Friday, December 7, 2012

Trying to Lose Weight Over the Holidays

I've tried to get in shape and use weight a few different times in my life, usually with little success. I was doing good a year or two ago and managed to lose close to 30 pounds, thanks to a nearby gym that offered daycare. When you're a stay-at-home mom, working out is good; free daycare so you get an hour or two of "me time" alone is great. That ended when money got tight and I could no longer afford the gym membership.

I tried walking for a while, but it was hard where nowhere nearby that I could walk with a stroller. I was walking during the middle of the night once my son and husband were asleep but had to quit that because there were too many dogs running loose in the neighborhood at night and they were bothering me. I got a treadmill off craigslist and later found an exercise bike for free and used those some, but the treadmill got put away once rugrat outgrew his daily naps because my husband wouldn't watch him so I could use it and I was afraid of him getting hurt because he'd try to climb on it while I was using it.

Yeah, this whole post has been a lot of excuses, but those are easy to find when you don't have any real motivation. The last year or so, I've been concerned because I gained back the weight I'd lost plus another 40 pounds, but I've also been a little afraid of losing too much because I knew I wouldn't be able to afford new clothes. I'd gotten up to 346 pounds though and was getting sore just from my daily routine, so I knew it was time to do something. (I've been blessed with good health and never had diabetes, high blood pressure, or any weight-related health problems, but I could tell this was slowing me down and felt like I was pressing my luck if I didn't do something to at least get back down to my previous weight.

I found this program online through a work-at-home forum that should take care of both problems. It's called the EPXbody challenge. It's sponsored by EPXbody, which is a company that sells nutrition and weight loss supplements. (Yes, I've also signed up to be a distributor and those are affiliate links, but I wouldn't be using it if I didn't think they were worth it). The gist of of it is that you take their weight loss products for 3 months while trying to lose weight, send them before and after pictures and prove of your weight, and they  pay you up to $10 a pound to lose the weight, in exchange for being able to use your photos in their marketing materials. The top pay is $500 for losing 50 pounds, and that is what I am going for. I started out with a sample pack that a friend of mine made up for me with 2 week supply a few of their products (EPX Burn & Nourish and Nutri-Thin) and lost 16 pounds in that time, so I think 50 pounds in 90 days will be doable.

Of course, of all the times to start a weight loss plan, November and December are the worst. I made it through Thanksgiving and still managed to lose weight though, so here's hoping Christmas goes good as well. I will be visiting my family and I've already hit my mom up to go walking with me (and probably tossing a few DVDs and many resistance bands and weights in my bag), so I'll at least be able to stay on track with the fitness side of things. I've also signed up for SparkPeople to help me track everything (I'd been using livestrong, but sparkpeople is more popular now and has groups, challenges, work out plans, and additional goal trackers -  even some that are FlyLady-related to help me out around the house, too.). If you're a SparkPeople member, feel free to visit my SparkPage and add me as a friend.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

*What Is/Was Your Child's Favorite Toy?

My son has had a few short term favorites, but the number one was his Sophie the Giraffe teething toy we got him as a baby. He carried it everywhere, even as he got older and was past teething age, and Sophie was one of his first words. We even had to buy another because the first one got left at a restaurant by mistake and he was distraught until it came. At 2 1/2 years old now, he still plays with her some because she fits in with all his other toy animals.

I'm still waiting to see what the "favorite" toy will be for the toddler years, because he has so many interests, but it looks like airplanes and boats are the top contenders right now.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Power of a Timer

Being a devoted fan of both FlyLady and the Pomodoro Technique, you'd think I'd have realized by now just how valuable a timer can be.

After all, I use one to time cleaning and decluttering sessions - well, I need to get back to doing those regularly, but using one worked when I was actually doing it. And I use one for writing and balancing my work-at-home jobs with things around the house and play and care time with my son.

One thing I'd missed, however, is how useful a timer can be as a parenting tool. I discovered this the other night in a moment of frustration. Robbie, my 2 1/2 year old has a habit of dawdling and playing around instead of  doing what he's asked, especially if those things involve eating, picking up toys, or putting clothes on. I was frustrated a few nights ago, reheated his food set the timer for 20 minutes (he's already been "eating" for close to an hour), and told him he needed to finish before the timer went off if he wanted dessert.

It worked great. Since then, I've used it to encourage him to get dressed faster before we left the house, to pick up his legos, and as a countdown to let him know when he can get out of time out. He seems to enjoy racing to "beat" it and it makes things easier on me because he doesn't argue with it or ignore it like he sometimes does me.
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