the best day in many days

Today was very full but very satisfying. I was able to forget we were moving and focus on the moment. Despite having a sick fevery boy, I got to get on my bike (after wiping the inch of dust off, hm). Since I have been running the past few weeks, biking felt tremendously good. Normally, I am huffing, mentally beating myself up, and turning back at the first real hill. Today, I felt like I was flying and it was so relaxing to be out riding alone, focused only on how nice the river was, how perfect the wind was, and how I felt taking each hill. Lately the focus has not been about how fast or hard I seem to be running/biking, but my own personal goal setting and breaking. That is so much more satisfying and, ultimately, I perform better.

Later, I ran errands, which normally are less than joyful. And some were not all that fun – give up a little blood, off to discuss ‘issues’ at the sweeper store where I got my new vacuum, return an item elsewhere. But deciding to look at mud kitchen supplies was rather uplifting and exciting. I found some sweet scores at the local Goodwill and, perhaps feeling nice toward me because of the blood donation bandage I was sporting, the clerk made the deals even better with some extra discounts. Wonderful!

We have been admiring the mud kitchens at a few blogs (here, here, and here). I told Elliott as soon as we moved we would set it up. But we are putting a lot on hold here for The Move. When we move we will: live on a farm, get chickens, build a banging wall, make a mud kitchen, get out all the toys we have packed away, get out your work table and tools, and so on. And with many things likely to remain in boxes while we face a possible year in an apartment, I felt tired of saying “when we move”. Plus, I got to enjoy myself finding these treasures and seeing the delight in little boy’s faces.
But the best treasure and surprise for my boys was a little wooden pink table. It was marked $9.99, but the senior discount knocked it down to $7. Elliott has been saving free paint samples we got online – a buttery yellow he picked out – to paint an item all his own. Again, this was something I kept saying we would do soon, once we moved, once we found the right piece of furniture.

When I arrived home, Oliver was in a funk, so I allowed him to dig right in to the giant bag of pots, utensils, and baskets. He was delighted and immediately set to transporting some items right to the mud kitchen. His delight makes me so tickled inside.

 

Elliott jumped in too, forming an attachment to the beeswax pot I got. (Finally, a dedicated pot to melting wax and candle making, which was Elliott’s idea after a visit to Conner Prairie.) He also wanted to organize the shelves and remove stickers to get them ready. It was hard to convince him that tomorrow he would feel more like painting shelves and dipping candles. He was ready to set to work today, fever and all.

 

To put the icing on the cake of a day, my food processor and immersion blender arrived early. Whipped cream for our fruit at dinner and cracker making in the near future made for a very satisfying end to the day. And a little boy’s delight in the packaging was just fantastic.

Now, off to a glass of wine and playing Ticket to Ride with Mike!

unexpected benefits

So I know exercise is good for me, I should have stuck with it over the years, and blah, blah, blah. It turns out I should have listened way back when. In just over two months, I have seen some unexpected results.

Back in October when I blogged about my exercise woes, I was just expecting to drop a few pounds for motivation over the next few months. During these past two months though, I could tell I had more muscle tone, more energy, and exercise had helped curb my desire to munch on sweets all the time. But the weight loss, my one big goal, had me discouraged. So far I have not lost a single pound and I still have a belly problem.

But recently I got encouraging news from the times I donated blood. The place that I donate, Indiana Blood Center, allows you to track your total cholesterol from your recent donations. Since high cholesterol runs in my family and my last test some 8 to 10 years ago yielded less than great results, I was eager to see the results. I just happened to have donated on September 11th and November 23rd, with exercise becoming a 3 times per week routine by the end of September. I went from 223 to 158! Well, that is thrilling enough for me to feel motivated and just cross my fingers that someday soon a few pounds will just give up and go away.

give it some time

So I hate to exercise. It was quite apparent to me when just two days ago I was wondering why I was not seeing the exact results I expected. Today I looked to see when I wrote my resolutions post. Less than 2 weeks ago! I realize I had been exercising some before that post, but I really thought it had been a month, maybe two, of consistent exercise.

I guess I will cut myself some slack. I am happy with muscle tone developing, my improved mood after exercising, and the loss of a few pounds. And so far I have not changed my diet. In fact, when debating with myself to get donuts or cookies, I often opt to not alter my diet, just so I can see how far just exercising will get me.

My only complaint is my tummy flab. Any woman who has delivered a baby can probably understand this problem. I can feel the muscles under there, but that extra skin and fat! Oh, why won’t you go away. (Yeah, I am thinking back to the donuts to blame too, but forget about that…) Because I feel I have given it a good effort (2+ weeks!) and I am not seeing instant results, it is time to throw in the towel. Exercise doesn’t work! Eat another donut. Feel better. And then feel worse.

But not today! No! Today I thought of this and it helped me to fight back. I changed machines to work other muscles and added 5 more minutes to my workout. And it felt great. So I still came home from the gym with tummy flab, I will still grab a sweet treat later, but I will keep at the exercise a bit longer, give myself more time to see results. And then, when I get the taste of good results, it only gets better from there!

my resolutions

While in line for coffee, Elliott asked for a cookie. I reminded him we were stopping the sweet treats, like HE had suggested. And amazingly he was fine with it. But he did make sure to point out, again, that I should stop buying coffee as well. Luckily, the drive-thru line was long and it gave us ample time to discuss bad habits, addictions, and gradual weaning, in a 4-year old appropriate way, of course!

I have been feeling rather disgusted with myself lately because my nail-biting habit was full-blown again and I was a cranky, nervous wreck with the boys. But when I was explaining about stopping bad habits to Elliott, it occurred to me that I am battling a few all at once. I am cutting bad coffee, I am reducing the number of to-go sweets I am eating, I am still fighting the nail-biting urges, and I am trying to make more time to exercise (not a bad habit, trying to make a new good habit). Well, instead of wanting instant success, I decided to cut myself some slack and give myself a few weeks to beat them all. It is may not be December 31st, but I am making some resolutions and trying to stick to them.