickly and easily.  LC is so much happier now that she’s free of her ex.  She is more relaxed, and is able to take time out for herself.  Moving in next to you was the best decision she ever made, and you and your parents really helped her and the girls with the transition.

The summer of 2011 was also the first time you ran your first 5K!  Actually, you jogged/walked it, but you still finished it, and you crossed the finish line running, which was a phenomenal feeling.  You love participating in 5Ks, and think you’ll do lots of them throughout the remainder of the year.

July 2011 was your 40th birthday, and you did it up in style in Vegas.  You were so surprised when ScaleWarfare and CTLB were able to join in on the fun, and you guys all had the best time.  You even got to go skydiving and ziplining, which were two of your “Life List” things to accomplish by 40.  Vegas was scorching hot, but you were hotter, and enjoyed plenty of male attention as you and the girls went out on the town to all of the posh clubs in Vegas.

The fall of the year brought the beginning of school, which you enjoyed more than you ever have.  The students, staff, and teachers couldn’t believe how much weight you’d lost, and you relished in the compliments.  Not only that, but you had fabulous classes, all of whom were respectful and eager to learn.  Once again, you were able to maintain a nice balance of work and life.

Winter 2011 came quickly, but you enjoyed it as if it was your first, because you got to wear tons of new styles that you would have never worn before losing all the weight.  Your bank account suffered a bit, but it was worth it in the name of fashion, and you were happy to know that this year, these clothes would fit you for more than one season.

As you finished out the year, you counted all of your many blessings that 2011 brought.  You had the best year of your life, and you knew that it would only continue (and it has!).

Enjoy each and every moment, this is going to be a year to relish heartily!!

Your 44-year-old self

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For the month of December, I’ll be participating in Reverb 10. Each day gives a new prompt, which is a chance to reflect on 2010 and manifest what’s next in 2011.

December 20 – Beyond Avoidance
What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?) (Author: Jake Nickell)

As much as I try new things all the time, I’m also an avoider, sometimes.  And it seems to have gotten worse as I’ve gotten older, although I’m really not sure why.  Maybe there are too many other things that I can use as excuses to distract me from the task at hand?

The whole idea of avoidance goes against who I am because I like to tackle things head on.  I’m not one to shy away from a situation, even if it might get “ugly,” confrontational, or intense.  I think one of my best attributes is that I’m never afraid to get in there and say what’s on my mind.

But maybe that’s the difference – I never avoid saying anything, but sometimes the doing is the hard part (mini ah-ha moment).

Some of the things I’ve avoided in 2010 are:

  • weekly weigh-ins
  • the scale
  • WORKING OUT
  • grading essays until the very last possible minute
  • organizing my closets

I do have to say that I’ve done each of these things sometimes, and some of them quite often.  It’s just the consistency that’s the problem.  So maybe what I really avoid is consistently following a healthy routine (minus the grading of essays,that’s just the bane of my existence no matter how you slice it).  So moving into 2011, I will stop avoiding and just do it.  Because I know I should.  Because I know I’ll feel better.  Because it’s time!

What will you stop avoiding in 2011?

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For the month of December, I’ll be participating in Reverb 10. Each day gives a new prompt, which is a chance to reflect on 2010 and manifest what’s next in 2011.

December 18 – Try
What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn’t go for it? (Author: Kaileen Elise)

There are always so many things that I want to try, because I like keeping it fresh and finding out new things that might interest me.  So, with that in mind, here are a few things that I’m going to see if I like in 2011:

  • spin class (this is actually going to happen next week, but hopefully it will continue into 2011)
  • walk a 5K (I’d put walking in races on hold because I would get terrible cramps in my legs, but I think the daily walking with Lulu has helped me get past that).
  • give C25K another try (once I’m around 250 or so)
  • jog/run a 5K
  • boot camp class (at the gym)
  • scrapbooking
  • find another blog writing group like Reverb 10, because I’ve loved doing it
  • improve my video editing skills
  • make weekly YouTube videos once I get closer to surgery/have surgery
  • act revolutionary every day

As far as trying things in 2010, I tried everything I wanted to.  That’s one thing about me – I’m not usually afraid to try new things, so I’m able to see what works for me and what doesn’t.  I hope to add more to the list above as I discover new things that I’d like to try.

