So… in recent posts, I’ve talked about my need to change my evening habits. Less computing, less mindless snacking, and less wine. I enjoy reading, but when there’s always a movie in the background, frequent kid and husband interruptions, etc. getting deep into a book just isn’t going to happen. So I wracked my brain. What did I used to do to while away an evening before I had kids? Back when I was more me and less Mom?
I used to cross stitch. You have NO idea how many hours I spent making painstaking little Xs, creating something beautiful out of nothing but thread and a piece of cloth. In all honesty, I’m not very artistic. I like pretty things, but I’m not good at doing pretty things. Sewing, painting, drawing… they all escape me. But cross stitch? It’s art for the artistically-challenged.
And so I decided to give it a go once more. I have a wonderful chart on the way to me, but I found something to whet my appetite in a magazine. Living in Belgium, you’d think there would be needlecraft shops on every street corner. And there are, IF you want to BUY the finished product. Finding the material and floss is another matter, however. It took a while to track a shop down, but it turns out there’s a wonderful craftstore only about fifteen minutes from me.
This is the pattern I’m currently working on. The actual plans are for a cushion, but I’m stitching it just for a hanging.
This is where I am today. I’ve been working on it for about three days – this is probably about four hours of leisurely work.
I’m not exactly thrilled with the neatness of my stitches, but it’s been at least a decade since I did this. Yet another good reason for a trial project
I’m taking part in Daffycat’s TUSAL 2013! Once a month, I’ll be posting a picture of my ORT jar. ORT stands for “old ratty threads”. The threads that you collect as you stitch, change colours, repeat. If you collect them in a glass jar they can look sorta beautiful. OR they can look like a mouse nest. I’m hoping mine ends up looking beautiful. Only time will tell. My jar, January 2013:
That’s one empty looking jar. I’m hoping by the end of the year to have it stuffed beyond belief.
For being pretty much a non-runner most of my life, I have a surprising number of friends that are runners. And not only runners, but racers. I’ve noticed they tend to have 3 goals for every race they run:
- To finish – whatever the time, whatever the conditions, by whatever means necessary – whatever it takes to cross that finish line.
- The time goal they feel they can REALISTICALLY pull out, given proper training and pushing themselves within healthy limits.
- The dream time – if every condition is perfect and this wind is at their backs and they never have to make a porta-potty break.
For our current challenge at Shrinking Jeans, we’ve been given the task of setting goals for the duration of the challenge – 8 weeks. I have two primary goals I want to accomplish, and I’m going to apply that runner mentality to each of them.
GOAL #1 – LOSE WEIGHT
That’s a no -brainer right, given that this is a weight loss challenge? My “to finish” goal is simply that – see it through. If I give it steady effort and only lose a pound, then so be it. My realistic goal is to lose 10 pounds. That’s just a little more than one pound a week, certainly an attainable goal if I eat well and continue to exercise. My dream goal is 13 pounds, because that puts me in striking distance of my happy, ideal weight.
GOAL #2 – RUN A 5K
I’m working through the C25K program with the Sisterhood, and the last week of that program serendipitously coincides with the last week of our challenge. That Thursday, 28 February, is my last run of the program. My “to finish” goal is to see the program through, period, as I have a nasty habit of quitting. My realistic goal is to run the majority of the 5k, keeping walking breaks to a minimum. And my dream goal is to run it in under 35 minutes. A little lofty for a first-timer, but I can walk it in 42-43 minutes, so I think it’s at least within the realm of possibility.
Great, I have my goals. But how do I plan to achieve them?
- with moderate, daily exercise. In addition to my three running days per week, I’m also chipping away at a weight training program. Fridays, my “off” day, I go to water aerobics while my boys have swim lessons.
- with a sensible eating plan. I’m following Weight Watchers, focusing on the simply filling technique. This aligns better with the way we eat, but still allows for occasional indulgences and takes the pressure off being 100% strict with myself all the time.
- with a revamped evening routine. Instead of relaxing with a glass of wine and a snack every. single. evening. I’m going to try either reading or blogging with a cup of herbal tea by my side. I’m still hashing this one out. Replacing a bad habit takes more thought and meets more resistance than simply starting a new, good habit does.
- with a little help from my friends. When I’m feeling rocky, when I feel like quitting, when I think eating a piece of cheesecake is going to fix things, I’m going to turn to you, my friends, to my fellow C25Kers, and to my fab partner for this challenge, Adah.
I have goals. I’ve made a plan. Now it’s time to get to work and stick to it!
Featured image courtesy of Creative Commons.
Yesterday I was back with the free weights. And back…. can I say observing what I ate and drank? I’m tracking, and that of course in and of itself helps me to make some wiser choices, but I’m not actively trying to change what/when/why/how/how much I eat just yet. I think a few days of observing, analytically, what I’ve been eating, will really help me zero in on my trouble areas. It already has. From 7AM to 7PM I am your picture-perfect eater. Healthy, whole grains. Lots of fruit and vegetables. Meals of approximately the same size, with a snack or two as needed, but always fruit or veg. Once 7PM comes, however, all hell breaks loose. Maybe it’s the physcial act of changing my youngest child into pyjamas: it signals to me that it is finally evening, time to stop being “mom”, and time to start relaxing. Relaxing, apparently, is code for mindless snacking and imbibing in a couple glasses of wine.
It’s obvious I need to create a new evening routine, one that doesn’t revolve around wine and snacking. But, man! I love that down time so much!! Convince me that I can find that time without a glass of vino, a bowl of munchity-crunchities, and Twitter. Seriously. Convince me. What evening routines do YOU have to suggest? What do YOU do?
Today I completed my first run for C25K. It went well, I think. Ironically, my lungs seem to remember how it’s done It used to be that, when I would “try” to run, my breathing would be all erratic. Today? Smooth as silk. But my body? Felt the extra year I’ve aged since last time. And it felt the extra 10-15 pounds I’m carrying since the last time I ran. And then I stupidly didn’t take/make the time to stretch or do a bit of yoga after the run.
Much like I didn’t bother to stretch after yesterday’s weights workout. I’m currently walking around the house like I have a log up my ass. And the husband is currently chuckling with mirth.
So, I’m on my way. The challenge at the Sisterhood starts bright and early January 1st. That gives me about a day and a half to figure out that evening routine, and to finish organizing my plan of attack. Because I will be in full-on attack mode from day one. I have a race on March 3rd. I’m not hauling and extra 15 pounds across that finish line!