30 pounds down

30 pounds down
Size 16--Size 8

Monday, December 6, 2010

Found away to off-load some junk!

It's been awhile since I've blogged, but thought I'd take a moment to jot down some thoughts about what has been going on. First of all, I had about 300 people for Christmas in the country (open house)--getting ready for this kept me from blogging regularly. It was a good reason to get a lot of things done around the house.
Second of all, I've been doing some cleaning. I found a way to get rid of stuff without having to load it up to take to the thrift stores (you guys know me--I shop at yard sales, but I don't have them...) If you google "Freecycle", you can find a webgroup near you. It's amazing the stuff that people want. All you have to do is post an "offer", to which you will likely receive several responses. Pick one and arrange a pick up. I leave the stuff on the porch, I have yet to have to deal with anybody in person. I've also posted a few "wanted", but haven't had any luck with that so far....
Good luck and happy cleaning!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Recent Adventures in Frugality

Have you ever tried something in the name of saving money, only to find that it didn't work out too well? I have two examples that come to mind: 1) Last year I tried drying out my coffee grounds and then reusing them---the coffee was bitter!!!! Disgusting! The best I can do is pick this up on sale at the dollar store. Lucky for me, I drink Folgers and that is not too pricey. Some may say to just give up the coffee---maybe I'll do that at a much later date :-) 2) My attic clothes line. I do about three loads of clothes/week (jeans, white, colors). I figured that I could save on electricity if I dried my clothes on a line. I used to have a clothes line in my back yard, but this was lost to construction 7 years ago. I decided that I would air-dry my clothes upstairs. Ewww...the towels were rigid and like sandpaper. and the clothes were all wrinkled. I guess drying clothes outside lets them flap in the breeze, thus reducing wrinkles and stiffness.

On a positive note, I bought a tag-along-bike. Jimmy has yet to ride a bike. This hinders going for a family bike ride as he can't keep up on his scooter. I got a good deal on the tagalong; it was barely used---still had the rubber stringy things on the tire. I bought it for half of what they sell for new. I debated for two weeks whether or not to buy it. I decided to go ahead---and that I could sell it for about what I paid for it when Jimmy finally learns to ride a bike.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Tax and Tax savings on home improvement

Sometimes you have just got to run the numbers to see if something will save you money or not, so, I strongly suggest you do that before running out and making a big purchase...but let me tell you about my situation.
After the divorce, I did add on to the house (which costs money) for two main reasons...1) my house was a 2 bedroom house and I have 2 sons who won't always want to share a room 2) I spent an evening in my creepy cellar and vowed I would never do that again.... Here are two (or three?) ways in which I am able to save some with a home addition (Perhaps home improvement with you?)
1) Federal taxes allow for a deduction for a portion of any energy-saving improvements to your property. One just has to make sure the product you are installing qualifies. In my case, the windows applied (energy-efficient), which gave a me a small federal tax savings. Hey, every little bit counts, right?
2) When the old portion of my house was remodeled, the 100+ yr old sashes were replaced with new energy efficient windows selected to look like the old windows (nothing is more unappealing that modern windows made to fit the odd-size of older homes) I custom-ordered the size (just a few dollars more than off the shelf) so they look original. This has saved me money on my electric bill. My house also stays cleaner, too.
3) Our county has a tax rebate program on additions and improvements made to your property. Basically, you pay no property tax on the improved or added portion for 5 years. This is a big savings, too. One would have to check availability of local programs....

Monday, September 13, 2010

Savings at the grocery store

I did a big grocery shopping today. With a combination of e-coupons (the ones that are put on your shoppers card), circular ads, and manufacturer coupons, I saved $83.99 and spent $159.16. In this shopping I bought about six months worth of laundry detergent, toilet paper, dishwasher detergent, dishsoap, and papertowels. I also bought about 3 months worth of food, although I will have to buy produce, milk, bread, etc. I'd be interested in hearing your saving ideas. Of course the papertowels will probably last longer as I don't really use them---and I make my laundry detergent. I just like the tide for my handwashables.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

New Photos--what one year of work looks like

Ok, It's been awhile since I've uploaded pictures. I took some more comparison photos tonight. The only thing that you can tell immediately is that I have a tan! ...well, as tan as this white girl gets... My hair is longer, too. I'm down to 139 pounds and was 170+ at my heaviest. I still have a gut. Though you can't tell from the photos, it doesn't fold over now (medical term is 'panus'). From April to Sept, one can tell that I've lost more weight in my breasts. This is a good thing. I had been contemplating reduction, but think that a combination of smaller breast size plus strengthening my back has eliminated most of my back pain. The past two months have been spent focusing on running. Maybe I should have taken pictures of my legs?
I started lifting weights in Sept '09, so this is pretty much a years worth of work.

Saving money-rethinking phone, etc.

I'm home sick today, so while laying on the couch, I thought I'd spend some time between naps figuring out how to reduce some of my monthly bills. The first on my list is my internet bill. I currently use Embarq or whatever their name is (formerly sprint). Anyhow, in order to have high speed, they require a landline. So, I pay for a land line (about $20/month) that I never use...the only people that ever call on it are telemarketers. LOL it was unplugged probably for 2 weeks and I never noticed it. My highspeed is $50/month for a total of $70 to just have internet at the house.

ATT ran an ad for $14.95 high speed and no land line required...and even had a deal that you could use your laptop on the go with ATT network. Sounds too good to be true. I called, and yes, it is a valid deal, but they don't service Oxford :-( So for now, I'm stuck with $70 internet.

I have a couple of options:
1) Call up Embarq and ask why they require a landline if ATT can do it without...
2) switch back to dial-up *sigh* (still have to have the $20 landline)
3) sit in my yard so I get a better signal on Oxford's hotspot at Napawalla Park. Currently I only get 1 bar and that's in my kitchen only.
4) Do without internet at all...I do have a Blackberry, but there are somethings that are hard to do without internet.

Thoughts? Any of you in Oxford have the hook up on cheap internet? I had SUTV come out to do a line of sight test, and my house failed.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

My first race, MVelopes, and painting

I ran my first race today. It was a 2 miles "Fun Run" in Oxford, KS. I was third in my division and my time was 25:32. Not a wonderful time, but not too shabby considering 6 weeks ago I couldn't even run 30 seconds. I have never been able to run a mile in my life, and now I can run 2. Actually, 3 as I ran 3 miles on Wednesday night.

This blog is about putting my life, finances, and house in order after a divorce. I've made substantial progress in the body area. As far as finances, I'm slowly paying down debts. I'm using an online budgeting program through Crown Financial Ministries called "Mvelopes", It seems to be a neat program, but getting it set up is giving me fits. Anybody familiar with this program that can lend me a hand?

As far as the house is concerned, this weeks project is repainting the dining room. There is a gosh-awful blue color on the wainscoting that I have never liked since I painted 10 years ago. 10 years is a long time to look at something you don't like.

I have acquired an antique dining room set for $250 and the set includes table with leaves, 6 chairs, and a buffet. I know that I should save my money, but this was a deal too good to pass up. My other set is unsafe (one chair exploded under a guest). The chairs have been overhauled multiple times. I can't get rid of the set because it was my grandmothers (I promise I'm not being a hoarder). I have taken the leaves out of the table and retired it to the kids playroom for puzzles and games. The remaining chairs are strong enough to support the kids weight.

I figure that you can not buy 6 replacement chairs for $250. Plus now I have a buffet to store my serving platters and table cloths.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Week 5, Day 2 and getting ready for the big run :-)

Did day 2 of week 5 tonight. I didn't wait until midnight either :-) The weather was the perfect running temperature. So yes, O-town, that was me hauling my a$$ around town. ha! Tonight I ran two 8-minute runs, in addition to the walking before and after. At one point I timed my jogging speed on the treadmill at the gym. Seems I jog at about 5.1 to 5.3 mph, so it would take about 12 minutes to complete a mile. I have never been able to run a mile or even a half mile, but tonight I ran a half-mile....TWICE :-) So, day 3 of week 5 will be a 20 minute run. This is going to be a big deal as it will be a little over a mile for me. I sure hope I can do it.

39 days until race day :-)

I'm fundraising for Komen Mid-Kansas Race for the Cure. Click on the link to read my bio or to donate. A big thanks to cousin Catherine for being the first to sponsor.


Friday, August 13, 2010

Beating my speed and I'm finally not "obese" or "overweight"

I did 1.75 miles in 27 minute vs. a previous thirty. I made a conscious effort to pick up the speed. This 27 minutes was 11 minutes of walking and 16 minutes of jogging. Average speed was 3.88 mph, which is better than the 3.5 obtained previously.
that was the last day of Week 4. It's on to week 5 now. Heard a rumor about a 20 minute run....
Glad to announce I'm no longer "Obese" or "overweight" according to the US Dept of Health and Human Services. visit their website http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/ to calculate yours. I'm on the high side of normal. My goal weight will put me on the low side of normal.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My "running" speed? LOL

I'm on week four of Couch to 5K and for grins and giggles I decided to calculate my speed. Eons ago I drove around my block in my ancient Cavalier to see what the distance is. If I remember correctly, 4 times around my block is a mile. The lots on our block are 50' X 150'. That means the length down each side of the block is 300'. The perimeter is 1200', so four times around the block would be 5,800', which is over a mile.
I follow the couch to 5K podcast which is 30 minutes long. Week four consisted of 16 minutes of running split up into two 3-minute segments and 2-5 minute segments. The rest of the time is spent walking (14 minutes). It's impossible to separate the distance run from the the distance walked, so I lumped it all together. I made it around the block 7 times (1 3/4 miles). Plug the time and distance into a calculator and my average speed is 3.5 miles. LOL average walk speed for a woman is 3.0! and for a man is 3.5. I guess I need to pick up the pace!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

W1D3 .....And I feel fine!

Just completed week 1, day 3 of couch to 5K. Looking forward to week 2. Any joiners? I seem to do this around midnight as it is cool outside. For those of you who aren't night owls or insomniacs, I have a group of friends who train in the mornings.

Hoping to cross something off my bucket list this weekend.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Week 1, Day 2 Couch to 5K

Ooops I did it again. Just got back from day 2 of week 1 Couch to 5K. I had a little "break" due to my pulled muscle, but am back in the game. Several of my coworkers are doing this program and are several weeks ahead of me. In fact, one just ran for 20 minutes solid. visit the website http://www.c25k.com/ for more info. If one googles "chubby jones couch to 5K" there are some pretty awesome podcasts that one can download to their mp3 player. Anyhow, it's awesome running weather around midnight here :-) I just wish that I could find my strap-your-ipod-on-your-arm thingy.... can't imagine where that went... think I'll have a glass of wine and head to bed. Happy runnings.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Running a 5K and my "bucket list"

I have long wanted to run a 5K, specifically the Race for the Cure, in memory of my mother. I usually walk this race yearly, but have always wanted to run (It's been on my "bucket list" for 17 years). A "bucket list" (named after movie) is a list of things that you want to do before you "kick the bucket". So, when I started exercising last September, I had this a one-year goal. I remember my early days at the gym, I could barely jog at all, let alone for 20 seconds on the treadmill. I have improved this, but not making much progress toward the 5K goal.
Several of the girls in the office are doing "Couch to 5K" and have had good success. I downloaded the podcasts yesterday, and did the first program tonight. I think that one is supposed to be able to do a 5K in 6 weeks with this program. We'll see. Maybe I'll stick with the program, maybe not. I've really tried to be hitting it hard as I totally slacked off during June.
Also bought a cheapie bike today and went for a ride.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

House and budget

My house addition is *almost* finished. I'm in the process of final, touch-up painting, and moving in furniture. Once done, it's time to get back on the ole' budget :-)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

It's been awhile...

