Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Finally on the Right Track!

As those of you who follow my posts know, I've been struggling with a weight loss plateau for a long time now. About a week ago, I was at my doctor's for follow up to routine blood work. I asked her for advice on how to break out of this rut. She suggested that I use My Fitness Pal to count calories. Now my friend who is a fitness instructor doesn't encourage calorie counting, saying that the best thing is to listen to the promptings of your body. Because of that, I have not really spent much time on this app before now.

However, she does see the value in counting calories for a short amount of time. After having used this for about a week, I'm seeing a pattern. I seem to have a consistent issue with eating enough calories for how many I'm burning during exercise. I'm rather shocked by this, since I always thought I was eating too many calories, even after I started working out. But when I stop and think about it, it does make sense. Many experts recommend eating at least 3 meals a day, with snacks in between. I have a nasty habit of skipping lunch and I very rarely snack. Add to this, that I've been working hard to choose lower calorie options for my meals.

As I see it, my options to change this pattern are to either, work out less, or eat more. I don't see myself working out less, especially since I just joined our church's running team! More about that in a bit. So, I'm doing what I can to add more calories to my diet. One of the ways I'm doing that is by having a protein shake daily after working out.

You might be wondering, "Why is this even a problem?? Aren't we supposed to eat fewer calories than we burn?" Well, yes and no. There does need to be a deficit in our calorie intake vs. calorie burn. However, if that deficit is too high then our bodies go into starvation mode. At that point, our bodies refuse to let go of any calories and it can cause muscle to break down as well.

So, yes! I joined the running team! Today was my second 1 mile run. Now you need to understand that when I say, 1 mile run, I don't mean that I ran for that whole time. Maybe some time in the far distant future, I will be able to do that. But for now I am alternating walking with running. My goal will be to shorten the length of time I walk and increase the time I run. My first official race will be September 15. I'm sure I will be posting about it.

On the school front, we have not started up with our homeschool for the year yet. My plan is to start the week after Labor Day. The kids will have the week of Labor Day off from all school. The reason I'm doing this is because MyHero has Monday off. Many of the lesson plans in the curriculum I'm using with ManBoy are based on a 5 day school week. I don't want to break that up. So I guess those fraction lessons will have to wait. As a side note, I was excited to find out that Time4Writing has added a new high school course. This one is an essay writing course, and I have very little doubt that ManBoy will eventually be taking it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Too Much To Do and Too Little Time

This has been a crazy week already! I'm sure you can relate. There just aren't enough hours in my days, or energy in my body to do all that I need to do. I guess I'll just keep doing my best and trust God with the rest! LOL That sounds like it could be stitched into a pillow.

I've backed off some on my working out. Not working out quite as hard. I think it may actually be helping. Not sure, but I think I might have been going overboard with trying to burn too many calories before. It might have been sending my body into panic/starvation mode, thinking it needed to conserve every calorie to keep from starving. Not sure that I was eating enough calories for all that I was burning. But again, I could be way off here! I can't even pretend to understand the science of weight loss! All I know is that it is much more complicated than it seems.

We are about 2 weeks out from starting our homeschool back up. My plan is to start back the week after Labor Day. I'm going to give my kids Labor Day week off from doing math so that I can figure out where they are in math and make schedules accordingly. I'm still busting my buns trying to get lesson plans done before we start school. Like I said, "Too much to do and too little time." Story of every mom's life!

Yesterday, my kids were watching an episode of Phineas and Ferb. I just love that show! Anyway, it was the one where they take Candice to Mt. Rushmore for her birthday. Fashionista looked at me and said, "If you guys take me to Mt. Rushmore for my birthday, I will cry!" I informed her that Mt. Rushmore is in South Dakota and would be much too far for us to travel for a birthday. Of course, my kids then wanted to know where South Dakota is! I found a map of the U. S. on line to show them. It might have been smarter to have them play some geography games to figure it out for themselves.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

My Reality Check from the Lord!

Typically I only post on here once a week. Therefore, this post is a freebie. Something happened yesterday and this morning that I just had to share.

I was in that place where all moms get to eventually. I'm sure you know the place. Homeschool moms are especially familiar with this place. It's the place where you are just absolutely and completely FED UP with your kids and in DESPERATE need of a break. I was about ready to run screaming from my house, or call in the guys in white jackets. So this is the mindset I was in. As you can imagine, I was crabbing all over everyone in my family.

My hubby had brought home the DVD copy of "The Hunger Games" so we sat down to watch it as a family. If you've seen the movie or read the books, you know that there are a couple of very sad scenes. It was after one of those sad scenes, that had been causing me to tear up, when I needed to take a bathroom break. While I was in the bathroom, the Lord tapped me on the shoulder and asked me a question that totally changed my mindset.

He asked me, "When was the last time you cried because you were sad?? Not because a movie was making you cry, or you were empathizing with a friend's pain, but because YOU were hurting?" It caused me to take a step back. I honestly can't remember the last time! WOW! Talk about a reality check! It made all the things that my kids had been doing to bugg me seem insignificant. I realized just how blessed I am!

I have to admit here that my next thought went something like, "Oh, no! What if something happens to one of my kids or my husband since I'm due for some pain????" I'll just have to trust that to my Lord. They belong to HIM and even if He should decide to take one of them or even all of them, I will remain faithful to HIM. However as a side note, isn't it just like the enemy to butt into a wonderful moment with the Lord, and insert some doubt to try to shake our faith?

