Monday, March 26, 2012

Lessons for Weight Loss: 1 Goal Setting

I was part of a research study several years back and received a bunch of information and lessons. Unfortunately, I no longer have any contact information to see if it is ok for me to post any of these lessons. So, I will attempt to credit the source now... UNC Weight Loss Study (2007). It was run by a graduate student. Wish I could provide more.  I will not copy everything, but I am going to summarize. Just know - the information and ideas here are not mine (the pictures are mine though). If I can find the source, I will add it.

Lesson 1: Goal Setting
Goal setting is important. The better your goals, the better your weight loss results. (Hmmm, seems I messed up from the get go). :P

  • Set bot Outcome Goals and Process Goals
    • Outcome Goals
      • i.e. I want to lose x amount of weight in x time frame. This type of goal focuses on a final product or result. If this is the only type of goal you set, you may be setting yourself up for frustrations as sometimes things that effect the scale are out of your control.  

    • Process Goals
      • i.e. I want to exercise every day. Or I want to record my food intake every day. This type of goal focuses on actions you must take to reach your outcome goal. Because these goals focus on behaviors you can control, they can help feed your feelings of being successful.

  • You need to be careful when setting these goals.
    • Be specific.
    • They need to be measurable,
    • attainable,
    • realistic and
    • tangible.
  • Write them down. Put them in a visible place for constant reminders.
  • Celebrate  your achievements.
    • When you reach a goal - celebrate  your achievements. It may help to make a list of ways in which you will reward your successes throughout the process. Then, when you set a goal choose how you will reward yourself.

So, that is it! Seems easy enough - right?

So - here are my starting goals. I plan to start small and make additional goals as I go.

1. Lose 1lb a week for the next 4 weeks - or 4 lbs by April 30th (yes, I am giving myself a few extra days - you don't care though, do you?)

2. Exercise 5 days a week for at least 30 minutes followed by stretching. wed and thur will be my off days as they are just crazy work and family schedule days.

If I achieve both goals: I will reward myself with a professional massage!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Progress or just set backs?

Things have been a bit quiet here for blogging. Last week was pretty busy, but then we added a quick weekend trip to the beach for St. Patrick's day! We had a great weekend and are trying to get back into the swing of things.

Can you see the picture of my kids at the beach??

March is typically a busy month for us - 2 birthdays for the little ones. We did a mini celebration this past weekend with the grandparents. It was a Tom and Jerry filled weekend - for my almost 3 year old. Luckily, I did some searching about a month ago (no, I don't normally think that far ahead!) and found some Tom and Jerry party supplies. Something that is hard to come by these days. I do LOVE

Can you see the picture of my little one with her cake??

Then it was time to celebrate St. Patrick's day - with a parade and street fair. Rides, games, face painting, and browsing the street vendors. yes - there was a ton of food - but I tried hard not to eat any of that. I mostly succeeded. My bigger problem was the cake, brownies, ice cream, and cookies waiting for us at the condo. :P
The pizza and hotdogs we were having for dinners and HUGE breakfasts were NOT hip friendly. All things considered, I thought I did ok. I did manage to get in 2 workouts (although 10 would have been needed to compensate for all the food). We also did a bit of walking and were in the pool each day. Every bit helps (at least that is what I keep telling myself).

Can you see the picture of footprints in the sand??

BUT, the scale was NOT kind this morning. I have already gotten my workout in and am doing well with food so far. Motivation is high today, so I anticipate a good day.

Man - old habits are HARD to break. Funny (interesting, not haha) how people and locations can trigger bad habits to SOOOO easily appear. No excuses. I am still making choices every day with what I put into my mouth and I don't blame ANYONE other than myself. Just an observation.

Anyone else fall into patterns based on where they are or who they are with??

Next post I will try to get my act together and have pictures ready... :)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

De-Railed, Only Slightly.

