Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The track

Sometimes you have to get off track to appreciate finding your way back to it, and making the effort to do a better job of staying on it.  Or at least that is what I choose to tell myself right now. Ha!

Didn't exactly stick to the ol' plan as previously detailed in this blog. Started out doing well, the eating and the exercising and all the rest.  Then I went home for a 3-day weekend and shot it all to hell.  But I'm climbing back up on the wagon.  Mostly.  Did not choose to avoid some candy offered me yesterday and today, though I *did* walk for at least 30 minutes yesterday and today! 

BUT! Drumroll please...I have written three chapters of my book, the working title of which is "The Making of Audrey Reid" so I do have a huge check in one of my "Goal" columns! WOOP WOOP!  So while this is not the checklist of accomplishments I intended, as with all things in life, making substantive change comes slowly, so rather than kick myself for not having made great strides (and, ahem, for not having updated this a week ago), I simply redirect myself back towards the path on which I had started out with the greatest intentions.  And actually, I did lose 3.5 lbs. that first week.  Then I screwed around and grazed a little too much (especially at home, eating out almost every meal) and FOUND those 3.5 lbs.  So I'll just have to work a little harder to lose them where they cannot be found this time!! :)

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Goals for the week of March 22

Do the "Power 90" exercise DVD program at least 4 times this week (the program's goal is 6 days a week, but I know I'll have to work up to that!).
Walk at least two miles at least 4 times this week.

Drink at least the recommended 64 oz. of water each day (will probably require a checklist, not to check off, but to REMIND me to DRINK MORE WATER!).
Stick to the high fiber diet plan without exception for at least one full week.

March bills are all paid, gas tank is about half full, groceries abound, and I have about $100 left in the bank. The goal is to sit on that $100 and roll it into a savings account, to be acquired on payday, March 31.

Write for at least 30 minutes each day, whether it is a journal, this blog, working on my children's series (first one still being written), or another writing project.  This will generally lead me to more than just 30 minutes of writing.

Free Time:
I am doing better to spend free time reading (books--fiction and nonfiction--and magazines) and not brain rotting in front of the tube.  My goal is to not set a limit on hours of TV each day, but to not sit and watch TV for no reason either--if it is not a program I am really interested in, shut it off and grab a book.  Or work towards one of the above goals! :)

Weight Loss:
I would like to ultimately lose at least 50 lbs.  I remember the size I was when I graduated high school, which was 50 lbs. ago, and I would at least like to be that size, preferably smaller. But I want to hit that goal first then determine if a new goal is warranted, and what it will be. So to achieve the first 50, I'll go in chunks, 10 lbs. at a whack.  So my goal for the upcoming week: to lose 3 lbs.  I wish I had Harvey Walden to bark at me and keep me on track. :)

Back on track

I got off track, with most of my originally stated plans, but am geared up to get back on track now! I had my wisdom teeth taken out 10 days ago so that put me on a diet of "whatever smooshy food I can find and manage to eat" and it also required that money I would have used to pay off my first small debt go to the oral surgeon. But, I get paid on the 31st and my new budget is sitting ready and waiting to be put to good use.

I've also found a great basic diet plan, that really doesn't fall under what Americans are trained to think of as a "diet"--it's a healthy eating plan that is practically brainless. You don't count anything, you don't HAVE to leave anything out, you just drink boatloads of water, eat as much high fiber food as you can, and when you eat, have the high fiber stuff first.  If you do this, you'll be eating a lot of fruits and veggies (while following that old "put your fork down between every bite" rule...), and you will get full sooner on the good stuff, so you'll eat less (or none) of the bad stuff, and you'll begin to lose weight.

Add to this that I'm going to start getting up early to workout in the mornings, and try to walk 3-4 times a week, and I hope to be noticeably smaller...soon!!!

Early on, I think I said I would start posting goals and periodically update them, so I'm going to make that a separate post unto itself (which will land directly above this one, so you've probably already seen the first one!)

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Boys and girls, if losing weight is your goal and achieving that goal does not bear with it innate motivation, try what I did: take yourself a set of 'before' pictures, from all four angles (front, back, facing left, facing right).

Then look at them.