What are some things you’d like to try in 2011?

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Can you believe that Christmas is in 4 days and that we only have a week and a half left of 2010?! This year really has flown by, especially the second half.

Originally this post was going to be my weekend update (I started writing it on Monday morning), but the day got away from me yesterday and I wasn’t able to finish it. So I’m going to multitask and have it serve as a combo update post – my weekend update and a HYC update. (I’m behind in my Reverb 10 posts, and I’ll write those as I have time, but I wanted to do a quick update about what’s been going on lately).

I’m officially on Winter Break (off of work until Jan. 3) and it feels great! I don’t have a ton of things planned each day, and that’s exactly the way I like it. It leaves me open to do whatever comes up, and it’s fun not having to stick to such a regimented schedule. You guys know what a planner I am, but every now and then it’s nice to be able to just see where the day takes you, rather than planning it all out.

Ok, so as far as a weekend update, I didn’t do a ton on Friday – I had a hair appointment, which was the ideal way to begin my vacation.  I always feel so pampered and pretty when I leave the salon, even if I don’t have anywhere to go but home.  Saturday I started tackling my 2nd bedroom.  The poor thing has been neglected all these months, and I still had all my boxes of books just waiting to be put up on the bookshelf.  The task is more daunting that it sounds, though, because I’m so anal about my books.  They’re like my little treasures, my personal collections, and I like to display them just so on the shelves.  And even though I packed them in roughly the same order that I stored them on the shelves, I’ve decided to go through the books one by one and decide which ones I’m keeping and which I’m donating.  Because some of these books, while meaningful to me when I bought them, no longer have the same appeal to me, and I’d rather donate them so that someone else can appreciate them.  My main impetus for getting the books on the shelves (besides the fact that I moved in September and it’s been 3 months) is that my sister needed the boxes that they were stored in.  I always do better when I have a goal to meet, so I was progressing well with the task at hand, until my nieces arrived and we spent the rest of the afternoon (while my sister went on the walk-through at her place with our landlord) playing, watching iCarly, etc.

T (my 8-year-old niece) is so excited about moving and seems like she wants to skip over everything, including Christmas, and just get to the moving day.  She really doesn’t seem to want to be at home (at the old house), and I really can’t blame her – it has to be filled with tension since my sister’s soon-to-be-ex husband refuses to leave.  She’s stuck there trying to pack up the house, with him watching over her, “making sure she doesn’t take anything that he wants.”  The guy is such a louse, but I digress.  I’m sure it’s less than comfortable at home despite my sister’s efforts, and since he’s never been especially patient or nice to her, T would rather not spend much time with her dad.  I’m sure she’ll miss him at  first, because he is her father, but I think after a few months in the new house, she’ll really flourish since she won’t have to seek attention or approval from someone who isn’t capable of giving it to her.

Anyway, before I knew it, T was asking, “Zia, can I stay with you tonight?” and my sister had this look on her face like it would be so much easier if she only had one child to deal with while trying to pack and avoid her ex, so of course I said yes.

So unplanned and unexpectedly, my 8-year-old niece and I had a pajama party, and we had the best time ever. We got Chinese food, watched Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Alakazam (T’s reading all of the Harry Potter books, and she just finished that one).  At bedtime, even though I made up the bed in the second room and T was excited to sleep in a big bed to herself, she soon said, “Zia, I’m lonely over here,” and we all ended up sleeping in my bed together.  Who knew a little girl and a puppy could  take up 3/4 of a queen sized bed!  The next morning we  finished watch the movie and had breakfast before we headed back up to the old house for one of the (thankfully) last times.  I had a good time with T, who is growing into such a fun little girl.  Although I have to admit, I was TIRED on Sunday.  Good thing I have two weeks off!!

Most of Sunday was spent driving T back to her house and then returning and doing the rest of the last-minute shopping.  I’d purchased all the presents, but I had to head to Target to get the rest of the wrapping paper I needed, and man oh man was that place a zoo.

