Friday, December 31, 2010

A Year In Review..


As 2010 winds down I've been very focused on the year to come and the changes I plan on making. I've paid very little attention to what has passed this year, which I suppose is not a bad thing.. we should all continue to look forward with hope and optimism instead of looking back with sorrow, regret, or pain.

However, since the subject was brought up by a friend of mine, I thought I would take a quick moment to share the things that have happened to me this past year.

Thankfully, when I look back on it, most of it is good. The only bad thing that happened in 2010 was that we lost hubby's mother back in March, and I lost 3 of my cats through out the year (but I recently got 2 new kittens). Also I turned 30 back in May, which isn't necessarily bad for most people, but it was certainly depressing for me! I truly do not want to be in my 30's yet.. I no longer wish to grow up!!

Some of the good things that happened in 2010 are: I participated in a charity event called Great Strides where I raised $100 for Cystic Fibrosis; I lost a total of 80 pounds! (though I did gain a little back); One of my children entered preschool, and 3 others entered their final year in their current school.. next year those 3 will move on to new schools (and I'll have a high schooler!); I have gained new friends and have had new experiences and have grown a little, as we all do every year!

All in all not a bad year, but it also wasn't extremely eventful. I am excited to see what the new year brings!

For a less personal review of last year check out these Extreme Moments of 2010.

Time for New Year's Resolutions!


Are you setting any big resolutions this year? I usually set a few each year.

One of my usual resolutions is to lose weight. I'm rarely successful with this one.. but I was last year. Between October 2009 and April 2010 I lost about 80 pounds. However slowly a lot of my bad habits came back, I got lazy about going to the gym, and got lazy about what I was eating, so I put about 20 pounds back on. In the coming year I'd like to get that 20 pounds off again, stay motivated to go to the gym everyday and push myself the way I used to, and find a healthy eating plan I can be comfortable sticking with!

Another resolution I set every year is to be a better mother and wife. We all have our flaws, there's no denying that! I have very little patience, a short temper, and little things tend to drive me insane! These are some things I need to improve on for the sake of my family. I'd also like to work on spending more quality time with my children.

This year I have a new resolution I haven't set before, though I'm sure it is a resolution most people do set annually. This year I want to work towards getting us in a better financial situation. I am currently hunting for a part-time job to help out a little bit for the time being, but I'm also working on getting into school to earn my associates degree to become an Administrative Assistant. Hubby and I were checking out jobs in that field last night, starting off I could make more money than he makes now, and he's worked at his job for 6 years to reach his current pay rate.. and basically he's at his ceiling. He cannot get anymore raises as his company cannot afford him! So, when I graduate in about 2 years, we should be pretty darn comfortable with both of us working! Maybe after that we can work on sending hubby back to school to earn a business associates degree!

I am a pretty determined person. When I set my mind to do something, I usually have no problem achieving my goals. I'm fairly confident I will keep these resolutions this year, and be successful at them!

For you, my dear readers, I wish you all happiness, health, and prosperity in the coming year! See ya next year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Small Steps lead to Big Changes..

This has been a changing week in my life.

I've been unsatisfied with my situation for a long time. I had a child in high school, dropped out and got my GED, held many dead end jobs that I quit after just a few months, then I had some more kids and became a stay at home mom. My husband struggles to support us. He works over 50 hours a week yet his paycheck doesn't even cover our bills and food.

I'm not usually an ambitious person. Mostly I just feel sorry for myself. I wonder why my life isn't better. Why do we work so hard yet we've achieved nothing? What have I done to deserve this?

The fact of the matter is, life is what you make it. My lack of ambition has led to a lack of other things in my life. I lack friends, I lack finances, I lack security and happiness.

So a few weeks ago I got to a point where I'd decided I've had enough of this. I want better. I want a nice house. I want to be able to afford stuff.. my bills, extra clothes, food! I don't want to be extremely wealthy, just comfortable and secure. Wishing and hoping to win the lottery isn't going to accomplish these goals.. I need to work for them!

So, this week, I set out to find a part-time, evening job. I haven't succeeded yet, but I've put in a few applications and plan to continue to put in applications until I find a job. Though I know it won't solve all my problems, and it won't allow me to truly accomplish any goals, it will at least help make our bills more affordable.

Today I was going about my usual online activities, when a thought popped into my head. I don't even know why or how it popped into my head, but it did. I need more schooling! I'm never going to get anywhere working a bunch of dead end jobs for minimum wage. What I need is a career, and I can't get a career without schooling.

So, I applied for a part-time college.. and surprisingly I got a return phone call half an hour later! The ball is rolling. I am working towards getting everything in line to enter this school by January 12. I will take 2 online classes per semester and have an Associates degree as an Administrative Assistant in 20 months!