I should really get back to blogging on a more regular basis. I think that I accomplsh more when I do. Currently I am trying to drop below 145. This morning when I woke up, I was at my lowest weight that I've been at in a long time---146. I suspect it is dehydration from sweating so much yesterday at the gym and while working on my yard. I didn't stay for weights at the gym, no did I lift at my house. Instead, I did the "poor girl" weight training, and carried large landscaping rocks to their final destination in my yard. I am wondering how much I can dead lift? some of those rocks were quite large. There were only 3 that I was unable to move. I figured that my back would hurt this morning, but it didn't. My biceps area little sore.
Also along these lines, I weed-eated my yard. Last summer, I intentionally bought the biggest heaviest one in an effort to help reduce the fat on my arms...not working so far.
At the gym, I am down to 40 pounds assist on the wide grip gravitron. I can only do 2 pull-ups @ 40 pounds. I think I need to lose more weight before I will be able to do more.
Finances: well, let's just say that I should improve in this area. Here is my excuse: home addition. Seems like everytime one does home improvements, it always costs more than expected. I will have my first lawyer paid off this month and am on track to have my 2 small student loans paid off at the end of the summer. I will then take those payments and pay on my big student loan.
House-wise, I'm building my new flower beds around the addition.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Catching up

It's been awhile since I've blogged and need to catch up. I'm still trying to drop below 145 pounds and have been here for quite some time. I had a visit with the personal trainer who re-did my workout routine. I'm now doing some work with the barbells, which is nice since I bought myself a weight set to reward myself for dropping below my prepregnancy weight. I have yet to use those, though, as they aren't set up yet---waiting on the floors/trim in the upstairs to be done.
Other milestones--I have ran 1/3 mile on the treadmill and am now down to 50 pounds assist on the wide grip on the Gravitron.
House-wise, I continue to clean out drawers, nooks, crannies, etc. The addition is coming along nicely. The contractor has begun laying the flooring...
Finances? ha ha not much progress here....between decorating the addition and lawyers bills.....I'll try harder :-)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The longest 3 minutes....

So, I've done the math, and if I run (jog?) at a pace of 5.3 mph for 3 minutes, I've done a quarter-mile. And that's what I did today, and I do believe it was the longest 3 minutes ever.
Doing the math....if I continue to jog at this pace, I would need to jog for 12 minutes to run a mile. I've NEVER been able to run AT ALL, even when I was skinny. This seems like a very daunting task.
Furthermore, the 5K that I'd like to run is in October, is roughly 6 months away. Continuing at that rate of speed, I'd need to run for 36 minutes to run a 5K.
What does this mean? It means that I've got a lot of work to do. For the month of May, I'll need to increase from 3 minutes to 6 minutes, and for each month thereafter, will need to increase by another six minutes each month (or 1.5 minute increase each week) OUCH!
I think I can...I think I can...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tuesday/Wednesday bite it/write it

breakfast: yogurt with fiber one
midmorning snack: grill chicken wrap from sonic
lunch: cup of potato soup, salad
Dinner: 2 hot dogs with buns (ouch), baked beans, macarroni and cheese
2 chocolate chip cookies

breakfast: yogurt with fiber one
lunch: chinese take-up (didn't eat the whole thing) shrimp with mixed veggies, fried rice, egg roll, 2 steamed dumplings
dinner: 4 steamed dumplings, small steak

Monday, April 26, 2010

You bite it, you write it!

Back to some old strategy. I'm at a standstill on weight loss, so going to try the "you bite it, you write it" strategy again.
Yogurt with FiberOne cereal and frozen berries
green salad with a slice of rotisserie chicken, walnuts, and craisins
Baked tilapia, edamame, and leftover fried rice from the Chinese takeout

contemplating eating a brownie tonight :-)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Evaluation with the physical trainer

Thursday night I met with the physical trainer that works at the fitness center. This is meeting #3. A meeting consists of reevaluation of goals, measurements/weights, and reworking the work-out routine in order to reach the goal.
A review of progress since September:
Starting weight: 164 pounds
Current weight: 148 pounds

Chest: 3 inches lost
Upper Arm: 3/4 inches lost
Waist: 2 1/2 inches lost
Upper hips: 1 inch lost
Thigh: 2 inches lost
Calf: 1/2 inch gained (OUCH!)

Body Composition analysis (aka fat rolls) OK not sure what unit this is (millimeter?)

Tricep: down 7 units
Suprailium : down 8 units
Thigh: down 3 units

Let me say this again: DANG THIS HAS BEEN SLOW PROGRESS. But, progress is progress. Hey, I could be gaining weight!

I have graduated to barbells.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

First gym session after surgery

So, I spent part of the weekend slinging a sledgehammer and carrying broken concrete. I managed to steal a few minutes at the gym. I was so weak!!!! I gave up on the gravitron as everytime i did a pull up or a dip, it felt like my skin was going to rip. I wonder if they sewed my skin onto my ribs? lol I did do some dumb bell presses... better luck later, I hope....

Sunday, April 11, 2010

half-hearted spring cleaning :-)

So, no heavy lifting for me, at least not for awhile. I was going absoblutely stir crazy today, so I decided to do a little spring cleaning. The weather outside was perfect. I attempted to plant some hostas that a neighbor gave me, but discovered that used muscles that were affected by incisions. I then decided to clean a much-neglected shed on my property. I truly detest spiders...and found quite a few of those today. The shed is tidy now, but far from clean. The clutter has been removed, but it is still filthy. Oh well, it's a start :-) At least I can say I did one little thing this weekend that was productive :-)

My reward :-)

So I pondered what to get myself as a reward for dropping down below my prepregnancy weight. I elected to get myself a set of weights/bench so that I could lift at home on the nights that I have my boys. My weights were delivered this weekend, but of course I didn't do any lifting since I'm recovering from surgery. I can't wait til I feel better...I'm excited to have my own :-) Of course, I have a lot of work to do...since my post-surgery weight gain. O-town friends: come on over, I'll share :-)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

8# weight gain?

Oh, come on! You've got to be kidding me! I stepped on the scales thi morning---the first time since surgery...and it shows an 8# wt gain!!!!!! Are you serious? That is like 1/2 of what I worked so hard to lose. How depressing. I didn't eat *that* bad during recovery. I didn't realize that 3 days of decreased activity could add up so quickly. Oh, well. Can't do anything about it now :-( Such is life, I guess I'll be burning it up at the gym as soon as I feel up to it, which hopefully is very soon....

Monday, April 5, 2010

Kicking butt (and taking names!)

I think I'm finally getting it. I actualy ran today and did somewhere between a third and 1/2 a mile, I could have probably gone longer, but my mouth was parched, so I quit. Yes, I know, that's an excuse. Before you laugh and say "big deal!", I want you to understand that this chick doesn't run. Those of you who know me on a personal level are probably thinking "Cindy run? ROTFLMBO!". I think each day I'll add a minute until I reach a full 12, which is what I estimate to be a mile. If I can't do a full additional minute, then I'll do 30 seconds. You get the point :-)

Since today is Monday, I upped my weights and decreased the assistance on the Gravitron. I am now @ 40 pounds assist on narrow grip pullup. I could only do 2 sets of 5. I am doing dips @ 50 pounds--3 sets of 15 reps; wide grip @ 60 pounds--I could do 7 reps, 3 sets.

Still want to dumbbell press the 30# dumbbells but am too scared that I'll drop them on my head.

@ 110 pounds on the multi-hip, 122 # on the leg press (one-legged).

I'll probably be really tired tomorrow.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Gallbladder surgery

I am having gallbladder surgery this week. I wonder how this will affect my exercise regime? The doc told me that there is not a lifting restriction, but that I may not FEEL like lifting anything for 2 weeks :-(
I wonder if I will go through exercise-withdrawal? Hopefully I don't gain weight...
I did tell her that I am a weight lifter and that I do cardio for 45 minutes at a stretch 2 to 5 times a week. My hobbies didn't seem to make her flinch. Her reply was that the weight loss is probably what aggrevated the gallstones.
So, I wonder how long it'll be until I'm back at it?
We'll see.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

handy woman and more spring cleaning

Today I fixed everything that was broken that needed wood glue. I repaired chairs, boxes, etc. It's amazing what one can do with wood glue and bungee cords. :-)

I also spring cleaned two drawers in my rooml

Thursday, April 1, 2010

city-wide clean up

each year our town has a city-wide clean-up. During the month of April, everybody has a pile of junk on the curb that grows each week. I started mine today :-) My oldest child is somewhat of a hoarder. It's genetic, I can trace it back through the generations on the paternal side. He was having a cow when I was trying to throw out junk. I tried to explain that the two junk bikes in the yard weren't doing us any good. Mommy doesn't ride a bike, and if she did, she wouldn't ride these...Mommy can't fix bikes, and bikes are so cheap nowadays that they can be had for less than the parts to fix the existing bikes. I think I'll have to clean up the yard when he is not here...and then keep him out of the junk pile when he is here.

I did it!

I woke up this morning and weighed myself before my shower. I weighed 149.4# That's the first time in a LONG time that I've seen the 140's. My pre-preggers weight was 150. My eldest son was conceived in March of 2003, but prior to that I went in for a "pre-conception check-up", so there should be records of my weight. I will call the clinic today and verify that. So, I need to celebrate. I think I'll get a pedicure :-) and maybe some new summer clothes. I've been painting at the house. The old shorts that I wear while painting are baggy and have a huge front to accomodate a gut. I still have the gut :-) it's just not as big.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

finally progress on the gravitron, weights

#70 pounds wide grip---can now do 10 reps, sets
#60 pounds dips---can now do 15 reps, 3 sets
50# narrow grip--can now do 5 rep, 3 sets.

Theorectically, if I drop 10 pounds each week from the assist, I should be able to do a pull-up (narrow grip) in 5 weeks :-) That would be the first week of May. we'll see...already have had delays due to lack of progress

I really want to try to dumbbell press 60# (2 30#) weights, but am too scared i'll drop them on my head.

....not yet :-(

Have not yet dropped below the 10 mark :-( I'll keep plugging away until I do :-)
Hmmm...what should I do for myself when I break through? I try to celebrate these 5# increments.

