Saturday, March 1, 2008

You Know What Time It Is...

Time for me to get this taken care of...

Try as I might I just can't rally to do deal with the mountain of papers, catalogs, books and receipts during the weekdays. Baby can now reach the top of my desk and I spend much of my time just trying to keep up with avalanche maintenance and never get to the filing.

Oh by the way a new desk is now not just desired but necessary. My file basket? Baby has figured out how fun it is to lift the files out and let their contents spill out all over the floor. So I now need a desk with drawers, file drawers.... and LOCKS!

Progress Report:

While you are waiting feel free to take on a little Mrs F organizational challenge.
Do you have a mountain of paperwork or something else equally undesirable?
Clock in in the comments and keep us posted on your progress!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Mind Control

I had a horrifically violent nightmare last night... and sadly that wasn't the first. I've been having more and more nightmares like this lately. Upon awaking it was obvious to me how clearly influenced by the book I am reading it had been... and that got me thinking. Up until this last week I hadn't had the time to watch all the crazy Law & Order type dramas that I used to watch and guess what? I wasn't having any nightmares either. Really. Until I started reading this book and watching Medium last week I have barely had a nightmare since Baby was born... and the ones I have had have been straight up "I'm naked on a cruise ship" type anxiety dreams. I hadn't put two and two together until this week.

As of today I've decided to take more responsibility for what I read and watch and judge it more on it's content than it's entertainment value. Scary movies and shows can be exhilarating, much like a roller coaster, but unlike a thrill ride when the show is over the horrific images stay with us and play into our worst fears. I know for a fact I'm not the only one who needs to bolt up the stairs or turn on the lights after watching one... that kind of scary content makes a lot of us just a little paranoid.

Well all this trauma made me realize that I need to be more thoughtful of the energy I bring around myself. Book about violent crazies? Not a great choice... is there not another book that might allow me to learn about the theology behind the murders without having to describe them? Yes there is. I was watching an Oprah last night that wasn't completely related, but yet I could relate to, which focused on the energy you are putting into the world and what you will receive in return. I have witnessed this a thousand times and know that there is truth in that. I think my blogging experience in and of itself is proof enough.

I had gone through a similar awakening about magazines, specifically women's & men's magazines featuring beautiful models and actresses on the covers, about ten years ago. It was at that time that I banned them from my house. And when I met Mr F and we decided to get married I told him that under no uncertain terms were these types of magazines to be in our house. They not only made me feel badly about myself but I wasn't going to take any part in making the girls that visited (and later lived in) our home feel badly about themselves either.

And, people, you know I don't mess around. With the exception of a Martha Stewart or Oprah (featuring themselves) we don't have these things in our house. No Victoria's Secret Catalogue, no Instyle, no Vogue, no Shape, no Self, no GQ... you get the picture. Because not a single one of those magazines is selling something I really want to buy or even something I want my daughter's to know exists. I don't want to read an article about how to improve my life whether it by a diet & fitness magazine or a home & fashion magazine when that title still feels they need to sell themselves through the image of a "flawless" young woman. I am much happier and more self confident since removing those images from my plain sight.

Obviously I can't protect my kids forever but I can actively decide to do my best to counteract those messages. I can do what I can to shelter them from the notion that a body and face they will never have is the *real* definition of beauty. If I can give them one extra day of not feeling that they are flawed or "less than" then I have done my job.

And now that I'm more aware of the other negative messages and images I am surrounding myself with... the ones that say we are not safe, or secure, or that we should be afraid... I'm removing those too. I don't need that anymore than I need to feel fat and ugly. The truth is that what you see and read and listen to makes up your daily life. It is the background noise for what you start to believe about yourself and your surroundings and before you know it you are living your life reacting to these external ideas instead of living from your own internal ones.

Good, bad, or indifferent everything you read or watch impacts you. We all have the power to take control over these images and be more thoughtful consumers. Make sure you are buying everything they are really selling.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Alrightly Then

"Alllllright it's getting a little too crazy for me." Mr F says attempting to end the phone conversation due to the distracting background noise.

"Yeah... it's a little too crazy for me too... but when I hang up... they're still here." Mrs F replys dryly

Crazy Cardio Got You Down?

This is for everyone who had been following along with my original incline workout. I was all set to lay a few new workouts on you but I do want to remind everyone that you need to be your own guide. If you are bored or your workout doesn't feel hard than you need to work to change that. After watching the Biggest Loser last night and thinking about my own loss of motivation I have really been thinking about the importance of challenge in our weight loss and fitness quests.

Watching last night I was reminded of how hard it is to challenge yourself. I used to have a trainer and I would leave my pilates workouts wobbly and sore... guess what? I NEVER feel that way when I train at home. And not because I don't want to but I think because it is just really hard to push yourself that far on your own. So I'm going to try and workout with that in mind and try to do a little more than I WANT to do. Do a few more rep, use higher weights, and walk at higher inclines for longer times.