A few small steps.. but they will lead to major changes! And at the moment, I'm super excited about it!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Potty Training Time Again!



You'd think that after potty training four other children, the youngest would be super easy! Not so much!

I'd been attempting to potty train him for awhile now. We'd start and stop and start and stop. He wasn't really keen on sitting on the potty for any length of time, so I was usually unable to catch that first pee, which of course is the hardest part of potty training. Once you catch the first pee the child typically understands the concept, and after that will usually go much easier once seated on the potty. Then the next hurdle is getting them to tell you they have to go, which isn't usually as difficult. Using a public or unfamiliar potty, and doing #2 in the potty are also challenges for most kids.. but nothing like the patience and endurance it takes to catch that first pee!

I'd have to say our most successful attempt was over the summer. We had a pool membership, so the children wanted to go swimming often, but I rarely had the money to afford those expensive swimmy diapers! So, we worked on using the potty. He was actually pretty good at telling me he had to go when we were at the pool and he wasn't wearing a diaper.. but he wasn't good at going. I'd hold him on the potty for close to half an hour, then finally we'd both give up, I'd set him on the floor, and that's when he'd pee!

I do not have a lot of patience, so after a few frustrating attempts with no results, I gave up and bought the expensive swimmy diapers!

We eventually tried again, but had even less luck as he was suddenly totally against sitting on the potty at all! Anytime I'd try he'd spend the whole time crying until I gave up and put a diaper on him again.

I do take the blame on this one, of course. I think he was ready to use the potty quite awhile ago, I just didn't have the patience to pursue it. Another set back was my fear of forcing him to use a public toilet. We go to the gym everyday, where he spends a minimum of an hour in the child watch. This isn't really conducive to potty training! He's either going to have a lot of accidents, or I'm going to inconvenience the staff by making them help me with my potty training efforts, or I'm going to have to put him in a diaper (pull ups are diapers in my opinion, and in most children's opinions too.. totally useless, just more expensive!) which I feel erases all the progress we'd made to that point.

So, potty training isn't always on top of my list of priorities.. but it is something we need accomplished soon. He's going to be 3 in a couple of weeks, and I'm tired of spending a bundle on diapers! It's time to just do it and get it over with!

Well, tonight one of my Facebook friends posted on her status that her son had finally done a #2 in the potty. This got me thinking about the whole potty training situation again. So we went in the bathroom and sat on the potty. After about 5 minutes of waiting and nothing happening, I was ready to give up that attempt for the time being. I left him sitting on the potty while I began to draw his bath. Low and behold, the moment I turned on the bath water, he peed! Yay! I cheered and applauded, like a good mom.

After his bath I sat him on the potty again, and again, after a short wait, he went again! Yay! More cheering and applauding!

At that point I put him in underwear.. let's see how far I can push this!

He did wet his pants once, but then went on the potty an additional three times in the past three hours!

I'm being very brave and actually sending him to bed without a diaper! Let's see how well this works!

Not the Christmas I expected!



I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. I am personally glad it's over for another year!

My Christmas was not exactly what I expected. My kids did not react the way I thought they would. My oldest son is usually extremely excited about his gifts.. this year he was not, and I really thought he'd go crazy over some of the things he got. He liked some of the smaller gifts, seemed pleased with a NY Giants cup, Axe body spray set, honestly his best reaction was for the football cards he pulled out of his stocking. I thought he'd flip when he opened his Skechers since he's never owned a brand new pair of name brand shoes in his life! Nope, his reaction was "Well, I didn't really need shoes." I thought he'd LOVE his new coat, a Nike jacket with the NY Giants emblem on the chest.. basically he just thought it was cool. He was happy with his 6 month Sports Illustrated subscription, but was not pleased with his Avatar video game, the cd player, or the cd I picked out for him.

My middle son was also less than pleased with the CD player.. I got a big "Oh, great" very sarcastically. I think his favorite toys were is Nerf gun and Darth Vader guy.

My daughter was happy with most of her gifts, but wasn't as excited about all of her Hannah Montana things as I thought she'd be.. she had a huge reaction for the HM outfit her grandpa got for her, which was the first thing she opened, but after that it was "Oh.. more Hannah stuff.." sarcastically. She was happy with the Disney Stars CD she got though, and her favorite (from her reaction to it) was her Furreal kitten.

The little 2 were plenty excited at everything they opened.. the only disappointment with them was that my 4 year old remembered that he'd asked Santa for a Diego toy and did not receive one (I couldn't find any at Walmart and ran out of time and money to go shopping around at other stores). I hoped he'd be so pleased with his toys that he wouldn't remember he'd asked for a Diego toy.. I was wrong!

Man.. what's a mom got to do to please her kids on Christmas??

