Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Losing Weight - WW III

On to week III of Weight Watchers.

As of my 2nd official weigh in yesterday (buck naked in the morning, because we all know that is our TRUE weight), I am down a total of 11.5 pounds and have lost 13 inches.

I am seeing great results and working this plan so that it works for me. I do not feel like I am NOT eating what I want. I eat it, just a very smaller portion of it. I am making better choices on what to eat - most of the time because I do not want to waste the points. Would I love a cheesesteak? Heck yes. Am I willing to use 35 points for one...heck NO! I am quite sure there are recipes out there for low point cheesesteak, so if the craving gets to be too much, I will give one of those a try.

I had planned on getting back to the gym and C25K this week but my allergies are KILLING me. Seriously, I may be the first person to die of seasonal allergies. They are so bad I turned on the A/C. And I am a heating/cooling nazi. I try to go as long as possible in the spring and fall to NOT turn on the heat or A/C. It's like a game and I am cheap. But enough was enough with these allergies. And we are supposed to get a heat wave this week and I know my sister and Avery will thank me and the allergy gods that I turned it on before June. Anywho, I do NOT want another sinus infection so I am going to sit inside my house, popping Claritin, snorting some saline nasal spray, and taking hot showers until these allergies give me a break.


Week I (5/20/13) - down 9lbs and 7.75 inches

Week II (5/27/1) - down 2.5lbs and 5.25 inches.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Losing weight, getting sick, and reaching goals

I figured I should post something since I updated my blog.  One of these days I will fork over some dough to get a pro to do it. But right now, you will have to accept my homemade attempt at a blog design. That is one more thing I will put on my "When Our Debt is Paid" list. And when I do, Jess, I am coming for you!

Let's see...a little reflection on the past couple weeks...

Well, no new friends but I am feeling at peace with letting those go that obviously do not care to be a part of my life.

I graduated! Actually, I officially graduated last August 2013. But my university only has one ceremony for the year so I had to wait. The excitement has kind of worn off after nine months but it was still pretty awesome to walk across that stage - while my mom. Ryan, and my sister yelled for me - and accept (an empty) diploma case. During the last few semesters of school, one of the things that got me through it was picturing myself graduating and getting pictures of myself, decked out in my academic garb, with Avery.

I got a hair up my bum on Mother's Day about being gross and not being mindful of what I eat. So I joined Weight Watchers for the 134,234,432,543 time. But this time? It is different. I went out and bought an electronic food scale and some extra measuring cups and spoons to keep on my counter - because I really need one more thing to clutter it up - so they are right there, at my reach to measure and weigh my food so I am eating the correct portions. OH boy, was I off! I was eating 2-3 times the amount I should be. GROSS!

The first day, Monday (the 13th) was hard. I was hangry. Very hangry. And to make matters worse, I took all 3 dogs to the vet plus a bratty toddler. At dinner time. Not one of my best decisions. One hour and $350 later, we left, covered in hair (Avery and I), sweating (me) and with some raging allergies. That night, after I bathed and put Avery to bed, I went to the Y to run. I kept getting this burning feeling in my nose when I was trying to breath properly. I just chalked it up to my allergies from the vet.

Well, by Wednesday, I was shoving tissues up my nose to stop the drainage and I felt like I got smacked in the face with a metal pan - sinuses. I am a veteran of sinuses infections. I can tell by the feeling in my throat - most commonly called post nasal drip -that is is a comin'. I raced to the Dr to get antibiotics, hoping to head off the worse but by 7pm that night, I realized I was not fast enough. After I showered, hoping the steam would loosen my head up, I got into bed and I didn't get out until the next day around 4pm, when my fever finally broke. Wednesday night it was up to 104 and that was kind of scary but I was a little delirious and thought I was dying.

Those 2 days of not eating much more than chicken noodle soup, some crackers, ice pops, and diet ginger ale were a big help in dropping some serious poundage. My first weigh in Monday (5/20) I was down 9 pounds! It was the first time I have been under 200 since I had Avery. I was so excited I took a picture of the scale. But it's just sitting on my phone, yet to be downloaded so I could share with you fine folks.

That really gave me the motivation to stick with this. And I am. I am doing so well that I am having a hard time eating all my points since I fill up on veggies and fruits and they are no points.

I'm gonna do this damn thing. I gave myself this week off from exercising so I could rest and heal from the sinus infection. But I will be back at it on Sunday. I will probably scale back to week 2 on C25K and I am OK with that. Slow and steady win the race.