So, this week has not been successful like last week. But then, I knew my body could not keep up that pace. So, this week I did not lose one pound. Grrr. But, I didn't gain a pound either. So, I guess that can count as a success - right? RIGHT? ;)

I am always amazed at how easy it is to let excuses get me off track. A busy schedule, cravings (and I have had a LOT of those this week), demanding kids, etc, etc, etc. I'm sure my list is very similar to others' out there in this vast Universe! Cravings are nasty little HUGE buggers that really drive my derailments. Why would I want to eat carrots when that cream cheese frosting on graham crackers is call my name? Really? I know there are some people out there that don't really care for sweats. Well, lucky them. That's why they are so darn skinny. That, does NOT describe me - any of it. There are several blogs out there that are coming up with 'healthy' desserts. Chocolate Covered Katie is one of them. However, there are pitfalls those of us trying to lose weight must be careful about. Just because there are some healthy ingredients, doesn't mean the calories don't count. **SIGH**.

My challenge for all those wonderfully creative food people out there - make cheesecake, chocolate, or cream cheese frosting on graham crackers have the exact same nutritional content as carrots. Wouldn't that be great?!?! The fact of the matter is, I LOVE those foods and can't really imagine a life without them. BUT, I also have to control myself and not eat more than one serving. *SIGH* I know, I know, moderation. Some days, I hate that word! But, today right now I don't feel those cravings. So, I put myself back on track and get motivated for the entire day. We shall see how long that lasts.

I just have to remember, it is NEVER too late to put myself back on track. Even if it is in the middle of a gigantic doughnut! I can feel empowered, stop, and move forward again on the right track. THAT feels great! AND should be acknowledged.

See, the idea of losing weight IS simple. The execution is NOT easy.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Sewing Space

Several other blogs are sharing their craft spaces this week, so I thought I would share mine as well. It is nothing fancy - or even finished.  BUT, it is a dedicated space that I don't have to clean up - ever. Obviously, from these pictures, I don't. YEAH!!!! My space is in my unfinished basement. I was tired of looking at studs and insulation all the time, so I hung some fabric on the walls (just some sheets I had on  hand). That really helped make it feel a little more finished. My lovely hubby built the shelves above the windows for me. A great spot for the notions in jars I don't use much. Yes, I have to climb on tables to get to them, but storage is always challenging and I am trying to use the space I have. Just about everything is this space was given to me or bought second hand. I have tried to spend Little to NO money organizing and making this space functional. I have many more plans for makeovers for the pieces in this space. But really, they are low on the priority list.

I have a LARGE cutting table that always seems to get piled high with stuff and I really have to work to get a space free for cutting! I have been working on changing that, but what can I say - I am a creature of habit! And, yes that is my laundry in the background that needs to be done.. Everything under the table is still in limbo waiting for me to find a nice home for it. Until then, it sits patiently and waits.

I have hung some of my tools I use at the cutting table on the shutters that are hiding the furnace. This is working great! These shutters came from the neighbors shed - they were real functioning wood shutters sitting sadly not being used. Until I came along!

I have an entire storage shelf FULL of fabric in bins. My fabric even spills over to the next shelf. Then, I have another unit for storage (you can see the white cabinet at the end of the sewing machines). Yes - I have TOO much fabric. I have been stash busting for a long time. If it makes you (ok, me) feel better - I did not buy most of this fabric - it was given to me. Yeah me! I must say, I have had a hard time using all the fabric that was given to me. It is nice fabric, just not what I tend to buy. Anyone else have a problem using fabric they acquired from someone else??

My machines... Yes, there are 4 sitting there. 2 regular sewing machines, 1 serger, and 1 embroidery machine. The singer sewing machine and the serger are mine. The other regular sewing machine is my daughter's. The embroidery machine is my mom's that is currently on loan - thanks mom! I love having my machine's face the windows. SOOOO nice to have so much natural light! It can be difficult in the evenings as the sun is setting - but just for a couple of minutes and I consider that a good problem to have! Not a bad break to watch the sun set!