Well, now that it's all over with the kids seem to be happy. They're testing out all their new toys, my oldest is even playing his Avatar game that he didn't seem happy to open. So although the original reaction was not what I was looking for, they still enjoy their gifts, it's not like they're refusing to play with them. The 8 year old is even really enjoying his CD!

Maybe they just got their hopes up too high?

Though I am pleased to announce that as far as my gifts go, I'm very happy. My husband usually isn't much of a great gift giver, but this year he got almost everything I asked for and even things I didn't ask for but was hoping for. The #1 item on my wish list was the Twilight Saga Scene It game and I did get that, as well as all three Twilight movies. I also wanted the last two Twilight soundtracks (got the first last Christmas) but I did not get those.. but I did get two CDs from artists I've recently discovered that I liked, so I was really happy with that.

Of course I already have a plan in place for affording next Christmas. I know my downfall this year was starting too late.. so for next year I'm starting right now!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Don't Worry, Be Happy

You can only do what you can do, and give what you can give. No one expects more from you. So relax if you aren't relaxed. During holidays many of us instinctively want to do and give more... or create the perfect event. Then suddenly we lose sight, go overboard, get overwhelmed, anxious, and it's not fun anymore! Remember, It's about spending time with others, love, giving, helping, and being grateful. So slow down. It's okay as it is. Don't worry, be happy. And be grateful for family, friends, what holiday you are celebrating this season, and love.

This quote came from "Simply Positive", a group I follow on Facebook to help lift my spirits from time to time.

When I read it I thought it really hit home for me. I've been stressing over the last few weeks, like many people. Christmas snuck up on me this year and I'm far from organized. Usually I start a little earlier, I put the majority of my purchases on layaway to help afford it, I sign up for Christmas baskets from charities to help with gifts and food.. and come Christmas Eve I usually feel satisfied with what we've accomplished. This year is different. I didn't start a layaway, I didn't sign up for baskets from charity. I've been attempting to work on my Christmas shopping each week while grocery shopping.. and attempting to not go over my usual weekly grocery budget, which means we've been less than satisfied with our food situation recently.

Having five kids doesn't make it easy. I remember last year the older kids each got 14 gifts. The youngest got a little less and was upset when he did not have more gifts to open. I know for the little ones it's not about what they get but that they have a lot to open, even if it's cheap $1 toys. So this year I stressed myself out with the importance of making sure each child got an equal amount of gifts. Sadly for me it seems certain children are easier than others in my home. Some years I'm less than satisfied with the final outcome for a particular child, but more than pleased with the outcome for another child. This year it seems my oldest son and my daughter were the easiest ones to shop for. I had to pass on a few things I wanted for each of them because I knew that would mean one more thing I'd have to find for the others and I just couldn't afford that.

In the end each of my children have 11 gifts.. and hopefully they'll be happy with the gifts they recieved. Of course I've been driving myself crazy hoping they'll like the gifts enough, and what if one of them thinks someone else's gifts are better than theirs.

That is why this quote really hit home for me. When I think back to all my childhood Christmases, there isn't one that stands out as better than the rest. I never got any gifts that were really amazing in my eyes. But I did always get a decent number of gifts that I liked. Most of them were inexpensive as we never had a lot of money, but at the time that didn't matter. Of course I didn't have siblings to contend with or compare my gifts to.. but my children aren't the type to compare or compete with each other. They're usually appreciative and greatful.

This quote has helped me to see that I'm making a big fuss over nothing. This Christmas my children's joy is my #1 priority.. and although they won't have as many gifts as last year, or as expensive gifts as last year, they will still be plenty pleased.

Wishing you all a stress free, enjoyable holiday!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Adding Walmart to my Boycott List

For years I've shopped at Walmart for my groceries to save money. I'm usually shocked by the prices at other stores, charging usually twice as much as Walmart would charge. I've hated Walmart all along. Anytime I step foot in that store, regardless of the location, I have an extremely stressful experience! The other shoppers are rude and inconsiderate, the employees are rude and slow, stockers working in the middle of the day leave their carts in the center of the aisle making it impossible to move around through the store, they're often out of particular items that I need.. I probably could go on forever! I still continue to shop there however, to save money, which is far more important than my stress level!

Well, no more!

It started off as a typical Friday, I go to the gym, leave there about 10:30 and head over to Walmart to do my grocery shopping. Rarely do I ever leave Walmart later than 12pm, which gives me plenty of time to get home and even put away the groceries before my preschooler's bus comes home at 12:45.

Well, this time I guess I took a little too long at Walmart because I was attempting to finish my Christmas shopping. The store was packed, they were out of a lot of the items I was looking for, and it was just an all around bad experience, as usual.

I finish the shopping and get to the register and realize it's now 12:25 and my house is about a 20 minute drive from this store!! Well, I picked a short lane so hopefully I can get out quick and make it home in time...