I defy you to do this and NOT immediately move to some form of exercise. If you do not, then stop beating yourself up about wanting to lose weight, because if you need to lose weight and this doesn't send shock waves through you that boot your rear in gear, it is possible that nothing will. And why go through the mental torture of telling yourself you need to lose weight and not making any reasonable attempt? I've done that "If I were only smaller" and then continued to be a lazy ass with a goatish propensity for eating whatever was handy. Either tell yourself you want to lose weight--and do what needs to be done--or tell yourself you're a big guy/gal and have another egg roll.

Trust me when I say, there is a big difference in looking down at your lumpy figure (or even looking at yourself in the mirror) and seeing the effect this 360-degree-style view of yourself. Trust me...give it a shot.  And you don't even have to involve anyone--any decent camera has a timer on it--set it and get to snapping.  Then looking. Then exercising.

Maybe in a few months when I have my proud "after" pictures to share, I'll buck up and post those befores.  For now, your own set of befores will have to suffice.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Light at the end of the tunnel

Last night, in continuing to take baby steps on this Life Diet plan o'mine, I sat down and made a tentative "snowball" budget... Pay off the smallest debt first, take what I'd been spending on that monthly payment + what I can afford to pay above and beyond my monthly bills and put it all on the next smallest debt, etc. until it's all a distant memory.  On paper, it would appear I can pay my credit cards off by November, my car off by August 2011, and from there my student loans in 5 years or less. And let's just say my student loans would buy a small village in Africa, bwahahahaha...

So there IS light at the end of the tunnel and it is NOT an oncoming train!!  I cannot fathom (A) being out of credit card debt this year, (B) having my car paid off in a little over a year [B.1.--having a car paid off and continuing to drive it], and (C) being c-o-m-p-l-e-t-e-l-y d-e-b-t f-r-e-e before I hit 40.

Sweet Lord...  One small kink in the works on getting that ball rolling is that I'm soon to have my wisdom teeth out and will have to hand over $200, so that could set my budget back a month, but still... In the grand scheme (considering I could have been nearing Point B now had I started this last year as originally planned...) what's one more month?

Oh, and my goal is to have $10,000 in the bank about the time the old student loans are paid off.  At least $10K, hopefully more.  Again:  Sweet Lord...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Horn tootin'

There is my boss, and then there is her boss, who is THE BOSS.  Well, THE BOSS recently emailed me and suggested I write an article for a publication that is seeking submissions about how librarians are working with children and/or teens in their libraries, what programming is successful, how they approach collection development, how they integrate the two, etc.  I chewed on it for a bit and wrote her back and indicated to her that while I am proud of what I have accomplished (and detailed to her how it has happened), I cannot help but feel like by the nature of "this is the problem I inherited and this is how I have improved upon it," it would read as trying to one-up my predecessors. And my immediate predecessor happens to also be my immediate supervisor. See my problema?

But the response I got was just fabulous!  She told me she understood what my concerns were and that if I opted not to write the article she had originally prodded me towards doing, she understood, and told me in no uncertain terms (and several all capital-lettered words) that I am doing a great job, that I am exactly what the teens at my library need, and that she is thankful for all that I am doing!

It is great to have anyone pay you a compliment, to recognize your hard work, but when THE BOSS toots your horn, well...that makes for a loud toot!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Baby steps

Tonight at my 'brary we had a 'Financial Planning Workshop' with a guy who was trained through "Dave Ramsey's people" and some other money guru (whose name I recognized at the time but cannot recall now), so that's a good thing.  Truth be told, I did not really gain new knowledge, having read Dave Ramsey's book about a year ago, but it served as an impetus for me to take that knowledge and use it. So!  Bills are being paid and dealt with so that I can truly see what that leaves and begin a budget for the balance. Determine how much to save and how much to pay towards which chunk o'debt, etc. No earth shattering news, just another baby step in the process that is my "Life Diet."