150 and holding....

stepped on the scales this morning and it read "150" even. Can it be that perhaps I will break through the 10 pound mark? If so, I'll be below my pre-pregnancy weight.
Stay tuned for further updates :-)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Cleaning out my closet...

Sounds like an old Eimenem song, doesn't it?

Actually, I don't have any closets in this house, but I do have a clothes rack that was temporary home to my clothes during the construction of the addition.

This rack was rickety and was located in my bedroom. This rack of clothes was an eyesore and messing up the Fung Shui of my bedroom, so I removed it :-)

Anybody need any size 14 pants or jeans? Facebook me if you do.

Part of this blog deals with getting the house in order. I did clean house this weekend, although my broom and dustpan have mysteriously disappeared.....

I've cleaned out the garden shed. Now all I need to do is get the tiller and mower in working order so that they can be parked in the shed---instead of in the yard lol

I picked up a set of wooden chairs to re-do for my addition. Looking for bedroom furniture now that it is yardsale season :-)

I'm still here, let's get caught up

New picture posted. Progress has been very slow for me, but check out my most recent picture compare to me at my heaviest. Wow!
Slacked off last week (a bit) since I was on vacation. Was ill with gallbladder problems, so was really excited to get home and weigh---thought that I had lost a bunch since I was unable to really eat much. What a disappointment---I was EXACTLY the same. I guess that is better than gaining, though. Most people usually gain when on vacation.
I want to increase the amount of weight I'm lifting with the dumbbells, but am scared I'll get in a position and won't be able to do anything....and end up hurting myself. Heaviest I've done so far is a 25# weight in each hand (total 50 pounds) and lay horizontal on the weight bench and push the weights upward. Sorry, don't know the technical terms. Anyhow, this is becoming easy and I really should increase to 30# in each hand (total 60#) but am scared I'll drop it on my face!!!
Progress is slow on the Gravitron. Earlier I found my "limit" and am trying to work though this. I'm still @ 70# for wide grip, 60# dips, and am down to 50# assist on the narrow grip.
I'm at 112# on the leg press----I do this one-legged. I suppose if I were to use two, I should be able to leg press 240#. I'm at 100# on the multi-hip.
Cardio-wise I've made good friends with the stairclimber. I feel that it gives me a good workout....like I've gotten my money's worth. I do 30 minutes on it, and then 15 on the treadmill @ 4.0 mph.

Goals: I'm tetering around the 150# mark, but have yet to drop down. I'm really not so sure of total amount lost, though it is between 15-20 pounds. At my heaviest, I'm sure I was @ 170#. Earliest known weight was 168.4#. When I went to the clinic in July 2009 I was 166# and last week I was 152# (that's 14 pounds).

I'd still like to decrease the amount of assist on the gravitron, but this is very hard. I'll have to push back the able-to-do-an-unassisted-pullup date by a few weeks. I'm currently at 50# assist and can only do 5 reps/3 sets. In my early days of this, I was doing 10-15 reps...

Still want to do a 5K in October. That is 7 months away, and I still don't feel like I've made much progress in the area of endurance.

Monday, March 22, 2010

have new pictures, need help with posting

OK, so i have new wt loss photos for this month, but I want to post them in a side-by-side fashion for comparison. Anybody know how to do this? Anytime I post a picture, it ends up displaying a large picture in vertical order. I'd like smaller pictures. Please help.

Monday, March 15, 2010

diet and exercise while on vacation

not too many postings as i'm on vacation and am using a REALLY SLOW dial-up connection on an antique computer:-) I'm in the south and resisting the temptations of the delicious fried foods. I even was a good girl and went to walmart and bought some healthy food. I even bought a one week gym membership, too.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ate horribly today

My diet today was atrocious. I'm sure it will show up on the scales tomorrow. I won't even list what I ate---pretty shameful. But I will resolve to do better tomorrow :-)

Monday, March 8, 2010

I think I've found my limit...

My plan to do a zero-assisted pull up in 10 weeks will likely have to be extended by one or two weeks. I am having to repeat a week on the widegrip pull up at 70#. I'm down to 50# on the narrow grip, but can only do 6 or 7 instead of 10-15. I'm at 60# on dips. Progress is now slow, but hey, at least I'm not going backwards :-)
The good news is that I'm close to my pre-pregnancy weight. I had thought about calling my doctor's office to confirm what my pre-preggo weight was...but I haven't gotten around to it. My scales say that I've lost 12 pounds :-) I have the scales that electronically keep track of weight, body fat, etc. We won't say what the body fat reading is....

My crazy day :-)

Those of you that know me know that part of my job entails wound care. Those of you that don't know me, know it now :-) Part of my schedule today was to drive about 50 minutes from the office to see a patient in a nursing home. Along the way, I stopped at Dollar General store because I was craving chocolate--one of my MAJOR weak points. I went inside and bought some of my favorite Easter candy---made by Cadbury--and they are small chocolate eggs with a hard candy shell (similar to M&Ms). I was a good girl and bought the single-serving bag instead of the 1 or 2-pounder like I probably would have done last year :-) I proceeded to eat the chocolate candy and unbeknownst to me, I dropped one in my lap/car seat. By the time I got to my destination, it had melted all over my butt---but I didn't know it. I went into the nursing home and inquired as to the location of the patient that I was to see. I walked down the hall with my chocolate butt (on light purple scrubs!). A nurse followed me in and asked "Have you been eating chocolate?" I said "yes". She looked at me with disbelief and said "well you have something all over the back of your pants and it doesn't *look* like chocolate". This alarmed me as I had taken some Alli 4 days prior. Those of you who have taken Alli are probably aware of the "Alli effect". I panicked thinking that I had crapped myself and didn't know it. Well, after the nurse left, I sneaked a peek of my rump in the mirror---and it looked like blood (the room was dark). I thought that it was strange that I could bleed that much and not know it. Eventually I made my way to the restroom and discovered that it was, in fact, chocolate. I let the nurse know, and I don't think she believed me! I'll probably be forever known in that facility as "the hospice nurse that craps herself". I guess I'm being punished for eating the chocolate.
So, I have to return to my house to change pants. By the way, it is raining cats and dogs and my seat is full of chocolate and I can't clean it because of the rain, so I get to slide around on a wal-mart sack.
While at my house, I grab a towel, hair dryer, hairspray, etc and clothes to change into after I work out since I have a date tonight and will be cutting it close time-wise.
I go to the gym, and hop on the treadmill only to discover that I forgot my sports bra, so no running--just a really fast walk. What else can go wrong? Well, let's see: I go to take my shower, which is the first shower I"ve taken in this facility. The showers are something reminiscient of church camp. I step in and turn the faucet and...nothing. I'm thinking "Oh crap! I've got a date in 30 minutes and I'm sweaty and stinky and the water is turned off". So I step into the next shower and it works, thank goodness :-) I then realize I forgot shampoo or any soap. LOL i've only been bathing for 34 years, you'd think I'd remember the basics... so I take a friction shower and hope that it will suffice. I put an extra large application of deodorant on plus body spray. I then realize that I forgot clean underwear. Hmmm...what to do...well I went commando. I just couldn't put on the dirty underwear. I then realize I forgot a clean bra. Going braless isn't an option for me, so on goes the sweaty bra (yuck!). Also forgot clean socks......
There is only one outlet in the restroom, and it is nowhere near the mirror. That made for interesting hair styling. When, I went to unplug the hairdryer, I ripped the outlet off the wall. Not only did the outlet come off, but the conduit, too. All the way up the wall and across the ceiling over to the junction box. Either I'm stronger than I realize, or this building is a real dump. I vote on the second option.
So, I meet my date, sweaty bra and all. Must not have reeked too bad because I'm seeing him again :-)
What a day.

goal met!

so, this week i've conssistently been 2 pounds or more below the 5# mark :-) Finally. I think i was stuck there for 4 weeks... Goal for this week? Maybe get below the 10 pound mark?????

baby powder works as oil dry

thrifty people always try to find something else to do the job in the event that they don't have the proper item. When my ex moved his things out, a large bucket of oil was spilled on the shop floor. I tried soaking it up with sand, but that only got part of the spill. Instead of going out and buying some oil-dry/floor-sweep, I used a bottle of babypowder. I had tons left over from having kids as i really didn't use powder on my babies. Guess what? it worked :-) and my tool shed smells baby-fresh.

Monday, March 1, 2010

dinner tonight...

I'm in the process of using up what is in the freezer so that I can save on the grocery bill and also there will be less to move when I relocate the freezer to the basement.

tonights dinner was interesting. I was so looking forward to some baked tilapia, but all I had was an empty box :-( so, I had crawdads, edamame, and wild rice.
Lesson learned: wild rice in the rice cooker does not turn out well...a little on the cruchy side.....OK a lot on the crunchy side---no matter how much water I added, and how much longer I cooked it for...

No to dispose of the crawdad remanants before the house gets stinky

50% less assist on the gravitron :-)

When I started using the gravitron I was at 120 pounds assist. Today I decreased by 10 pounds and am now down to 60 pounds for narrow grip, 70 pounds for dips and 70 pounds for wide angle grip. I wasn't able to do but 2 sets of 5 on the wide grip, so will do those first (hopefully tomorrow) next time I work out.

On the treadmill, I've been doing running 2 minutes, and then walking, then running, etc. I've found that I can't always run the full 2 minutes...at least not for the whole 45 minute workout---but it is a start. This is SLOW progress.

I did the math last night and will have to run for about 12 minutes to do a mile...I'm 1/6th the way there....

One of the "fitness gurus" at the gym tonight initiated a conversation. When I say guru, I'm talking about the skinny old men that look like they've run their entire life---and can run for an hour and not sweat! lol Anyhow, he wanted to know how many miles I got on the treadmill tonight. Hmmm...guess that's the difference between me and the runners! I count minutes and they count miles! Everybody has got their own opinions on fitness. He told me that he thought I was focusing on weights/bulking up too much and that the excessive muscle weight was making it hard for me to run. lol what "excessive muscle weight"? More like jiggly chubby stuff.

still lifting the same with the dumb bells. i bumped up the hip machine to 90 pounds and am doing one-leg leg presses at 100 pounds now---which is quite amazing considering when I first started lifting months ago I could *maybe* do 80 pounds/both legs :-)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Bought new jean---a size smaller :-)

I bought some jeans a size smaller. My old ones wouldn't stay up. Dang! What a bad problem to have. New jeans are a size 10. I was size 16 at my biggest---so not too bad! Still haven't lost much pound-wise! Still below the 5# mark, next goal will be to get below the 10# mark (i.e. get below 170#, 160#, 150#, 140# I won't divulge my weight).
When I got married---I know that was a long time ago---for those of you who knew me then, think back to what I looked like. I thought I looked "OK" body-wise and was a size 8. Previously (in high school) was a 6, and looked nice. So, I have one more size to go to get to my wedding size, yet only 2 pounds to go to get to my pre-pregnancy weight---not making any sense at all.
I guarantee that I now have more fat on my body than I did when I got married (I was a teenager when I got married). So, here are my questions:
1) are they making clothes bigger now than 15 years ago? (i.e. a 10 now is bigger than a 10 then)
2) if I continue on my current loss in body size and then finally manage to lose pounds, what will I look like? Is it possible to end up smaller than an 8?