In others new, we have some potentially, really exciting stuff going on - NOPE, I am NOT pregnant. I don't want to talk about it just yet because we need to see how it is going to work out. Let's just say, God is doing big thangs, you know, because He is kinda good at that. He is changing my heart and answering prayers. I am encouraged and my faith is stronger than it has ever been. So if you are so inclined, please keep us in your prayers. AND June 1st is when our spending diet begins. Please pray for that. I am going to need it. It will be years of bad habits getting broken. Pray that I keep the desires of my heart on Him and not on those earthly "things" I SO do not need. To be content in all that we have been abundantly blessed with. And for some creativity to have a fun and exciting summer while being a new kind of frugal.

Thanks for stopping by and apologies for the lack of pictures. That requires extra work on my part. Just follow me on Instagram, you will see them all there anyway ;-)


Friday, May 10, 2013

Fading Friendships

We all know that growing up is not always easy. When you are a toddler, a tween, a teenager, a young adult, an adult . . . One of the parts of being an adult that I did not foresee is losing friends.

I am not talking about losing a friend because of a petty fight (like when you are a teenager) but more like watching a friendship fade away, like watching a ship fade off into the distant horizon.

It has been on my mind for sometime now, and as much as I have thought about it, I cannot come up with any solution to change what is happening. There are only so many times you can call a person, so many times you can reach out, try to make plans, stay in their lives and include them in your's until enough is enough. Always making the effort to keep a friendship going gets old. And it makes me feel like a loser.

Letting go of a friendship is hard. But holding on is harder.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Conviction and Spending and Debt

Jesus said to them, "Be careful and guard against all kinds of greed. Life is not measured by how much one owns" (Luke 12:15, ICB)

Ahhhh, being convicted of a sin is no walk in the park. And if you are like me, and surrender your life to the Lord later in life (as opposed to "growing up saved") there are obvious sins that you need to repent and ask for forgiveness and change. Some things are easier to change - for me at least - like drinking too much. I just don't do  it. I don't put myself in the position to be tempted and that helps. Some things are not as easy, like cursing. It's something I have to make an effort everyday to watch my mouth. And by the grace of God, I am forgiven. Every. Single. Time.

Recently, I have been convicted big time of my spending. It is this feeling like when you eat too much and just feel gross. When I buy something, that I do not need, for no reason at all, I keep getting this feeling. Then I stumbled upon this blog.


A slap in the face. Particularly this part: " “YOU DESERVE IT DARLING!” 

I almost always justify my spending with, "Well, I work hard and I deserve it!"

Nope. No, no, no.

What I deserve is to live a life free of debt. Because if I am spending, I am not paying off our debt (and even contributing to it <gasp>). I have always suspected I have a teeny, tiny addiction to shopping. The rush of finding something GREAT! and ON SALE! Ripping tags off to put on a new shirt, peeling size stickers off some new pants. All stuff we (I) really didn't need in the first place.

This is The Plan:

Make a list of all debt.
1. School loans - yes, my company footed the bill for my recent degree BUT I went to school - a private college, cha-ching! for 3 years when I first graduated high school. That, my friends, was not paid for. In fact, my mom and I took loans out to cover my tuition. And then those loans sat there for almost TEN years in deferment while I finished my degree. (if you didn't know, you can defer your loans if you are at least a part time student. They give you the option to pay the interest but of course, I chose not to). So now I have some school loans to pay off. Granted the total is nowhere near what the average college graduate would accumulate, it's still a debt and it still needs to be paid.
2. My car loan - I always pay about $100 over the minimum payment so that has helped our balance go down quickly and I am hoping to have it paid off in the next 18 months (it was a 4 year loan and we are 1 year in)
3. Credit cards. Ugh. I gag just writing it. I HATE CREDIT CARDS. HATE. Think of a food you hate. For me it is liver. I hate credit cards more than I hate liver. I know our credit card debt is not even that bad compared to most. But it is still there and it is still a burden and it is still sucking a lot of money a month that we could be using to, oh I don't know, SAVE.
4. Mortgage. This one I am on the fence about. Since we live in a townhouse, we hope that it is not our forever home and that in the future, we can get something a little bigger. With a garage and a basement. 3 people and 3 dogs, can make it feel a lot smaller than it did when we bought it 4 years ago. (On the positive side, it really makes you evaluate what you NEED and what you do not need) So since we do not plan on living in this house forever, I do not know if it is really beneficial to pay off THIS mortgage. Plus, with the housing market as it is, we will be here for some time and hope that we gain some equity back in our home.
We decided to see where we are at when we pay off the school loans, car loan, and credit cards.