Wrong! I managed to pick the slowest cashier in the store! But I had so much stuff ($300 worth) I didn't want to have to come back and reshop for it all.. and much of it was my groceries, so milk and meat.. it's not like I could just leave it there waiting for me to come back for it an hour or so later.

So I warned the cashier I was in a hurry.. she said "I'm going as fast as I can".. then I swear she purposely went slower, and kept stopping the conveyer so I couldn't finish loading my groceries, which of course made the transaction longer as she had to stop and hold the button to make the conveyer move and she could have spent those precious seconds scanning my items to get me out quicker!

I asked her to call over a customer service rep so I can ask him what to do since there's no way I'll have time to finish this purchase and get my son on time. The CSR comes over and I tell him this cashier is too slow and I'm going to be late.. he says "There's no reason to speak like that about her." Um.. but I'm the customer and I'm unhappy! "Well you don't need to complain right in front of her.. she's been here for years" blah blah blah. Then he tells me I should have a professional attitude! Excuse me! I'm the CUSTOMER why should I have to have a professional attitude??

Now, in hindsight I can see that I should have made different choices. I could have either kept my mouth shut and let the slow cashier ring me out at her own pace, which would have actually saved me about 5 minutes of arguing with the CSR. Or I could have suspended the transaction and left my $300 worth of groceries and Christmas gifts, and come back for it all after driving the 20 minutes home to get my son. So, yes, I will take some of the blame for this.. and I'm not exactly mad at the cashier though it was annoying that she had to purposely go slower after I asked her to speed things up a little.

No, what I'm mad at is that CSR. Since when don't customers have the right to complain about poor service? Considering I was obviously already stressed out, shouldn't the CSR have diffused the situation by just apologizing and doing what he could to help me out? Did he think he was going to accomplish anything by arguing with me and telling me that this cashier I disliked was a good asset to their company who'd been there for years?

I've worked in customer service before.. I've had about every type of customer service job you can imagine! One of the first things they tell you is not to argue with a customer, especially one that appears to already be having a bad day! They'll tell you never to take it personally if a customer has a bad attitude towards you, because you don't know the whole story.. sometimes a customer just wants to yell at someone and you happen to be the one who's standing there.

I've always known Walmart has had bad customer service.. but this experience just takes the cake!

In the end I'd missed my son's bus by about 5 minutes, and he was driven back to the school where I had to go pick him up.. the poor boy! The school informed me there had been an accident nearby, so they assumed I was stuck in that traffic.. I didn't correct them!

At least there was no real harm done.. except that Walmart will be losing out on my $1,000 (minimum) a month and I'll probably be spending a bit more each week by shopping elsewhere, but at least I know I'll get great customer service and hopefully a less stressful shopping experience!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Getting Lost In the Christmas Shuffle


So this year has totally flown by! I feel like the end of the year has snuck up on me. One day I think "Oh, I have plenty of time to do this and that." and the next day "Oops, one week until Christmas and we haven't done any of our usual stuff...". Anyone else feeling this way? Well, we managed to cram a few things in. Today we brought the kids to A Dickens' Christmas in Skaneateles, NY. That is a ton of fun.. characters from A Christmas Carol wander the streets, conversing with folks, acting out scenes from the book, singing carols. There are little treats like a horse drawn carriage ride and roasted chestnuts. Last year we did this at the end of November.. this year, we went on the last day.. that's how far behind we are!

Another fun outing here in Central, NY is Lights On The Lake. We did this one last week.. another one we do every year. Two miles of amazing light displays.. what a wonderful Christmas tradition!

Of course there are also the Christmas movies and specials.. which we don't seem to have the time to watch all the ones we'd like to this year. I really don't remember ever feeling so rushed during a Christmas season! Is it just me?

Thankfully Christmas is almost upon us, and will be over with in a flash.. then we get to look forward to the New Year! Wishing you all the very merriest of Christmases!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Extra Skin... EWWW!



The weight loss is definitely slowing down immensely, though I've made it under that 150 mark! Go Me!! I'm now 149. This is a huge accomplishment, as 150 was originally my goal. I struggle everyday to decide whether I want to keep losing or stay here. I think I could probably lose a bit more.. but how difficult will that be to maintain? I've definitely come a long way, considering last October I weighed 225 pounds! I can't even begin to explain how great I feel, and all the things I'm capable of doing now that I never could before. All the hard work I've put into this has been so worth it!

The problem I'm facing now is my skin.. and honestly I don't think there's enough talk about skin. A lot of people talk about losing weight and being healthy and how good it feels to be skinny.. but nobody ever talks about the skin. I guess there are a few lucky S.O.B.'s that don't have to deal with flabby, baggy skin after pregnancy and weight loss.. but I'm not one of them.