In junior high, I was a size 3 and weighed 110 pounds, and then my figure filled out a little more, mostly hips... (to this day I still remember my mom freaking out that I had stretch marks on my hips lol)
In high school I was a size 6 and weighed 115 pounds
When I got married (age 19), I was a size 8 and weighed 125 pounds (freshman 10 lol)
When I got pregnant (age 28), I was a size 12 and weighed 150 pounds
After 2 pregnancies (age 34--now), I am a size 10 and still above my pre-pregnancy weight.....I KNOW my gut is bigger now....

This will be really interesting to see how this turns out....

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Reevaluation of last weeks goals

1. Lose 2 pounds. Goal partially met. Was consistently 2.2 to 2.8 pounds less at beginning of this week, however Thursday and Friday I was right back up. Today was back down a pound. It was suggested that the Chinese food that I ate on Wed and thursday night may have caused me to retain water. Sounds nice to me :-)
2. Decrease assist on Grivtron by 10 pounds. Goal met. And have lifted every night this week but Friday--gym closes early and I got in from work too late :-(
3. Core exercises 3 nights a week. goal partially met. I lack motivation in this area. Somebody motivate me, please?
4. Schedule appt with trainer to get remeasured, etc. Goal not met. I didn't see her any of the nights I was at the gym.

Continue same POC for next week.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Homemade dishwasher detergent works

Several internet discussions discuss homemade dishwasher detergent and that it doesn't work. I have made some and have been using it for a month will good results. The recipe I use calls for table salt, borax, baking soda, and powdered lemonade. I made 1 quart of initially---in case it was bad, I wouldn't have a who ton left over. For one quart, I used a half-cup salt, and then equal portions of the borax and baking soda, which I layered in the jar to facilitate mixing. I didn't have any lemonade, so I used a packet of mango-ade (from Mexican grocery store). I then covered the jar, and mixed by rolling and turning the jar. Leave some air space so that you are able to mix.
I use 1/4 cup of powder for 1 load of dishes in the dishwasher. I have EXTREMELY hard water, but I do have a water softener. I suppose you will have to experiment with the amount the achieve the effects that you desire. I also put white vinegar in the liquid-rinse aid (ie jet dry) compartment.
Cheap, effective, and probably better for the environment.

Have lifted 4 nights in a row :-)

I've lifted 4 nights in a row...managed to "sneak in" a lifting session on my parenting days. by chance I was done with work early and was able to squeeze in an afternoon session before i had to pick the boys up from daycare.

Still only able to do 15 reps 1 out of every 3 sets (obviously the first one). So will continue to work on this.

Just goes to show that even if you are really busy, one can usually carve out a little time each day for some form of exercise.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

gym tonight and loving the bra :-)

For the first time, I was able to do 45 minutes on the treadmill (alternating between brisk walk, really fast walk, and jogging) without having to stop to stretch out the muscles on the front of my lower legs. Wow. Didn't think that would ever happen.
Tonight was day #3 on the 70# assist narrow grip and 80# assist wide grip, and 80# dips. Past 2 nights was only able to do 10 reps, 3 sets. Tonight I was able to do 15 reps some of the times, and 3 sets of each.
By the way, I like my new sport bra. Keeps the girls comfy :D

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

diet for yesterday and today

yogurt with fiber cereal and blueberries
southwest chicken salad with grilled chicken from mcdonalds
fiber bar
mixed grilled vegetables

yogurt with fiber cereal and blueberries
chicken strip sandwich from sonic
fiber bar
2 small slices of leftover pizza
6 ounces hot cocoa (homemade)
1 bowl of cereal

Sunday, February 21, 2010

diet for today?

1 bowl of fiber cereal with a little 2% milk
2 squares of pizza left over from last night with oil soaked off with napkin
1 bite of kids' reeses cups, 1 bite of nasty red rope candy (would have spit it out but was in public)
half a sandwich on wheat bread and beef brisket
tablespoon of baked beans
2 tablespoon of mac-n-cheese
1/4 cup of coleslaw
1 fiber bar
another bowl of high-fiber cereal, minmal milk

#1 rule for not having too much crap in your house

Remember, part of this blog is dedicated to getting my house in order....not that i have too much junk, but everybody can use more organization. So, one rule I have followed is to remove one item for every item brought into the house. For example, just prior to Christmas and birthdays, my kids will pick out the broken toys, or toys that they no longer play with in anticipation for the new toys received on birthdays and holidays. This has worked well. My kids have never had more toys that what fits in their toy box or their shelf.
I've used the same principle for shoes and clothes. New shirt bought, old shirt either in the trash or donated to charity (if still usable).
So, yesterday, I FINALLY bought some Sketchers Shape-ups :-) I had worn out a pair of sneakers, so it was time to get some new shoes. The worn-out ones will go into the trash as they weren't too comfortable to begin with. I have an old pair that I use for working out in the yard, etc. Some people i have know have 100+ pairs of shoes. I have 10 or less.... I've been in houses where toys overrun each room...and i've known people who have 4 closets full of clothes not worn (out of style, wrong size, worn out, or just too many).

re-evaluation of fitness goals from last weekend

Those of you who are in the nursing field are probably familiar with the "nursing process" and "careplans", same can hold true for weight loss and fitness. Let's re-examine last my goals from last weekend using a simplified version of nursing.

Assessment/observation: I am 30 pounds overweight
Goal: was to loose 2 pounds this week
Implementation: was to continue visiting the gym, maintain current cardio regime, increase weight lifting, watch diet
Rationale: all of these listed in "implementation" are known to decrease weight, i.e. increase physical activity, decrease PO intake
Evaluation: was goal met/unmet? Goal was unmet
Revision: continue same goal for next week, Implementation: this week i'm going to write down everything I eat so that I am more conscious of what i am consuming. More of a diet focus and continue same exercise regime--at this point I am unable to visit gym more regularly

Goal #2 was to buy a sports bra. Goal met. obtained sports bra yesterday

Goal #3 was to decrease amount of assist on gravitron by 10 pounds. goal met, although it was very difficult.

Goal #4 was to focus on core. Goal not met. Didn't do a single core-specific thing this past week :-( Revision: on my parenting nights (i.e. non-gym nights) I will do core exercises. I am also really uncertain as to what I SHOULD be doing, so I bought a couple magazines and will research on the internet. I have a hard time doing core exercises at the gym for two reasons. 1) the "floor area" is a well used piece of carpet that has had many sweaty bodies laying on it (gross) 2) by the time i do 45 minutes of cardio, plus lift weights, stretch, etc, time is a factor.

Goals for this week:
1) loose two pounds--write down everything i eat, really watch diet
2) decrease assist on gravitron by 10 pound (70 pounds narrow grip, 80 pounds wide grip, 80 pounds dips)
3) core exercises--whatever that might be--three nights this week
4) set up appointment with physical trainer to be re-measured (weight, fat %, arm, leg, waist, bust, hip circumference)

I need somebody to hold me accountable? Feel free to comment on my blog, IM, facebook, text, or call me :-) I need the motivation.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Another week--still no decrease in weight :-(

Still just *slightly* below the 5# mark....maybe like by 2/10 of a pound. Getting frustrated...guess I'll just have to work a little harder...

Friday, February 19, 2010

I am woman hear me (my truck) roar!

I detest mechanical stuff. A disadvantage of being divorced is all that "penis" type stuff---you know, fixing things, working on cars, etc. Well, maybe not actually fixing something, but at least telling what's wrong so that it can be fixed. Well the blue beast (my truck) died on the street outside my house. It was actually working, then I got up one (cold) morning to drive it to work because i couldn't find my car keys. It wouldn't start. I didn't think that it was the battery because I still had juice, lights, and door chimes, plus the starter was trying to turn over.
I had "tech support" over the phone with my brotherinlaw "the engine whisperer" and was able to get it running.
My first foray into auto repair was successful. I still don't like it, though, but I guess I had better get used to it.
By the way, the engine was just flooded. Nothing too serious.

LOL my motherinlaw is buying me a bra for valentines day!

Well, since I didn't get any sexy lingerie for Valentines Day this year, I thought that I'd get myself a not-so-sexy sports bra. Have been doing some research on styles, prices, etc. A new edition of a fitness magazine had a whole article on the subject today at the gym....will make my selection soon.
Anyhow, my motherinlaw called to tell me that she was sending me a check for V-day and to buy what I wanted. She did this in lieu of mailing chocolates like she usually does :-) Anyhow, I told her that I wanted a sports bra. LOL kind of funny that my mother-in-law will be buying me a bra for valentines day....or at least making the down payment on one. I"ll keep you posted.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

So sore

I weight-trained three days in a row, and am very sore, but the soreness started fading last night(I took a day off). I weight trained again tonight, and was not sore, but oh, that last set of each exercise was hard. This is probably the last night before I decrease the amount of resistance on the gravitron. I have my kids this weekend :-) and nobody under the age of 14 is allowed in the weightroom....so, Monday it will be.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

finally getting noticed :-)

Two separate people on two separate occasions commented to me that it looked like I had lost weight. This means a lot to me because I've been quite frustrated with lack of progress.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Gym kicked my butt today

Ok so I stepped down the resistance on the Gravitron. I'm now @ 80 pound for narrow grip and 90 @ wide grip. I have also added dips @ 80 pounds. It was suggested that dips might assist in removing my bat wings on my arms :-)
I also added 10 pounds to the mult-hip and have stepped up the dumbbell press to 25 pounds each hand.
I also did my 45 minutes cardio on the treadmill today.
I was so sore, I took a hot shower, ate dinner, napped on the couch, soaked in the tub, and am now getting ready to go to bed.
I will be a sore girl tomorrow.
I had to do the gravitron in sections today---some before cardio, some after.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Which cardio is best? Please opine

To my readers who are knowledgeable in this area, I pose a question. Which of the following two cardio workouts are best?

1) 45 minutes on the treadmill, changing speed each minute. Walking fast at 3.5 mph, walking really fast at 4.0 mph, and running at 5.2 mph. This leaves me tired, gets me breathing hard, not much sweat, heartrate not too high, and my calf muscles get really tight in the front to where I have to stop and stretch them as my feet quit working

2) 45 minutes on the Precor EFX (eliptical type machine), using an alternating resistance program that changes about every three minutes. Doesn't make me too tired, but I notice that my heartrate is higher than when on the treadmill. Legs don't tighten, I sweat like a dog, and I usually get a nice runners high, i don't breathe as hard as I do when i'm on the treadmill.

Time is precious to me. It is hard to carve out 45 minutes for me to do this cardio, so i want to make the best use of my time. sometimes the decision is made for me as all of one type of cardio equipment is in use and I'll have to pick what's available.