Find the proper tools.
Not only did I find this blog. But I found this one too. And they have an app. I love apps. This one lets you enter all your debts, the balance, the interest, the monthly payment and then it shows you how long it will take you  to pay off. Every month, or anytime you make a payment, you enter into the app and it will adjust your balance and time frame. Right up my alley. Plus, both blogs feature posts by others who are now debt free or working on it.

Choose which debt to start with first.
We chose the credit cards. 1, because it seems like the worst. And 2, it is the most burdensome to me.
If all goes as planned, we should have them paid off by January 2015 - less than 2 years!!!
I am estimating that the car loan will also be paid off by then - or sooner.
Then we will throw the snowball at my school loans. I am giving us 5 years for those. It could and hopefully will be sooner, but that is the max.

Figure out your budget.
I redid our budget so that we know exactly where we will be spending our money each month (bills, food, gas). Any extra money (overtime, birthdays, etc) will go immediately to the current balance we are paying.

Recognize the lifestyle changes you need to make to reach your goal.
On our list of necessary bills are Mortgage, HOA fee, child care, water, electric, car insurance, cable/internet/phone, cell phones, gym membership, food/gas. I think if we were in deeper hot water, there are bills we could cut in half and or eliminate such as the cable bill and the cell phone bill. I budget $150 for food per week and $50 for gas. I am going to try to cut the food bill down to $100/wk and when my office moves closer to home in September, my gas will definitely last longer. Right now I am driving 50 miles a day round trip to work. When we move office buildings it will be about 25 miles round trip. (fun fact: that is an answer to one of my prayers! Hallelujah!) Instead of shopping, I will find other activities to spend my time (go to the gym, Meg) and when I am out shopping and I see something I really like, I will take a picture of it and add it to my list (I actually found an app - see, I told you I love apps - that you can compile a list of "wants". You add a picture, the store, price, website...kind of awesome). Then when Christmas or my birthday(May 29th, people) rolls around, Ryan will actually  be able to surprise me with something I want.

Stay committed.
Any lifestyle change is hard. In a world that is Me!Me!Me! NOW! NOW! NOW! we will definitely be challenged daily. What we have to keep in mind is that we are blessed. All of our needs are met and then some (and more!) This money that we are blessed with is not truly "ours". If we are not responsible stewards of the gifts God blesses us with, how can we expect Him to continue? I know that we have all that we do not because either of us are so smart or hardworking - that we did it all by ourselves - we are smart and hardworking because God gave us those qualities and we make the choice to use them in the best way we know how and to honor Him. I am all about being content with what I have and thankful for all that I have been given. So if you are thinking of it, please pray for us as we make changes in our lives. Please pray for our motivation, determination, contentment, and resistance to temptation that will only keep us in the hole we have dug.

Here goes nothing....


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

An Outline

OK, ok. I am really bad at this documenting thing. But at least I am trying.

Like with most things in my life, when I get too overwhelmed, I procrastinate. In this case, I have SO MANY ideas/thoughts I want to write down that when I get to the computer, whhhhooooooshhhhh....its GONE.

And I guess you could say I have been busy with life. But that seems kind of lame because my life is pretty boring.

I decided this post will be an outline of sorts. To get me organized in what I want to write about.

1. Our trip to Florida
2. My paternal grandparents
3. Avery turns 2
4. Avery's birthday
5. Avery's birthday party (don't worry, I might just lump all this birthday shtuff all together)
6. Christians and homosexuality - I know, a big one. I have it in my drafts and I keep going back and adding more, deleting, reading, rereading. Don't expect this one anytime soon
7. Instagram
8. Spending/budget/debt freedom
9. Weight loss/exercising
10. the pugs
11. Our bedroom (redecorating it -don't get all pervy)
12. patio reno
13. Breaking Avery of her pacifier addiction
14. Things I don't like
15. Things I do like
16. My daily commute
17. Aunt Iris
18. Losing friendships
19. Bad habits
20. Movies

Well, that looks like it should keep me busy for a while. Don't get too excited though, this will probably take me all summer to write and post.

Stay tuned.....