I had Javy when I was 17 years old.. they say skin rebounds easier when you're younger.. well I guess I was already sh*t out of luck, because that is when my flabby skin problem started, though it wasn't terrible. I still wore a bikini.. just not a string bikini. I never wore low riders, pants always came up to the belly button, because below that is where the problem started.

Then came the twins and the weight gain. Even at 225 pounds I could see saggy skin. Long before I ever dreamed of losing weight I was using every skin firming cream on the market. I even spent $20 on a tiny bottle of facial skin cream.. and obviously saw no results!

So here I am, under 150 pounds, so skinny I can practically wrap my fingers around my bones.. honestly! I can see every single muscle in my body (except the abs).. and each and every one of them is cut! I have bulging biceps and triceps. Yes, I'm very proud of this body.

But....

I still look fat! My tummy is still flabby and gross. Why? Because I have enough skin to cover a 225 pound girl. It's wrinkly and saggy. Disgusting.

Basically there isn't a single thing I can do about it except get plastic surgery, which I am considering doing, however I probably will never be able to afford it, so I might just have to accept this body the way it is. That's not easy to do. I hate still feeling like a fat girl even after all the hard work I've put in.. it just sucks!!

I know I'm not the only person alive dealing with this issue.. but I guess some people just aren't open to talking about it. But never fear.. IF I decide to do something about it, I will certainly let you know how it goes.

Friday, April 30, 2010

No, I didn't forget I had a blog!



So it's been a couple months since I've posted.. not much has been going on. My life mainly consists of going to the gym and taking care of the kids. The only interesting thing that has happened is that my Mother in Law passed away at the end of March. My husband handled it well, but my Father In Law has been lonely. The two were married for 51 years! She died of natural causes at the age of 70.

My weight loss is still going very well. I'm currently down to about 158. I had a slow couple of months after we got our taxes back. We began going out to eat a lot, and some of my bad habits came back, like snacking a lot and eating foods higher in fat. For about 2 months I hovered around 164, then finally one day decided to kick it back into gear. My problem now though is I am eating a proper diet, no snacks and everything is low fat and 100% whole wheat, just like I should, and I'm exercising like crazy, pushing myself to the limit almost daily, but I'm no longer losing weight. For 2 weeks straight I lost 1 pound a week, and last week I didn't drop a single ounce! Must be that plateau everyone talks about.. hopefully I can push myself through it because I'd like to get to around 140.. maybe a little lower.

I'd like to say that I'll be posting more often now, but that probably won't be the case this month.. May is our hectic month! On the 7th is my wedding anniversary, we'll be married 7 years now, go us! The 13th is Javy's birthday... he'll officially be a teenager, Lord help me! Then there's Mother's Day tucked in there.. and to top it all off, my birthday is on the 12th. I'll be celebrating the 9th anniversary of my 21st birthday. Yep, it's a big one, and I am terrified!

Oh, and on the 22nd of May will be my 10K Great Strides walk for Cystic Fibrosis!! I'm very excited, but also very nervous because I haven't gotten a whole lot of donations as of yet. Hopefully I can get a few more before the walk. If you're interested in helping out the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, or getting more information about it Click Here and wish me luck on my walk!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Beat the Winter Blues: Go Tanning!

So the experts say that tanning beds are even more harmful than sun exposure, and should be avoided, because it may cause irreversible damage, including skin cancer.

However, tanning beds have a few positive effects too. Let me explain...

I'd been pretty stressed out lately, not like that's anything new! Between my kids, our bills, the housework, and constantly worrying about my weight loss goals, I've just been a total mess. Yesterday the $h*t hit the fan for me. My dryer decided to stop spinning, I had wet clothes in both the dryer and the washer and no way of getting them dry... they just sat there getting stinky. Of course yesterday was also my weigh in day, and I had lost less than a pound in a week, that was rather depressing. I was feeling pretty crummy all day. Then my kids came home from school, and voila.. instant chaos!!

That morning while dropping my husband off at work, there was a sign on the tanning salon window next door saying they were offering free tans. So I got to thinking about it and decided that when I picked him up that night I'd go get a tan! I hadn't been tanning in probably over 10 years because I can't afford it, but hey, this one is free!

I cannot believe how amazing I felt after that 10 minute tan! It was 10 minutes of pure relaxation. No kids screaming or crying or not doing as their told. It was just me, my thoughts, and a nice warm tanning bed, and of course a radio nearby playing some pretty good music. I did manage to get a slight burn on some areas that haven't been exposed to the sun in years, like my back, tummy, and the tops of my thighs.. but it's so minor it doesn't even hurt.

The main reason tanning makes you feel good is because while exposed to the UV rays, your skin absorbs Vitamin D, a natural mood enhancer, among other things. You'll get the same effect if exposed to direct sunlight, unfortunately in a lot of areas, including Central, NY where I live, sunlight is pretty scarce between October and April.