Goals are to be able to run a 5K by October, and to of course lose wt, body fat, and get in shape. I figured that with a goal of running a 5K, it would make sense to use the treadmill, but I question this as I get a higher heartrate, more sweat, and a high with the eliptical.....

Thoughts? Let me know.

No weight lost this week

Still at the 5 pound mark this week--no wt lost. Was reviewing my scales, which were purchased after I started working out at the gym. It tracks wt, fat content, etc. It says I've lost a total of 8.4 pounds, so I suppose that's better than the initial 5 pound wt loss that I was stuck at for quite some time.
Fitness goals for this week include to lose 2 pounds, decrease the amount of assist by 10 pounds on the gravitron---so will be doing wide grip at 90 pounds assist, narrow grip at 80., begin shopping for a sports bra, keep up with the 45 minutes of cardio, and focus on my core.
I have neglected my core for quite some time. I'm supposed to be doing some "towel" exercises, which involves me sliding back and forth on some towels while in the push up position. For those of you who know me, I'm a private person and there is NO WAY I'd EVER do that in public. I tell myself that I'll do it when I get home, but am gernally to tired, so it never gets done. Something tells me that if I ever want to lose this baby belly (my "baby" is 4 years old now haha), then I'm going to have to do something....any suggestions? I'd love to hear them!

Thanks for the advice and support :-)

I would like to say "thanks" to my Facebook and Twitter readers, and also to those that respond by email or phonecall as well.
I have received a lot of encouragement in the fitness area as well as learning about success stories of on-line dating of some of my reader.
I have also received tips on sports bras as well :-)

Internet dating?

Many of my friends have sung the praises of internet dating. Heck, even my dad (now deceased) found his last wife on-line like 15 years ago or so and they were happily married until he passed away.
So, to celebrate my singleness this valentines day, I bought myself my own V-day presents so I wouldn't feel left out :-) Hey, at least you get what you want, right? And I have posted my profile on-line. I know so many people who have met somebody this way, surely there is somebody out there for me....
My suspicious, non-trusting personality says it's a little creepy...but I have disguised my location to avoid stalkers and will run background checks on potential dates.
Would love to hear your thoughts and experiences with internet dating.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

cheap source for sports bras that work?

A delicate subject that needs addressing....anybody know where sports bras can be obtained inexpensively? The little stretchy things from wal-mart historically have not worked.
An friend who knows some about fitness pointed me in the direction of under armor---but the prices were like $50/bra!!!!! That's insane.
I'd LOVE to hear your thoughts on this one.

Gym today

I had a nice workout at the gym today. It is becoming easier for me to do the 45 minutes of cardio, which includes some running now, even if only for a minute at a time. When i first started this, I was dog tired and would usually come home and fall asleep. I actually am awake and energized at this point. The bad news is that 45 minute of cardio really carves into lifting time. If I were to do EVERYTHING on my list that the personal trainer has set up for me, I'd be at the gym for about 2.5 hours, and i don't have time for that. I usually end up neglecting my core because I tell myself, "Oh, you can just do that when you get home". And typically that doesn't happen.....
Anybody have any suggestions for preventing tightness of the muscle on the front of your shin? When i walk fast/run, it gets so tight that my feet don't move right. I usually have to stop every ten minutes and stretch it out.
I seriously wonder if I will be able to do a 5K in October? Seems like a lot of work.....and only 8 months to go...
Monday I decrease the amount of assist by ten pounds on the gravitron. I'm thinking that I'm not going to be able to do it....it is still difficult for me to complete, although I do finish. I do 15 reps wide grip then rest my arms while I do 15 reps on the multi-hip machine, then I do 15 more reps wide grip....for a total of 3 set of 15 reps wide grip. I also do narrow grip, too.

Today is my lucky day :-)

I was shopping at Wal-mart today---I know bad place to be for somebody who is trying to be frugal---but I had to buy some coffee as my recycled coffee was too gross. Anyhow, both of my boys have outgrown their socks and there also seems to be a sock-land black hole that exists in my house. I was in the boy's section and there was a clearance rack of jeans. My eldest son's jeans are tattered and my sewing machine is in-op at this moment. Maintaining two wardrobes is a big task. The kids have clothes at their dad's and at my house, so each kid really needs about twice the amount unless everybody does tiny loads of laundry daily and that is wasteful and time consuming. Anyhow, was able to pick up 4 pairs of jeans for $7 each. These are the nice ones with adjustable waist. For those of you that have kids with a slim build, those adjustable waists are nice, but one usually pays a premium price for them.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Why am I eating this?

OK, so I got home from the gym last night and eat left over stir-fried veggies and chicken. Not too unhealthy. But first, let me explain that my diet
yesterday was less than stellar thanks to my lack of self control and thanks to whoever brought in the homemade peanut butter cookies to work:-)
After I eat the stirfry, I'm still starving. So I wait awhile. I feel like I could have eaten a horse. I end up slicing off two pieces of homemade bread and eating them with butter. Yeah, I know carbs and fat---just what I need!
Even better is that I fell asleep right after eating that!

Monday, February 8, 2010

My pull-up plan

Been working on the gravitron for several weeks now. For those of you who don't know, this is a machine that allows the user to do pull-ups (wide angle or narrow grip) with assitance. One can also do dips. The cool thing about this machine is one can vary the amount of assist. Last week I was down to 100 pound of assist. I figure that if I step down the assist by one level (10 pounds) each week, theorectically I will be able to do pull-ups unassisted in 10 weeks.
So tonight, I stepped down to 90 pounds of assist. I did three sets of 15 reps of wide grip and 3 sets of 15 reps for narrow grip. Between each set, I did a round of hip exercises on the multi-hip machine since it is right next to the gravitron.
I'm going to be sore tomorrow.....
By my calculations, by the week of April 10 (tax week) I should be able to do a pull up unassisted. We'll see.
Did 45 minutes of cardio tonight. I really detest cardio. It's a love-hate relationship. I hate it, but really love that i do it.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

closet system removal

This is the week that the construction workers will punch a hole through the existing house to join the addition to the main structure :-)
This door way will be in my laundry room where an existing closet shelving system is. See earlier post for picture of the shelving unit cleaned out.
So, I have to take it all down, and this scares me, cause I KNOW I won't be able to put it back up. Me and drills don't get a long. I think I'll leave the vertical memebers attached to the wall, except the one where the door will be.
I wish I was born handy. I will have two NEW closets for the boys that will need shelving systems installed....if the boys are lucky...they might get a closet rod and that is it.

weigh-in :-)

OK, so I celebrate milestones, milestones being when I drop down below a 5 or 10 pound mark on the scales. I have consistently been below the 5 pound mark for 3 days now. Yippee!!!!!! Progress has been slow...
I am wearing a pair of size 12 jeans that are baggy on me. Don't have the extra cash to go buy some size 10, but wish that I did so I could see how they fit. Oh well, at least scrubs have a draw string in them, though they are getting big on me, too. This is pretty cool cause I started at a size 16---and down at least 3 sizes....hmmm...and have lost less than 10 pounds....interesting weight loss pattern. Oh, well, I wouldn't care If I weighed a ton if I was a size 8 or maybe a 6 :-)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

getting discouraged....again

I started going to the gym Sept. 20, 2009. It's been a little over 4 months....saw some improvements after 2.5 months, but things aren't moving along as fast as I think they should. My boss started a diet program and she lost 30 pounds (which is my target weight loss) in like 3 months. I think at that point I had lost a whopping 5 pounds....
Wonder when they'll be selling home lipo kits? LOL something you hook up to the vacuum....
Really getting frustrated with my arms. I have the biggest bat-wings/fat arms. My muscles underneath the fat are getting really big, the problem is that the fat is NOT going away----so my arms look even fatter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Getting home in order

Housekeeping is not my forte. I do not desire to spend every spare minute I have cleaning house. Therefore, my house is far from spotless. I've discovered over the past few years that a house is easier to keep clean with fewer things in the house.
Several weekend ago, my ex moved his things out. I have a lot more room, but house is still in disarray due to construction.
I have managed to mostly straighten the kids' room and living room. Progress is being made :-)

back on track at gym...not a graceful gazelle

so, after a crazy period of skiing, bad weather, and being loaned out to an office in a different town, I'm back on track at the gym. Previously I had increased to 45 minutes of cardio as my chiropractor said that if I'm only able to make it to the gym 3 times a week, that I should be doing 45 of cardio instead of 30. What's new is that I've been doing some jogging/running for a portion of the 45 minutes. The trainer at the gym said by alternating in one minute increments hard, intense, and very intense that will confuse the body and increase metabolism. We'll see.....I have to trust her as she is the one with CPT after her name (certified physical trainer). It must be doing something because on my nights that i've been at the gym, i'm so tired that I just fall asleep---which is not a bad thing as I generally don't sleep well.
The funny thing is that I've always been somewhat of a klutz! So to see me on a treadmill is quite funny because I hold on for dear life. There are women there that run/jog and are quite graceful. I look and sound like an elephant--clunk! clunk! clunk! I haven't fallen off the back of the treadmill like some guy did this week....

Monday, January 25, 2010

I've fallen off the wagon....

OK, so I've fallen off the wagon in more ways that one. First of all, I haven't been making daily blog entries, which could explain while I've backslid in other areas....or I've backslid in other areas therefore didn't want to blog. Classic case of which comes first, the chicken or the egg.
Well, I'm coming clean and will resolve to do better...
1) need to be better about blogging
2) My workouts the past two weeks (other than skiing) were practically non-existent
3) Between eating on vacation, cooking for coworkers, and having out-of-town guests this past weekend, my diet has been attrocious. Add to that my kids persuaded me to take them out for pizza after skating on Sunday...bad for diet and for waistline. I've also been loaned to another office and ate lunch on the run today. I was a bad, bad girl at lunch today--I ate KFC...not the healthiest of meals....

So, what have I done to remedy this situation?
1) I am blogging tonight
2) I went to the gym tonight though I feel like it conquered me...
3) I will pack a breakfast and a lunch for tomorrow :-)

More updates later....

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

the toilet paper saga continues...and about that ketchup...

I went shopping tonight. Can't say the exact amount because I left the reciept in the car, but I think it was like $80. Of that, the most expensive purchase was the Scott toilet paper ($15+for a bundle). I'm happy to say that walmart carries it for the same price as Sam's club. That's nice so I don't have to stand in line at Sams.

About the ketchup, I found a jumbo bottle (unopened) in the cabinet. So, that purchase is delayed at least for awhile. Still would be interested in hearing if you guys have any cheap sources for Heinz ketchup.

I did splurge and get the kids a mix for their easy bake oven. Do any of you know if regular mixes and/or recipes can be adapted for use in the easy bake oven?

Other "big ticket"items included envelopes (which i'll be reimbursed for); a gallon of milk, and a large package of string cheese (kids like to snack on that). Other items were small, but it all adds up :-)

Cooking for the crowd

My turn to provide lunch @ work. Thinking I'll do a "comfort food" theme. I have most of the ingredients already, but will need to pick up a few other items. Menu for tomorrow: beans and cornbread, mac and cheese, and chicken noodles :-) yum yum. Wonder how cheaply I can feed 16 for?