Yesterday the day just got away from me, but in a great way.  I woke up fairly early (6:3o) and read the paper with coffee – my usual morning routine.  Lulu had been wheezing/having trouble breathing quite a bit in the morning, and I made a quick call to the vet to check on it.  I knew that small breed dogs tend to have breathing problems, but the vet tech explained that because they take in so much dust and dirt into their nasal passages, they sometimes have to do a “reverse sneeze” where they’re trying to blow the dirt out of the nose.  It ends up sounding like they’re gasping for breath or having an asthma attack, but they’re just trying to clear their nasal passages.  It’s fascinating what I’m learning about puppies!  Anyway, she recommended some Benedryl to help with the inflammation of the nasal passage, and Lulu was good to go.

We’ve had a ton of rain lately, and while Lulu and I took a really long walk on Saturday and braved the rainstorm we got caught in, Sunday it was ridiculously windy and the rain was torrential, so we stayed in all day. Other than a few games of catch, she didn’t get much exercise, so I knew that Monday I had to take advantage of the break in the rain.  We headed to the dog park, and Lulu had one of the best times ever.  She palled around with this hilarious cocker spaniel mix who just so happened to love lying in the muddy puddles around the dog park.  Luckily for me Lulu had a bit more sense then to join in the mud baths, but she ended up a muddy mess nonetheless.  Good thing she was due for a bath anyway!  We headed over to Pet Food Express to give her a bath (I love this service they provide), and she came out looking like herself again.

The rest of the day yesterday was spent catching up on the phone with a few people, and just lounging around reading and watching t.v..

So far, I’ve had a very relaxing and fairly restful break.  I’m planning on continuing this pattern, although some days will have more on the agenda than others.  Here’s a quick breakdown of the events, in roughly the order in which they’ll occur:

  • making a dreaded trip to Costco with my dad, stocking up on some “supplies” (today)
  • spending time with a friend going to see Black Swan and out to dinner (today)
  • catching up on my #reverb 10 posts, which I’m dreadfully behind on (today)
  • wrapping Christmas gifts
  • finishing the bookcase
  • helping my sister pack
  • grading 44 essays (I’m planning on doing this a bit at a time so that it’s less painful)
  • preparing the appetizers for Christmas Eve (pea pesto crositini) and Christmas Day (WW cheese balls).  This also involves the obvious shopping, prepping, cooking, plating, etc.
  • spending time with family and relishing all of our blessings this holiday season
  • helping my sister move into the new house!
  • spending time with my nieces: maybe taking them down to Christmas in the Park, or just around our neighborhood, where the homeowners really make their homes glitter at this time of year.
  • taking a few new exercise classes at the gym
  • the annual after-Christmas-clean-out-the-closets fun where I donate anything I haven’t worn lately and neatly organize the rest
  • spend intermittent down time writing blog posts, reading, and just relaxing
  • enjoying New Year’s Eve looking forward to all the positive changes that 2011 has in store

What are your plans this week (or two)?

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For the month of December, I’ll be participating in Reverb 10. Each day gives a new prompt, which is a chance to reflect on 2010 and manifest what’s next in 2011.

December 15 – 5 Minutes
Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010. (Author: Patti Digh)

I like this prompt because it makes me take stock of the year in a really short amount of time, so the most important things will bubble up to the surface first.  Here goes, setting the timer on my iPhone for 5 minutes and typing furiously:

  1. Lulu!
  2. I moved into this great new duplex.
  3. I decided to have lap band surgery.
  4. I was accepted into Kaiser’s Bariatric Surgery program.
  5. I finally gave up on WW and started counting calories, and it seems to have made all the difference. For me.  I’m not knocking WW, because it’s a great program for most.  Just not for me.
  6. I learned how to breathe properly when I swim, and find swimming to be one of the best “almost spiritual” activities I can do.
  7. I explored new exercises: Zumba & belly dancing, and realized how much I enjoy exercise classes.
  8. I discovered how much I love taking daily walks with Lulu.
  9. I have a knack for decorating, and I started showing that off more in 2010 by redoing my living room and decorating for the fall and winter seasons.
  10. I have the best support system in the world: my family, friends, and most of all, all of the online friends I’ve made on this blog and on Twitter.

I did that list with 1:07 to spare.  Because really, those are the most important things that happened to me or that I want to remember.  Sometimes less is more.  It’s kind of fun to drill down the year into 5 minutes, into 10 things, and realize that life doesn’t have to be as complicated as we make it.

What would you capture in your 5 minutes?

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