Experts will suggest sensible sun exposure as opposed to tanning beds and salons, but I'm guessing those experts don't live in an area that doesn't see a lot of sun!

If you're feeling rather cranky or stressed, or just have the winter blues and want to escape for awhile, visit your local tanning salon. You'll be surprised at what a difference 10 minutes can make. But of course, tan safely!

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Rewards of Weight Loss



Over the past few months, since I've begun losing weight, I have had very few people notice the difference in the way I look. My mother, who I see once a month, has never failed to notice. My husband's coworkers noticed at a Christmas party back in December. However, most people see me far too often to be able to notice.

Saturday we went into our local Blockbuster. We used to go there at least once a week, if not more often. We love watching movies! Then in November we ordered cable TV, and have had fewer visits to Blockbuster since then. There are always free movies on TV, or at least some TV shows we'd like to watch, so there was little need to rent movies. On Saturday we thought we'd treat ourselves (unfortunately we picked out some movies we now wish we hadn't seen: Fame and The Invention of Lying... neither are really worth the time!).

There are a few employees at that Blockbuster that I'd seen often enough to recognize, and they in turn recognized me and my family as well. However on Saturday those employees were not there. There was a new employee I'd not seen before, and another girl that I didn't recognize at first. When I brought our rentals up to the counter to check out, she immediately asked "Have you been losing weight? You look fantastic!". I was a little shocked, first that she had recognized me, and second that she could even notice weight loss considering I was wearing a heavy winter coat that's about two sizes too big for me.

It's really a wonderful feeling when someone you don't really know recognizes that you've lost some weight. Your friends and family, they're already aware you're attempting to lose weight, so their compliments could be taken as "Well, they're just trying to be nice because they know I'm trying to lose the weight." To have a stranger notice, it's like one of the greatest compliments you can get!

I spent all day Saturday feeling wonderful about myself! Not just from the compliment I received at Blockbuster, but also because I'd gone to a Thrift Store that morning to get myself some new pants and a nice outfit to wear on a date with my husband next weekend. Every item of clothing I picked out and tried on actually fit, and fit well! I purchased 2 pairs of pants, a size 12 jeans, and size 10 black slacks. I put the jeans on as soon as I got home, and felt so good about how I looked. The pants I'd been wearing were all size 16, (down from the 20 I was wearing over the summer), and they were huge on me. The form fitting 12 jeans really showed off how thin I'm getting and how great I look. It really was a wonderful experience, and very motivating to continue all the hard work I've already been doing!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Why can't it all wait 2 more weeks??

We are no strangers to financial crisis. There's rarely a day that goes by that we're not worried about how we're going to pay an upcoming bill, or how we'll manage a particular repair. We're the type of family that does put off important things, like a leak under the kitchen sink, and we don't really think twice about the fact that we haven't gotten around to fixing it after months and months of dealing with the problem.

However, every once in awhile so many things will happen all at once and we get quite overwhelmed. That's how things are going for us right now!

So we've just e-filed our taxes. According to the IRS schedule we'll most likely be getting our refund on February 12th. But of course our problems can't wait that long!

The very day after we file our taxes, we discover our cable and Internet have been disconnected due to non-payment. Oops! I can't say we're always really good about our bills... because we're not. We are really good about the important bills. Rent, power, and car insurance are always paid in a timely fashion. However when it comes to the little bills like cable, phone, and debt, I tend to put those off to the side and forget about them. Not really on purpose. It's just that money is always so tight, and I can't always handle the stress of thinking about yet another bill. So I put it aside, planning on looking at it later, but I never get around to it. So this is why cable was shut off.

We go down and pay our cable bill, getting it turned back on immediately. Then, Friday morning I discover our phone has been disconnected! Another oops moment. I can still recieve incoming calls for a few days, but I cannot call out. Unfortunately since we paid the cable, we can't afford to pay the phone bill this week, so I have to just deal with it. When we'll be able to pay it is yet to be seen because rent and power bills are coming up on us and will be due before we get our tax refund. Boy oh boy, are we having fun yet?

Just when you start to wonder if anything else can go wrong.. it usually does!

We've been sharing one vehicle for a few months now. Our van was having a lot of problems that we couldn't afford to repair, and of course the inspection was up in December.. not that it matters because the vehicle won't start now anyways. So in the morning I drop Jay off at work and then I head off to the gym and run my errands and whatever else I need to do. Normally he'll come get the car in the afternoon on his lunch so I don't have to drag the kids out late at night to pick him up. However, Saturdays he's usually out at 2pm, so I'll just wait and go get him.