Why tightwaddery?

Being a tightwad (frugal person, cheapskate, spendthrift, etc) has a purpose. In my case, I am trying to save money so that I can pay of debt and rebuild savings. Tighwaddery also has another purpose. It allows you to save money so that you have money on hand when a good deal comes up.
For example, some people might find that they get a better deal on a car if they negotiate with cash. Or, if canned goods are on sale for 10 cents each, if you have cash on hand, you can stock up on a bunch.
My gym membership expires this month. They are offering a promotion where if you pay/renew for the whole year, then they will sell you the membership for halfprice: 12.50/month vs 25/month. The catch is that you have to pay all at once.
I don't have $125 laying around, but I will try to find money in the budget as this will allow me to save $125 down the road.

Diet and Exercise for the past few days

I had 2 sedentary days of driving and three very active days of skiing. That has been my exercise.

Kind of hard to follow a diet when meals are prepared for the group. I used portion control, but there were still some items that I ate that I would have not normally eaten.

Tomorrow is a new day and I will do better :-)

"new" car gets 34.8 mpg

Readers, I have finally purchased a "new" car to aid in saving money. The "new" car is a 1999 Honda Civic....a small car that is surprisingly roomy inside. I have two child restraints in the back seat and the kids aren't cramped.
I road-tested the car's mileage on the Colorado trip. It got 34.8 miles per gallon, which is way better than the truck's latest 13.4 miles per gallon.
Payments are in the range that i was hoping for. I think a previous blog, I had indicated that I'd like to keep payments in the $100-$140 range.
Not too pleased about the insurance rates. I have been a customer of my particular insurance company for quite some time. I haven't had any accidents or claims or tickets *knocking on wood*, and I am a female driver in my 30s. I'm being charged $60 per vehicle or a total of $120/month. I'll begin shopping around soon for a better deal on car insurance. Readers: Who do you like for insurance? Who do you think gives the best deals?

I haven't left you, I've been on vacation....$45/day skiing

It's been awhile since I've blogged, just thought I'd fill you in on my vacation. I took myself and my oldest son skiing for 3 days. I rat-holed some cash over a 2 month period (mainly by not eating out) and managed to save about $550. With the exception of gasoline, I paid cash for everything and had a little money left-over. The $550 covered lodging for 4 nights, food, 3 days of skiing (lift tickets), equipment rental, and 2 days of ski school for my son. He did not ski one of the days.
How did I do it? I vacationed with my aunts/uncles who are fellow tightwads :-) We rented a house vs a hotel, which allowed us to prepare all meals instead of eating out. We carpooled to the ski resort. We didn't buy snacks on-site, but instead packed our own. Some lift tickets were purchased at a discount.
The total vacation time was 5 days, though 2 of the days were driving. Cost per person per vacation day $45. I *think* I filled up 5 times @ approximately $22 per tank. Total travel cost $110. I still had 2 empty seats in my car. I could have reduced my costs further if I would have had a friend or two join me.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Gas again! Expenses for 01-11-10

I spent $50.81 on gas on Monday. This time the tank got me 262 miles before I filled up. Estimated mpg this time only 13.4 :-(

good news is that I signed papers for a loan for a car today :-)

Spent $7.26 at the dollar store. One item purchased was a set of iron on patches for repairing blue jeans. LOL there are 13 pair to be patched when I get time. Kids sure are rough on jeans. Patches here are $1.25, at Walmart they are $3+.

I also spent $32.80 to pay up my car ins for this month. Did it over the phone so as to not have to pay postage.

Total amount spent today : $90.87

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Odds and ends in the fridge: Ranch Dressing

Anybody have any idea of what to do with Ranch Dressing that is 3/4 the way full? It is still good, but will not be during the length of time it will take me to use it up. It's the good stuff (Hidden Valley) so I hate to throw it out.
Hmmm...now what to do with the bottle of green olives...yuk!

Tightwaddery and the neighbors...lol

Sooooo.....about a year ago, I was grinding soap for my homemade laundry detergent (see earlier post for recipe) and one of the neighbor kids asked what I was doing, and I said "making laundry detergent", to which he replied "You're supposed to use TIDE and BOUNCE" LOL this kid is an authority on laundry at the age of 7!

Tonight, same kid was over at the house. My eldest requested popcorn. I was making it in a pot on top of the stove and the neighbor kid had never seen this before and suggested I try microwave popcorn....lol

Then the kids were thirsty, so I pulled out the tea. I suggested that they put some ice cubes in their cups since I had just made the tea. The kid was astonished that one could MAKE tea. He said that they always buy it ready made by the gallon.

Speaking of tea, when I made the last batch, I decided to use up some of the froo-froo flavored crap in my cabinets. 2 regular tea bags and 1 flavored. Kids didn't complain, and it'll make my regular tea bags last 30% longer.

My recycled coffee grounds are at 1/2 quart. Once dried, I toss them into a canning jar. I use 3 Tablespoons of coffee per day, so to have 1/2 quart is a lot of used coffee.

Wonder what the neighbors will say when I get my clothesline back up? I kid you not, on a hot summer day in the windy midwest, laundry can dry faster on the line than in a dryer---plus you don't heat up your house by running the dryer.

Running low on Ketchup!

I have very few brands that I'm loyal to. One of my downfalls is Heinz ketchup. I've tried the other brands, and have not been impressed. My kids are ketchup fanatics, so we use more ketchup than any other condiment. I am a mustard kind of girl myself. My youngest can be persuaded to use mustard, but prefers ketchup. My eldest will use ketchup and nothing else. This is a serious item to be low on.
Tonight, with the goal of cleaning out the fridge in mind, we used the little ketchup packets that sometimes accompany fast food. These had been tucked away on a shelf in the fridge.
Help! I need a cheap source for Heinz ketchup.

Cheap entertainment, money, fitness and diet

I took the kids skating today. They boys received free skating passes at their birthday party, so their admission was free. We each have our own skates, so we don't have to rent. So all I had to pay was my admission, which was $3. Prior to leaving, I had the bright idea of having the boys raid their own piggy banks, so they'd think twice before nickle and diming me to death with "I want this, I want that". I limited them to two dollars each. That worked out very nice *pats self on back*. I'm sure some of you long-time parents are thinking "Duh!", but seriously, I'm new to the parenting-at-the-age-of-the-gimmes.
The kids were very receptive to using their own money and they enjoyed the freedom of going to the concession stand when they wanted to. My eldest even learned the disappointment of using his last 2 quarters on the silly game that drops the claw down into a bin of stuffed animals. Neither child complained when their money was gone.
Considering an allowance now...not sure of amounts these days....and job expectations for a 4 and 6 year old.
I also bought a drink for $1.
Total amount spend today $4 plus what I put into the offering plate at church, which is not up for discussion except that I am not at the tithing level yet....and need to be.
The skating was my workout for today. It's amazing the upper body workout that one gets from holding a 4 year old up. It's back to the gym for me tomorrow.
1 communion wafer
1 shot of grapejuice
1 2"square of lasagna (homemade :-) )
several handfuls of popcorn at skating rink
diet pepsi
5 cheez-its
1 small bowl of popcorn
2 pigs-in-blanket (2 biscuits, 1 slice of bologna) with mustard
1 slice homemade bread with butter
1 serving of Bailey's

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The low down on the toilet paper

I have received several comments on the toilet paper issue, Blog, Facebook, or otherwise. I'll take this opportunity to address some of these

1) A bidet was suggested. As a world traveler, I have used many toilet/bidet facilities and the smartest one is the Toto "Washlet" which combines the luxury of a bidet into the convenience of one fixture--the bidet feature is built into the toilet seat. Recently I considered getting one for the sole purpose of having a heated seat (the "washlet" has a heated seat, deodorizing fan,etc). Below freezing temps outside make for not wanting to drop your drawers and sit on a cold seat! The washlet is expensive. Cheapest I found on internet was around $500, and that's not including labor to install.

Not sure that it gets the job done, so to speak. My ex decided to give it a try while we were vacationing in Japan. After he did his business, he pressed the button for the bottom wash, and then the button for the hot air dry. Good thing he decided to give it a "test-wipe" because he discovered that it didn't work as intended, and in fact, he had baked the excrement onto his bottom, much like adobe.

I might recommend a sink sprayer as a cheaper option to a bidet. I had plumbed in a sink sprayer to the fresh water line of the toilet. The was for the purpose of rinsing diapers, and then later BM accidents, vomit, etc from kids clothes. One *could* use this as a bidet, but it is COLD water. BRRRRR!!! I never tried it as a bidet, but I *think* some of my foreign friends did. I removed the contraption after about 4 years because it began to leak.

One still has to dry themselves after this. I suppose you could use a washcloth or towel. It would be no different that drying your rear off after a shower. A French friend once told me that they could get 10 "uses" out of each rag: once for each corner on the front, and then once for each corner on the flip side, plus each middle.

2) Coupons were suggested. Where do you get coupons for toilet paper? Give me the scoop.

3) Sam's Club. Boy, I've had to get creative on the math. Toilet paper manufacturers don't all label the same, and this makes it difficult to compare. Want to make sure we compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges. So, Mary K's Scott tissue from Sams Club has 115.2 square feet PER ROLL, and a case costs $18.88 and contains 30 rolls ($0.629 per roll). Cost per square foot (Dang, I sound like I'm building a house not buying toilet paper! lol) for the Scott tissue is (0.00546).

So, how does this compare to Angel Soft (cheap brand that I currently use from Wal-mart)? Angel Soft was recently being sold as a loss leader at our local Kroger equivalent. A 4-pack was $1.00, or 25 cents a roll. But what constitutes a roll? Angel soft sells in double or single rolls. A double-roll of Angel soft contains 41.75 square feet, whereas the single roll contains 20.87 square feet. In this case it was a 4-pack of single rolls being sold for $1. So, one could buy 83.50 square feet of Angel Soft for $1 or 0.011976 a square foot--about twice the price as the Scott's from Sams.

Guess I'll be shopping for TP at Sams...but where to store 30 rolls in a house with no closets? or cabinets in the bathrooms? I'll get creative :-)

My laundry detergent recipe

I've been making/using this for years. I'm not a total convert because I am known to buy a bottle of Tide (or All, etc) if it is on sale and I have a coupon....

Homemade Laundry Detergent
1 box Borax (the 4 pound, some odd ounce box)
1 large box baking soda (get the cheap stuff- I think it is like a 2.5 pound box)
2 bars of Zote soap (look in Hispanic stores or the Hispanic section of large retailers)

In a large container add the borax and baking soda. Stir together, you may have to break up the lumps of borax with your hands.
Grind/grate/shred the soap with a cheese grater. I use a rotary one from pampered chef. Add to shredded soap to the borax mixture and stir well.

To use: use 1/3 cup of the mixture and add about 1.5 cups water to the mixture. Microwave for approximately 1 minute to melt the Zote soap. Add to laundry machine.