Also, in regard to the moolah, as of the last several months, I've been tutoring a 5th grader two nights a week, an hour and a half each time. For various (and reasonable) reasons, she had to cancel several times last month. I should have met with her tonight, but at 5:15 I get a text that she is at her grandmother's in the next county and won't be here tonight. So tomorrow I'm going to talk with her mom and find out if maybe we should cut back to just one night a week, because (A) I don't want to reserve two nights a week if we only need one at this point, and (B) if we DO cut back to one night, I have three other kids waiting in the wings for tutoring that I can fill in around this adjusted schedule! So either way I won't be at a loss, but I need to get my schedule nailed down with her so I can go forward with these new recruits!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Read and Recommended

Just finished reading "Bitter is the New Black" by Jen Lancaster (www.jennsylvania.com) and I have to recommend it to one and all.  Females will be initially drawn to it by the cover and title, but it is a fitting book for the current state of disaster that is the American economy and all that has fallen apart in connection to it.  This details the downward spiral she and Fletch (her fiance-turned-husband) faced when she lost her job, and he followed suit, and surprisingly, this was published in 2006, so their troubles preceded the financial collapse of 2008.  I think this is a must-read for anyone who is (A) suffering under the burden of unemployment/the bad housing market/the crappy economy or (B) thinks they are ABOVE the effects of unemployment/the bad housing market/the crappy economy, because for those under section (A) it will get better, and this is a great way to have a laugh during the toughest times, and for those who are under section (B) hop down off that throne of high and mighty, lest you get knocked from it with the wave of a pink slip. Capice?  Altogether entertaining and a great insight to the evolution she and Fletch underwent, it will make you rethink your situation regardless of where you stand.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Adding to the pile

I already have a huge stash of library books at home, but with my new "Life Diet" goal in mind when I got to work today, I have dug out several titles that I think will suit my intentions of writing more, eating better, etc. (one is even a 'writing diet' or something). One I found that is of particular interest is about decluttering your life so you can be in better health. I've only skimmed it at this point, but it's by the guy that does the hoarder shows on Oprah, so at least in regard to clutter, I know he knows his stuff.

The basic idea seems to be 'if you get rid of the excess junk that is clogging up your physical space, it will impact your mentality, which will in turn impact how you regard what you do to take care of yourself (food, exercise). And I'm hardly a hoarder, but I do tend to have little odd piles (books, mail...) so while I don't think reading the book in its entirety will be necessary, I do plan to at least give it a half-hearted once over and follow his suggestion by ridding my home of all my little piles, and go from there.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Trimming the fat

I think I need to go on a "Life Diet," trim the fat from a lot of things. The easiest example is the concept of dieting with regard to what I eat. Adding to this, I want to put myself on a diet with my finances, with my time, etc. (getting in an exercise routine will be part of my 'time diet').  Since finishing grad school, I could have paid off a significant chunk of my debt by now (excluding student loans) and have not even saved any  money, much less paid off any debt. I have about a five-hour gap between the time I get off work and the time I go to bed (and it takes me all of five minutes to get home after work), and yet my personal goals are being achieved at a snail's pace. Sometimes a snail's pace is even an overstatement of the reality. Add to this that I am not married and I have no children, and I work seven hours one Saturday each month, so my free time is fairly open (even when you subtract time spent tutoring). I need to trim the fat off my food intake, off my time wasted, my money wasted, and whatever else I am fortunate enough to have more of than I actually need (and therefore need to better manage).

That said, I plan to copy forms out of Dave Ramsey's book and set up a budget to save and start paying off debt. I plan to structure a shopping list that will accommodate better eating habits rather than tossing into the buggy whatever catches my eye. I plan to better manage my free time (meaning stopping TV almost entirely--save Grey's Anatomy--and spend most free time writing and/or reading) as well as requiring of myself at least 30 minutes of daily exercise at least five days a week.

So I will take this week to get my budget together and determine how quickly I should be able to pay off my debt (excluding the student loans). I will return to a goal of writing at least a page a day (about something...anything), in lieu of mindless TV watching. I will set an overall weight loss goal (pounds lost and target BMI), then set a weekly goal. And at least once a week I will blog about what I've done to contribute to all of these goals (or what I've done to sabotage them) and see how my self-imposed "Life Diet" is coming along.

And, of course, throw in random unrelated opinions and observations about life in general, too.  This is, after all, my own personal soapbox you've stumbled upon.

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