This past Saturday started out no different. He went to work, the kids and I went to the Y, then we came home for lunch. After lunch I get a call from my Father In Law, he wants Javy to come over and watch a basketball game with him. He tells me he'll come get Javy around 1:30... I say "No, No.. I have to pick Jay up from work at 2, so I'll just drop Javy off." I also had to go to Walmart for a couple things, and drop Tyler off at a birthday party at 3, and pick him up again at 5.

So I load the kids into the car and begin to pull out of the driveway. When I apply the brake, it goes all the way to the floor and the car doesn't slow! Yikes!! I had to throw it into Park to stop the car. I turned the car on and off a few times, and tried again and again, with no change. So after a few minutes we all got back out of the car... that's when I began to wonder how I'd let anyone know about what happened. My father in law was expecting Javy to show up, and I couldn't call to let him know I can't drive my car. Jay is expecting to be picked up, and I can't call him either!

In the end I sent my mother a message on the computer to call Jay and tell him everything, so it all worked out... but the problem is I still have no brakes on my only working vehicle.. and still 2 weeks before we get our taxes back to afford repairs.

Jay works with a guy who works on cars, so he was supposed to come over on Sunday to take a look at our brakes. I got up early and thought it would be a good idea to clean the house up a little bit before the guy got there. I start by trying to do dishes (I don't have a dishwasher). Yeah, well, the pipes froze and I have no water in the kitchen! I end up doing dishes in the bathtub because the water in there worked just fine.

Turns out the friend never showed up anyways. The cold water finally came back on late afternoon, so I did the dishes in ice cold water. As soon as I turn the water off after washing all these dishes, don't you know the hot finally started dripping! Thanks a bunch!!

So after the terribly stressful day we had, we had the wonderful idea of getting a pizza and wings.. comfort food!! We made little english muffin pizzas for the kids to save money (otherwise we'd need like 3 large pizzas!!). Jay goes to look up the number to the pizza place and oops... can't call out!! Thankfully the place isn't far away, so he walked over there to order a delivery. He says the look on the guys face who took his order was priceless.

The friend finally came over this morning, but didn't have the time to fix our brakes. They're hoping to get it done sometime today... though I'm not holding my breath. I borrowed my father in law's van today to go to the gym, but I don't want to have to do that everyday!

If only the brakes could have waited 2 more weeks before deciding they didn't want to work anymore!

Friday, January 29, 2010

I'm down to 174 pounds!

That may seem huge to a lot of people, but considering just this past summer I was well over 225 pounds, it's a huge success for me. I view it as a huge milestone. When I began my weight loss journey I was looking forward to weighing 175 pounds. It's not my goal weight by far, I'm actually aiming for about 130. However I had my sights set on little milestones along the way, like weighing less than 200 again.. a weight I'd hovered around for the past 7 years since having my twins. Then for some reason 175, and the next milestone will be 150. I'm not sure why I like those numbers, but that's what I've been looking forward to.

Right now I feel a huge sense of pride, more so than I have through out this entire journey. Even though I'm not through yet, I do feel like I've accomplished something by coming this far. It's a great feeling!

The weight loss does appear to be slowing down a lot. A couple weeks ago I stepped on the scale only to find I'd only lost 2 pounds that week. That was very depressing. I know 2 pounds is a nice, healthy weight to lose in 7 days, but I was aiming a little higher. The following week I'd lost 3 pounds, and this past week I lost 4. That's not nearly as depressing, actually it's pretty exciting, especially since I was a little worried about my weight loss this past week. Not that I'd really had any slip ups, it's just that I haven't been as energetic. I'm still doing my daily work outs at the gym, but when I get home I spend the afternoon just sort of lounging around. Normally I attempt to stay active and get some chores done, but lately I just haven't felt like it. I was worried that the scale would reflect my laziness, but I was pleasantly surprised, and thrilled that I'd reached that 175 mark!

It's sort of odd the way you see yourself when you're losing weight though. It's obvious that I've lost a lot of weight, I can certainly see it, but there are still times I look in the mirror and feel like there's really no difference in my body than there was a few months ago. I guess it's just my own constant self criticism at play, reminding myself how fat I still am and only focusing on all the negative aspects of my body. I just seem to be a lot more aware of my trouble zones than I ever used to be, and oddly enough I seem to be seeing more fat than ever before. I used to think I was just big boned, or very muscular. Now I'm seeing how much fat really is there, and wondering what it will look and feel like once it's gone.. and of course still questioning if it will ever really be gone or not.

I do hope it won't take too long to get to my next major milestone! I'm hoping to be at my goal weight before summer, hopefully around May. So with any luck I'll hit 150 in March. Hopefully I'll find my energy again soon and lose the laziness that's been hitting me in the afternoon too!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Great Strides

I have joined my first ever Walk for a cause! I joined Great Strides, a 10K walk for Cystic Fibrosis. My Godfather was born with CF, and he died when I was just a kid. He was 30 years old. So this cause is very close to my heart.