I use a front loader and my clothes are not too dirty when they are washed. You will still need to pretreat stains and add what additives (ie bleach) that you would normally use. I use the same glass measuring cup for the microwaving step over and over again as it saves having to wash the cup. you may need to adjust the amount of soap based on your machine and the dirtiness of your clothes.

My ex really liked this laundry detergent because it is unscented. I used this on my kids baby clothes with no problems or skin reactions.


I've been cooking for my chickens

Since we've been having below zero temps here in the midwest, I figured that my chickens would like a hot meal. I regularly save eggs shells, veggie scraps, table scraps (no meat or onion-type foods), etc to feed to them. Yes, chickens eat eggs shells. If you don't feed them their egg shells, one would have to supplement their diet with a calcium replacement. My in-laws save their shells and bake them and then crumble them up. I find that frozen shells shatter nicely, so this is what I do. I have a bucket that stays in the freezer...in goes the shells, etc.
A few weeks ago I made beans and cornbread only to discover that the cornmeal was probably the nastiest I have ever had. Not sure if it was really old or had been in the freezer too long... so, I made a hot batch of cornmeal (Don't worry my oven was already hot from other baking projects) to which I added all of the freezer scraps.
The chickens loved it!!!!
Tonight, I cooked a pot of lentils. I found an opened bag in the deep recesses of the freezer. They smelled freezer-burned and I'm not a big lentil fan anyhow. I hope my chickens are because that's what's for dinner tomorrow.

Diet, exercise, and money for today (Saturday)

Yep! another day without spending anything! :-)

Exercise: Nada. Unless you count the many trips made up and down the creepy cellar stairs as I put away Christmas decorations.

plenty of coffee
1 scrambled egg
a few fried ham bits (didn't add any extra oil)
3 pancakes (about 2.5 inch diameter) with lite syrup, no butter
2 inch square of lasagna
2 1.5 inch brownies with half a scoop of ice cream
bowl of white rice, fried with 2 eggs, shrimp, and soy sauce
1 bite fudge

You might notice that I eat a lot of eggs. I have chickens and they give me lots of eggs, so our family eats eggs in many variations throughout the day.

cheap toilet paper?

OK, in anticipation of running out of toilet paper at the end of the month, I am asking my readers for sources of cheap TP. I usually buy the Angel Soft at WalMart because it is cheap yet does the job. I am wondering if any of you know of any cheaper paper that is acceptable?
I know some people do the "family rag", but I have washed enough diapers in my day and don't care to go this route again. For those of you who don't know, family rag is where you use a washcloth to do the cleaning and then you launder the washcloths....People that do this usually have a special color of rag so as to not be confused with a washcloth you use on your face.
Other cultures use water and their hand. Again, not an option for me :-)

Today's weigh-in

OK, so I had gained some over the Christmas break, so this week was focused on loosing what I had gained over the break, plus loosing some more. So according to my scales, since last Saturday, I have lost 4.4 pounds :-) of course so of that was Christmas gain, so not a whole let net gain, but still progress in the right direction.

Yesterday's (Friday) money, diet, and excercise :-)

So, yesterday was day one of my new workout routine developed by the personal trainer who works at the gym where I exercise. I did the routine and you wouldn't think it, but the hip exerciser ("Multi-Hip") is really hard! I can hardly do it and maintain my balance, but then again, I am a klutz. With the new routine, she has me off of the machines and doing free weights. Not sure how I feel about this...I don't like being in that room...packed with people...and I'm the only woman. And I don't like looking in the mirror while I lift....I am too self-conscious :-)
As far as cardio, we have a new strategy. I am going from low, to medium, to high intensity and changing every minute. Due to time constraints, was only able to do 30 minutes.
Diet: yogurt with blue berries and cereal
plenty of coffee
I did drink 3 glasses of water
3 servings of lasagna
1 slice of pizza
1 small brownie with scoop of ice cream.

Friday, January 8, 2010

yesterday's diet and exercise

no exercise except what I did at the gym during my assessment

yogurt with cereal and blueberries
sugar cookies (3)
coffee, lots of coffee
bowl of spaghetti
2 small brownies
1 2 inch square of homemade lasagna
1 crescent roll

Dang those sweets!

Where'd the money go yesterday? $0

Yes! Another day without spending a dime!

Fell asleep last night, but have good news!!!

Was intending to blog last night, but i fell asleep...without setting the alarm. I must have been tired....
I went for my weigh-in and measurements with the personal trainer who works at the local gym. I told her that the scales weren't reflecting much weight loss, but that my clothes were looser and I felt better. I have been exercising since Sept 20, 2009. Total weight lost is only 5 pounds BUT have dropped 2 percentage points in body fat %, and have lost 2 inches from bust, and from the waist and hips. I have lost 3/4" from my upper arms, which is where I wanted to lose it the most. The personal trainer was really excited about this, because evidently this is a hard place to lose from. I lost inches everywhere except for my calves, which stayed the same.
My resting heart rate was 68, and they like to see it below 72. This is encouraging because it was at night--and still my resting heart rate was low. She said if I were to measure my pulse in the a.m., it would likely be even lower.
She did a fitness test last night. Let's say that when I first started doing any cardio, my pulse would immedidately jump up to 165. Now, even after 15 minutes of cardio, my pulse is only 130 and I am not winded.
Still, I can't run. This is my next goal. I would like to train for the Race For the Cure in October. It is a 5K. I can't even run a mile! I have 10 months. Do you think I can do it?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tired from the gym tonight and still hungry

Did the routine weights at the gym tonight. Did 10 repss and 3 sets of most things. 20 minutes on the stair climber + 25 minutes on the treadmill = one tired girl!

If I am going to run in the Race for The Cure in October, I had better get to training...I've never done this before so am uncertain as to what to do. Any suggestions? I do a fast walk (3.5 to 4 mph) on the treadmill.

What did I eat?
several cups of coffee with splenda and fake creamer
1 bowl pumpkin wallpaper paste
2 bowls of veggie soup
2 handfuls of pretzels
5 cheese puffs
2 brownies
6 small sugar cookies
small bowl of spaghetti
2 bites of fudge

I could kick whoever brought all the snack/munchies to the office. I had better work on my willpower. It is getting late, and I am still hungry.

Fuel Economy of the Beast

This tank of gas got me 319.6 miles. Tonight I put in 20.570 gallons. This averages out to be 15.5 gallons. In 1997 EPA estimates for this truck were 15 for city and 20 for highway, with an average of 17. I think I could save money if I got a small car that got over 30 miles to the gallon.

Where'd the money go today? $55.02

$53.46 for 20.570 gallons of gas @ $2.599 a gallon
$1.56 for a box of lasagna noodles

I've got to get a different car

An alternative for automatic dishwasher detergent?

Doing dishes tonight and was wondering if anybody had any suggestions for an alternative for detergent for automatic dishwashers. I *could* hand wash, but try to avoid that since my hands get a lot of wear and tear from frequent hand-washing during the day. They are already quite chapped. Prior to getting a water softener, the only thing that would work halfway decently was Cascade gel packs. I've continued using these since this is what I've always bought...but am wondering if maybe I could switch to something cheaper. I hate to try it, and be stuck with some ineffective soap and out of my money.... Thoughts? Anybody know how to make dishwasher detergent?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

tightwad things done today?

1) I have resisted the urge to do a load of laundry because it is not a full load
2) I have respected the desires of the programmable thermostat--haven't adjusted it to be warmer...this might change in the next few days as it is supposed to be cold
3) continuing to dry out the coffee grounds
4) made cheap pizza tonight--from scratch. I bought the yeast in bulk SEVERAL years ago and have kept it in the fridge---it is still good. I made the crust, and the ingredients are fairly inexpensive (water, sugar, flour, salt, yeast, and oil). The sauce is made from tomatoes i canned this summer. I cooked down a double batch of tomatoes as I am planning on making lasagna later for dinner guests on Thursday (will they show? depends on the weather...). I seasoned with italian seasonings, which i have in spice jars. These also grow in my yard. Next summer, I should pick/dry the herbs to replenish what i've used. Cheese was block cheese purchased from the local grocery for 88 cents and brick. Cheese stores well in the freezer, by the way. The sausage was purchased on sale and was what was left over from making another recipe.
5) I went by the bank and got log-in credentials so that I can pay bills on-line and avoid postage.

That's about it!

diet and exercise 1/5/09

Several cups of coffee with splenda and fake creamer
bowl of pumpkin wallpaper paste
handful of mixed nuts
bowl of pinto beans with slice of ham
2 slices of sausage pizza, easy on the cheese and sausage
3 bites of fudge

No workout at the gym today. Maybe later I *might* get down on the floor and work on my core. Having a hard time getting the kids to fall asleep tonight....yes, that is an excuse :-)

Where did the money go today? $0

i spent nothing today :-)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Getting home in order project #1

My old house has no closet. For clothing storage, my ex and I had a shelving system in our laundry room. I had to clear the entire unit off so that the builders can knock a hole in the wall for the doorway into the new addition. This shelving unit also held a lot of junk, in addition to clothes not worn in quite some time. So, I have many bags ready for Goodwill, and when the clothes/things go back on, they'll only be things that I have used in the past year.

what did i eat today?

3 no-bake cookies
several cups of coffee with splenda (no sugar :-) ) and fake creamer
bowl of pumpkin wallpaper paste (oatmeal)
handful of mixed nuts
bowl of pintobeans
grilled cheese sandwich (this is a no-no, but man! it was good!)
small bowl of spaghetti with meat sauce
3 no-bake cookies

LOL no-bake cookies are healthy, right????? fiber from the oatmeal, protein from the peanut butter and milk.....just kidding.

I drank 4 cups of water today. doing much better on the water, but not to level i should be.

Fitness today...

Again, I am quite certain that the butterfly is ineffective for me. I need to bring something to boost me up. Now..if they'd only make something to make my arms longer....
So did the same weights as before and did 20 minutes on the stair-stepper. When finished the stair stepper and dismounted, the lady next to me said "wow! you were on there a long time. How long did you last? 20 minutes?" I think I know why I never see anybody on these--they wear you out and make you sweaty!
I also did 25 minutes on the treadmill. Total of 45 minutes cardio.
I'm nodding off as i type this so I doubt that i'll work on my core tonight.

Where'd the money go today? $400

So........Major expense today. Not necessarily unexpected...Did I mention that I'm in the middle of a major home addition? ...and this blog also discusses getting my house in order. My existing house is only a 2 bedroom and fairly small. I had plans for adding on prior to the divorce, so just decided to carry out the plans :-) If any of you have ever built new, remodeled or added on, you know that rarely does anything go exactly as planned. So, this expense today was to cover something that was under-budgeted. This is a slight set-back in my plans (already on day #3) BUT when it is done, I will have a nice house that appraises for more than what I owe, which is always nice in this housing economy.
No other expenses today.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

My intake today? 1/3 Sunday

1 biscuit
1 egg
1 piece of bacon
several cups of coffee with dairy free creamer and sugar
4 bites of ham
3 bites of chocolate fudge
1 cup of white rice with soy sauce and sprinkles (seaweed a sesame seeds)
3 ounces of sauteed shrimp
1 bowl of pumpkin flavored wallpaper paste (lol!) that was supposed to be oatmeal
I did drink 4 glasses of water today.