Hanging - I have patterns I have made and a TON of shirts just waiting to be turned into something new. The yellow fabric is hiding a shelf that has all kinds of misc stuff. Store bought patterns, stamps, paints, etc. On top I have 2 hat stands, interfacing, and padding for computer bags. Just to the left of that unit, I have hung a variety of roll papers and my ribbon. Below that I have shoe shelves stuffed with clothes to reuse, battings, and a few other misc things. Next to that, I have a 3 drawer bin of scraps. And, of course, my ironing board. Can't work without that! In this picture you also get to see some of the exposed studs and some extra building supplies (like the core door).

I also have a space for my photography. It is completely make shift - I have tried to use whatever was on hand. But, it works. This space still needs a TON of work to make it right, but as everything else - it will come with time. And yes -my space exceeds my abilities. :)

So - this is my space. One day, it will be in a really pretty finished space. But until then, I will enjoy what I have!

Want to see more craft spaces? Hop on over to And Sew We Craft and see other rooms posted this week.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Wall

Yep - I hit it. The wall. No motivation. Large Cravings. I was hoping to not hit this for a couple more weeks. But, here I stand. Staring at the wall in front of me. But, it is a pretty wall -no?

What?? How could this happen?

Oh No. Now what?

So, for now, I will enjoy the flowers while I will find a way to work around that wall and press forward. Until then - thank goodness I don't have many treats on hand! :)

And - smile! Life is good.

Monday, March 5, 2012

soothing aches and pains

The last couple of nights I have not slept well. I woke up one morning with a sore neck. Grrr. But, this brings up a great topic. How I deal with those aches and pains that come with exercise.

Disclaimer: I am NOT a doctor. I was formally a Certified Athletic Trainer - but that was several years ago and I have not been in the field since. Of course, those first couple of days of starting a new exercise, your muscles will ache. And, it does hurt. But, it is different than the pain of an injury. I'm sure everyone has felt both! I am going to be addressing general muscle soreness - NOT injuries.

Usually a little Ibuprofen, some ice, maybe a little heat (as long as you don't have a new injury), and a little extra stretching is all that is needed to get through those first couple of days. Or, just tough it out without doing anything. Me, I typically use a little Ibuprofen and leave it at that. But, most importantly, keep exercising. The increased blood flow will help the pain go away faster.

My other way I like to deal with muscle soreness: Rice heat/cold packs! These little buggers are FABULOUS. I keep a couple of little ones in the freezer so they are ready for any bumps and bruises the kids may have (or on the rare occasion an injury I or my hubby has acquired). We like these better than using ice and they are more conforming to the injury site and don't leave you wet! These are NOT washable (unless you use a separate cover), so just be aware of any bodily fluids that may come in contact with these little buggers. I use the larger ones for heat pads. Of course, you can use just one for both purposes. For the larger ones, just pop in the microwave for 45-60 seconds and enjoy. If it feels a little too hot, remove from the area for a minute or two and try again. I use less time for the kids - just in case.

There are many tutorials out there on how to make these (here is one), so I won't go into lots of detail. But, basically these are a couple of pieces of fabric sewn together and filled with rice. I add scented oils to mine - just because I don't like the smell of plain rice heated. They can be made (or bought) in just about any shape or size. I even made some heart shaped ones as Valentine gifts for the tykes.

Shameless plug - Yes I make and sell these too. You can probably find many more available on Etsy or

How to you deal with muscle soreness? Other than not exercise. ;)

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Well, after just one week - I have lost 6 pounds! 

I have exercised 5 of 7 days for 25-45 minutes each day. I also worked hard at not eating so much crap. I have avoided completely empty calories. I DID eat desserts - just WAY less and all homemade with at least SOME healthier ingredients in them. Even if that just means using some whole wheat flour. That being said, I did not have any MAJOR cravings this week - those will come soon enough. So, it has been a relatively easy week. I KNOW it will NOT be like this much longer. But, for today - I celebrate! How? Probably with a little extra time in the sewing room. Maybe I will buy myself some pretty flowers for the kitchen.

What are your favorite NON-FOOD ways to celebrate?