The walk will take place in May. I have the challenge of trying to raise $150 by then! This will be difficult because I do not know too many people. I hope I do well.

I'm looking for all the help I can get. If you can make a small donation, please click below. It will be greatly appreciated, not only by me, but by those suffering with CF who you'd be helping with your donation.

donate to my cause

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dieting is Hard Work!


So I've been at this dieting thing for a bit over 2 months now, and I'd been doing great! In the beginning of December I joined my local YMCA so I could get in some more intense work outs. The first thing I realized was that I was a lot heavier than I thought I was. My scale at home said I started off at 225 lbs, and when I joined the Y the scale said I was down to about 190 lbs. The first thing I did at the Y was get on their scale, which is the old fashioned type where you have to move those little blocks until the bar is even. That scale told me I still weighed 205 lbs! So my scale at home was way way off! I honestly have no idea how heavy I actually was when I started, so I have no idea how much I've really lost. What I do know is that I am now down to about 183 lbs (according to the Y scale) and I've lost at least 40-50 pounds... although I'm telling everyone I've lost 60 because there is a chance that I started off at around 240.. how scary!

As far as working out goes, I'm doing great and am so proud of myself! At first the idea of running for half an hour seemed so daunting, and I could barely do it. Now I can run for a full hour (5 miles) and still do half an hour on another machine, and lift some weights. I am constantly trying to push myself to go just a bit longer, or a bit harder, and I make sure to switch up my work outs so I don't get too bored. On Tuesdays I take a cardio class which incorporates some weight lifting. On Wednesdays I take a group cycling class, which is a pretty intense half hour! No matter what, by the time I leave the Y I am literally dripping in sweat, and it feels great!

My "diet" is another story! I've been having a bit of a hard time since mid December. It started one night, after having a really bad day, when I gave in to my desires and chose to eat out at a restaurant instead of cooking a healthy meal at home. We went to a burger place, and I ordered the nastiest, greasiest burger on their menu!

I attempted to get back into the healthy dieting lifestyle the next day.. but a week later it happened again. I'd had a bad day and just wanted to gorge myself on junk food, so we ordered pizza and wings and I went to town. I repeated this behavior weekly ever since.. not always with pizza though.

This past weekend was probably the worst thus far. Saturday night hubby and I had a date night. My kids went to my mother's and hubby and I were left trying to find something to do for a few hours. We were both hungry and chose to go out to eat. I could have ordered a nice healthy meal, but decided to go ahead and allow myself something slightly unhealthy, but it didn't stop there. I also ordered the "all you can eat" salad bar along with my meal, and then proceeded to make 2 trips. It wasn't just healthy salad at that salad bar. There was pasta salad, potato salad, broccoli salad, and plenty of other unhealthy options. I indulged in all of them, and ate my entire dinner even though I was beyond stuffed! After dinner I treated myself to a fatty Starbuck's Frappuccino, complete with whipped cream.

I don't normally get too upset with myself when I have these mess ups. Most of the time I know in advance that I'm going to mess up, such as when hubby and I plan to go out to eat. I consider it like a "cheat" day. I do my best to eat healthy the remainder of that "cheat" day. If I can I work a little harder at the gym that morning, or at least the next day, and I have every intentions of getting right back to healthy eating once that cheating episode is over.

However it didn't end for me on Saturday. Sunday was just as bad. My healthy dinner did not satisfy me well enough, and I wanted to gorge myself. Against my better judgement I allowed myself a couple pieces of candy, hoping that would be enough, but it wasn't. Then I tried to eat a fat free yogurt, that usually helps when I'm craving junk food. The yogurt usually satisfies any sweet tooth I may have, and the calcium in it usually curbs hunger. But this time it didn't work! Thankfully we were too broke to go get fast food, or even buy some junk food from the store. The only option I had in the house was some tater tots, so we cooked up a whole tray of them, and between hubby and myself, we polished them all off!

I've spent all day today wondering why I've been messing up so bad lately. It's not just the once a week, it's everyday that I struggle, I just don't always give in, but food is always on my mind! Some days it's really hard to fight it off. Most days I do eat a little more than I'd like to, but it's usually not too terrible.

I'm afraid my weight loss may be suffering from my dieting problems. I'm definitely losing weight a lot slower than I was, and that is going to become depressing. If I don't continue to see results, I may give up completely.

I need to keep reminding myself that I'm stronger than my cravings, even on the bad days. I also need to find other ways to handle my stress, which is most likely the cause of the over eating. With five kids it's impossible not to get stressed!

Hopefully from this point on I'll have my eating more under control and will get back to losing weight and getting thin and healthy! I'm aiming to lose another 30 pounds or more. I'll know when I get there!