Fitness today

Did the usual weights :-) I'm fairly certain that I am not doing the butterfly properly. My frame is too small for that machine, no matter how I adjust it. I think I'll start exploring other options for exercising this area.
I did make one adjustment, Instead of standing to do the pull downs, I am now seated and am using a crooked bar. Pardon the lack of technical terms, but I don't know what half the stuff I'm doing is called :-) This change allows me to do 90 pounds vs a lighter weight.
Gym was busy today, probably because of everybody's new years resolutions. I did 27 minutes on the stair climber. Why such an odd number? The first 7 were spent trying to figure out how to program it. I'd get it going, and it would shut off! So, I switched machines and did 20 minutes. I kicked my butt! I'm used to the elipticals and treadmills. I might have to use these more often :-)
After a majority of the folks left, I was able to jump on a treadmill. I walked between 3.5 and 4 miles per hour, mostly 4 mph which is fast as I could walk without jogging. My calves would get tight and I'd have to slow it down to about 3.5 for a minute to stretch them out. Any of you out there know when your lower leg muscles quit tightening up?
I off to work on my core. I will also do some skull crushers as i'd really like to eliminate that flab on the back of my arms. As far as dumb bells are concerned, I own 2 10# weights, a 15# weight, and a 25# weight. These are becoming a little too easy and am wondering if any of you have creative solutions for making weights at home? Trying not to go out and buy any....

Where'd the money go today Sunday 1/3? $10.51+

I hadn't thought how'd I address this subject---until it came up today...I did put money in the offering plate today, but I don't think that it is appropriate to discuss charitable contributions. I will say that I'm not at the tithing level yet, and I need to be.
I did spent $10.51 at the grocery store today. I went to get ingredients for what was supposed to be my breakfast for the week. I bought what I thought was steel cut oats, but it wasn't :-) LOL, I might be eating wallpaper paste for breakfast, if this turns out badly. I also bought some fatfree evaporated milk (store brand) and some generic splenda. Recipe called for splenda, which i didn't have on hand. I'm thinking I'm going to make the splenda switch with my coffee---and save some calories. I'll give it a try :-)

Student loan pay-off plan

I have 3 student loans. 2 small Perkins and one large Stafford. Several years ago, when interest rates were low, I consolidated my undergraduate Stafford loans into one big loan so that I was making one payment instead of paying on 4 separate loans. At the time, I didn't realize that this would extend the payment period, and I regret doing this now, although paying on 4 loans would have been a challenge. I received a letter on Friday congratulating me for making all payments on time, therefore they were reducing the interest rate of that consolidated loan. 2.25% is the new rate. Doesn't change the monthly payment amount, but will cause the loan to be paid off sooner. Continuing the current payment amount and the loan is paid off by 2025--just in time for my boys to start college. That is not acceptable for me. I have a plan to have my two smaller Perkins loans paid off this year. I will then send the $72 to pay on the principle of the Stafford loan. I ran the numbers on a loan calculator today. This will get the loan paid off 6 YEARS EARLIER!!!!
I don't regret taking out students loans. That was my only option in order to get a college education as my family was not well-off, I just wish I hadn't inadvertently extended the repayment period. Advice: sign-up for autopay so that payments are received on time as you will get an interest rate reduction for timely payments.

Tightwad things I did today

1) I'm an avid coffee drinker, and lucky for me I drink one of the cheaper brands. I'm a Folgers kind of girl. A big tub of Folgers in the midwest will run about $7. Occasionally Dollar General will have it in special for $5. A rule for saving money is to not spend money, so one needs to do without, make it last longer, etc. Going through coffee withdrawal is not on my list of things to do, so I need to figure out how to make it last longer. I am know to re-use the same grounds throughout the day--just add a little more coffee grounds to the used ones. At the end of the day, i throw it out, otherwise it gets moldy. So, I am taking the filter out and spreading the grounds so that they can dry. Folgers is grounds coarsely--and I'm thinking that if I regrind the grounds (lol) I can get another use from them. Well see. Doesn't cost anything to try.
2) I have a backyard flock of chickens. With the weeks of recent snow, I've been going through more feed than usual as the birds aren't able to scratch the ground to forage. I'm low on feed. I considered buying a new bag (about $9), but remembered that I have a bag of sunflower seeds on my kitchen floor that were for the big bird feeder that used to hang in the tree that was cut down...so, chickens have sunflower seeds mixed into their regular feed. I also supplement with table scraps and vegetable cuttings. Using the sunflower seeds from the kitchen helps eliminate clutter about the house in addition to delaying the purchase of chicken feed by about 2 weeks.
3) Refridgerator make-over (still in progress). Trying to use up what's on hand in the fridge and deep freeze. Using what's on hand, means I don't have to spend money at the store---just yet. I have a ham thawed out in the fridge, but it is too salty for sandwiches (package says "sugar cured" lol), so I cut the ham off of the bone to freeze for soups, etc. I boiled the bone with vegetable trimmings that I don't feed the chickens (onions, etc will flavor chicken eggs and are best avoided). I keep a special container in the freezer for cuttings to boil into soup stock. So, I now have a large pot of soup stock to freeze in smaller containers, along with ham bits for beans, fried rice, etc. I'm going to try and not let anything spoil in the fridge this year. No science experiments growing in the fridge!

My Beastly Old Truck

When I was studying finances, I was shocked to learn that I spend between $400 and $500 a month in gasoline. I drive a 1997 Ford F-150 2 wheel-drive pick-up truck with approximately 190K miles. If you go to www.fueleconomy.gov one can learn the EPA estimates of fuel economy for a particular vehicle. In my case, city mileage is estimated to be 15 and highway is estimated to be 20, with an average of 17. I'm assuming the estimates are for a NEW vehicle and not one that is 13 years old with 190K miles on it. I can safely say that I've never had 20 mpg fuel economy. I've started saving fuel receipts and have started tracking mileage, so I'll have a better idea later what my truck is getting. I'm betting it's close to 15 mpg.
I work as a nurse and receive mileage reimbursement of 40 cents per mile. Depending on my work load, reimbursement runs from $160 to $350. I do a lot of personal driving to because my family lives out of state.
I think I'm in the market for another car. Let's say I can find a used one that gets 30 miles per gallon. The would cut my fuel expense in half, or maybe more if I could run the 87 octane vs. 89. My old truck won't run on the cheap stuff (pings, diesels, shakes, etc). I could keep the truck since it's paid for, and pick up a older, small used car for around $3000. Driving an older car would allow me to "save" my truck, which is more expensive to replace and hard to live without.
A $3000 car on a 24 month note would be approximately $140/month and for 36 months is approximately $100.
With a more fuel efficient car, fuel rates should be in the range of $200 to $250 with a car payment of $100 to $140. Best case scenario would be $300/month for fuel and car payment and worst case would be $390 for fuel and payment---still $10 less than what I spend on gasoline currently.
I'm thinking late 1990's small Honda or Toyota. I did have a Chevy Cavalier once that got 32 mpg. My ex had a Ford Festiva 1988 that got like 45 mpg.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

What did I eat today?

3 biscuits
2 eggs
1/4 cup ground sausage
6 ounces of yogurt
1/2 cup pinto beans
McChicken sandwich
several bites of homemade chocolate fudge
several cups of coffee with non-dairy creamer and sugar
diet pepsi
I did drink one glass of water today which is a major improvement for me
I don't have the desire to calculate calories or fat. Anybody want to critique this? I've identified an area for improvement: carry healthy snacks in my truck so that I don't have to stop at a fast food joint when I get hungry.

Diet and exercise

I have been going to the gym since september of 2009. During the holidays, I "undid" some of my hard work by not watching what I ate, and not exercising. So, it's back to the gym for me. Goal for this year is to be able to run in the Race For the Cure (5K) in October. I have about 30 pounds to lose, too.
My workout at the gym was cut short today as I was on-call and had to leave. I did get my weight lifting done.
Let's take a look at where I started with weightlifting back in September (basically 90 days ago)
1) Seated Chest Press 40# 12-15 reps 2 sets
2) Leg Press 58# 12-15 reps 2 sets
3) Seated Row 40# 12-15 reps 2 sets
4) Leg Extension 25# 12-15 reps 2 sets
5) Bicep Curl (on ball) 8# 12-15 reps 2 sets
6) Leg Curl 70# 12-15 reps 2 sets
7) Shoulder Press (on ball)8# 12-15 reps 2 sets
8) Butterfly 40# 12-15 reps 2 sets
9) Tricep 30# 12-15 reps 2 sets

And this is where I am now:
1) Seated Chest Press 130#, 5-10 reps, 3 sets
2) Leg Press 149#, 5-10 reps, 3 sets
3) Seated Row 100#, 5-10 reps, 3 sets
4) Leg Extension 55#, 10 reps, 3 sets (I could do more but this KILLS my knees)
5) Bicep Curl 10# each hand total 20#, 15 reps, 3 sets (I do these at home and only have 10# weights)
6) Leg Curl 145#, 5-10 reps, 3 sets
7) shoulder press, 10# each hand (I do these at home and only have 10# weights)
8) Butterfly 100#, 5-10 reps, 3 sets
9) Tricep 80#, 5-10 reps, 3 sets this is my weakest area.

Pretty good for 90 days. Have at least doubled if not tripled the amounts I'm lifting.

No cardio for me today. If I'm motivated tonight I might get down on the floor and do some crunches.

So where did the money go today? $70.56

The first part of saving money is to realize where your money is going. The best way to do that is to write down your purchases. Think about your purchase before you spend---do you have to have it? can you make do with something else? can you delay the purchase? Can you make this purchase last longer so that you don't have to drop more cash?
I had 3 purchases today. The first was postage to mail the bills I wrote out last night and belated Christmas cards...I used up what stamps I had in my purse. I considered using stamps out of my stamp collection to avoid having to buy stamps at the post office, but reconsidered this since my oldest son had expressed an interest in the collection. If I end up totally broke, I will use the stamps from my colletion. I spent a total of $20.07 at the post office and still have one book of twenty stamps left. Visited the bank to get log in credentials so that I can do on-line bill pay for those bills that I don't have set up on auto-pay. Bank closed. Add that to my to do list for Monday.
Second purchase was gasoline in the amount of $49.42 for 19.775 gallons of 89 octane gas. My old truck won't run on 87 octane. Gas was $2.49 today. No shopping around as we only have one gas station, which I wholeheartedly support as it is one of the few remaining businesses in town. Expect a longer blog later on my fuel economy predicament. Gas is a necessary expense as I have to drive to be able to work.
While working today, I was hungry and didn't have the foresight to pack a snack. I bought the cheapest and most healthiest option at McDonalds and spent $1.07.
Total amount spent today is $70.56