Anyway, this morning during worship at church one of the songs we sang really hit me. It spoke to me of how my Saviour calmed the raging sea I was in yesterday. He walks with me through the fire of raising children. He heals my disease of bad attitudes. He holds my world in HIS hands!

By the way, I'm getting that much needed break from kids. My hubby took them all out for the afternoon to allow me to have some quite time alone at home! Thank you, Lord for a husband who is willing to do this even though I'm sure he would rather be home relaxing.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

It's a New Day With a Clean Slate!

I was thinking yesterday about how each new day is a chance for a fresh start. I like how Anne says it in "Anne of Green Gables", "Each day is new, with no mistakes!" I may not have gotten that quote exactly right, but you get the jist.

Each day is a chance for me to make a fresh start in my weight loss journey. I don't want to get caught up in the mistakes and slip ups I made yesterday. I want to keep moving ahead with new vision each day. One of my dear friends posted something in Facebook this morning. I love this perspective!

This is an excerpt from "Running with Joy" by Ryan Hall, Olympic marathoner and professional runner:
I’m excited about what God is doing in me right now, and I’m feeling freebecause running isn’t the most important thing in my life. Intimacy withGod is so much sweeter than running fast. But ironically, as I get closerto God, apply His principles to my life more consistently, and allow the
Holy Spirit to guide me more, I run better and enjoy my running more.
I’m always tempted to feel as if I can use God to run faster, but I know
this is shortchanging God’s best for me. All I want is God. All I need is to
receive His love. I need to continually ask myself, what is giving me joy
today, my accomplishments or God’s presence? “In Your presence is fullness
of joy.” The key to joy is continually being in God’s presence—running,
working, eating, or even sleeping.
After all, what is it about winning or running fast that is so great? It’s the joy
that such an experience releases in us that makes us hungry for more. We
were created to experience joy. The key to unlocking this daily, lasting, and
more fulfilling joy isn’t winning or setting personal bests—it’s being with
God as we run or do whatever we are doing. Sometimes our performance
brings us joy, and we shouldn’t feel guilty about enjoying those moments.
Still, we must realize that we can’t perform like that every day, but we can
experience joy every day if we remain in God’s presence.

Last night I had the privilege of attending our local homeschool support group meeting as a representative of It was wonderful to chat with old friends as well as brand new ones. I was able to tell people about this great curriculum and how it can help them in their homeschools. There were a few parents of  preschoolers who came to my table. I was able to tell them about I was even able to tell some of the parents about Learning Games For Kids. This is a site that has all kind of fun educational games for kids. They even have educational videos which are fun for even parents to watch!

I'm taking a little step back from working so much so that I can get some homeschool planning done. I think I'm finally nailing down what I want to do for my 9th grader in each subject this year. I've gotten so spoiled having every subject covered while using Time4Learning. Sadly, they only teach through 8th grade though. I feel like I'm having to re-ajust my teaching hat for the high school years!

I was sharing with a friend last night about how terrified I am about this upcoming year and teaching a high school kid. She gave me some great encouragement as someone who has been there, has graduated a student and has another entering 9th grade. She said to me, "Remember how terrified you were when you first started your homeschooling journey? You discovered that pretty much everything you were worried about was not an issue. This is the same thing. You'll get to the end of this and wonder, 'What was I so worried about?'" I so needed to hear that! Maybe you did too!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Spinning My Wheels

Do you ever feel like you are just spinning your wheels in life? That's how I'm feeling with my weight loss and homeschooling right now.

First, I will elaborate on what I mean about my weight loss. I ended up having to take nearly 2 weeks off from working out due to a raging sinus infection that I developed. Took the last of my antibiotic last night and I'm feeling much better. I started back with my workout routine on Monday and Tuesday,  but now I'm having menstrual cramps (sorry guys) and just can't get excited about working out today.

I gained 2 pounds during my sabbatical from working out. I'm actually thrilled that I didn't gain more! That 2 pounds could even easily be period weight. So here's what I'm thinking. Perhaps I needed that 2 weeks away from working out in order to get past the plateau I had hit. It seemed like nothing else that I was doing was able to do the trick. I guess only time will tell.

As far as homeschooling, I've been feeling the back-to-school pressure. With all that I have to do for work and as a wife and mom, I've not been able to make the time or find the energy to finish my homeschool planning. There is still a LOT to do! For instance, I still have to find a language arts curriculum for my 9th grader. Let's Homeschool High School is helping with that. I'm helping to put together a directory of high school curriculum that will soon be published on this site.

As I understand it, whatever curriculum I choose for ManBoy will need to be literature heavy. The boy is a good reader, but he tends to be very picky about what books he chooses to read. He is going to have to start learning to read what is assigned to him or he is going to have a tough school year!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Well That Figures!

Almost as soon as I made public my resolve to reach 145 lbs before I turn 45 years old, I came down with a nasty sinus infection. I've been unable to work out for a little over a week. Not sure what the Lord is trying to teach me in all this. Perhaps it's a continuation of the lesson in relying on Him and not my own strength. I'm on antibiotics now but still have this nagging cough.

We survived our week of VBS day camp. I have the kids back to doing their math. Soon we are going to have to get back to doing full scale school. I'm still trying to round up curriculum for ManBoy now that he is starting high school. I know that one of the curricula we will stick with is Spelling City. I'm going to be quite busy with work responsibilities in addition to learning how to teach a high schooler! One of the things that will be a big help to me is that I will be able to have him take his spelling test online each week. Anything that our curriculum can do for me, so that I don't have to take time to do it, is a huge bonus in my book!