Everyone's body is different as is everyone's fitness level. I want you all to look at these incline workouts with that in mind. I'm going to list what I am doing. You might not be there yet... or you might be but just haven't pushed it that far yet. If you aren't working out for longer than 30-45 minutes because you don't think you can, well, I urge you to try. I think you'll find that you can and that your fitness level is higher than you think. Those folks on Biggest Loser are working out for 6 hours a day. A. Freaking. Day. And they aren't passing out... oh... and they are doing that 100 pounds overweight. So think about what you are doing and think about how you feel afterward. After a hard workout I feel very differently than I do after a mediocre one. I am sweatier, my sinuses tingle (yes that might be weird but it always happens if I really push myself), and I feel GOOD. Getting to that point isn't always easy and doesn't itself always feel good... it is the reward you get from making yourself a little uncomfortable.

So keeping all that in mind... and the importance to change it up and trust yourself to be able to do that.... here are my current interval workouts:

I am still walking on the treadmill at 3.0 mph for the duration of the workout.

I like to change my interval based on the track display on my treadmill's monitor and not by the clock. I typically change it either every 1/12th of a mile (about 1.75 minutes) or every 1/8th of a mile (about 2.5 minutes). So the workouts are listed by 1/4 mile increments which will be divided by commas.

Workout #1 0% 9% 0%, 9% 0% 9% (that is an incline change every 1/12th mile) repeat for 60 minutes

Workout #2 0% 7%, 0% 8%, 0% 9%, 0% 10%, 0% 11%, 0% 12%, 0% 12%, 0% 11%, 0% 10%, 0% 9%, 0% 8%, 0% 7% (1/8th mile changes) this takes 60 minutes

Workout #3 0% 9% (1/8th changes for 1 mile), 6%, 9%, 0%, 9% (1/4 mile change for 1 mile), 0% 9% (1/8th changes for 1 mile)

Workout #4 0% 12% 0% (1/12th changes) repeat for 60 minutes

Workout #5 0% 10% (1/8th changes for 1 mile) 0%, 12%, 0%, 12% (1/4 mile changes for 1 mile) 0% 10% (1/8th changes for 1 mile)

All these are written for 60 minutes when I have the time and energy I'll just continue the pattern for 70 or 80 minutes. Sometimes when I'm doing a long one I'll throw in a long 1/4 mile interval at the highest incline and then give a 1/4 mile rest at 0% for my last 1/2 mile.

Hopefully this makes some sense. If not ask away...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I Got My Mojo Back

Where to begin...where to begin folks?
I just had one of the best workouts of my freaking life. This has been a real turbulent few weeks for me and I had kind of felt that I had lost my motivation. And it might just be the endorphins talking... but tonight I had a bit of an awakening. Guess what? I had let myself down. I had given up. I had stopped trying... had stopped working. As it turns out that doesn't leave you inspired and rearin' to go... it leaves you feeling... well.... lost and befuddled and three pounds heavier sitting on the couch whining about your aching shoulder.

It wasn't even a week ago that I posted about losing my fire... my drive and focus. I knew I was hitting a wall and that I needed to get back on track after taking several days off. No. Stop right there. I didn't "take" a couple days off... I gave in for a couple days and that, my friends, is the depressing truth. Had I actually scheduled a little break that would be one thing... what I did was schedule workouts and then fail to do them. And that is a pattern I am very familiar with. Feeling demotivated and depressed I decided to get this boat back in the water and did manage to pump out a workout on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. But I'll be honest my heart wasn't in it and I kind of feared it might not ever be. I wasn't feeling the endorphins or proud of myself or anything I did it. And that's all I can say about it.... I did it.

Not trusting myself to take a break I also worked out on Monday and Tuesday. Now believe me when I tell you I didn't want to workout. I'm not putting on airs for dramatic effect. I seriously didn't want to do it... but I didn't want to let myself down... and oh yeah the little 3 pound weight gain I received this week did kind of spur me to just keep plotting along. Well tonight I was feeling the de-motivation.... I spent about 30 minutes procrastinating and thinking about filing paperwork instead (that should tell you how NOT into the workouts I've been!). Well after a bit of stewing I got my water bottle and changed and began watching the Biggest Loser from last night. And, people, I had a light bulb moment. It kind of went like this "See how hard they are working? You aren't working anywhere near that hard." And sure I've had this epiphany before... but it never ceases to inspire me. Here is a group of obese people who are running 14 miles an hour for crying out loud!! I need to do more... I need to push myself. So I did. I worked out harder than I have this whole year.

I stayed on that thing for 80 freaking minutes. And guess what? I got my fire back. Because what I realized is that I hadn't been challenging myself. And when you aren't being challenged you are going to get BORED both physically and mentally. You aren't going to see the same results you were seeing. When you lose weight your body adjusts, you get fitter and stronger, and need a HARDER workout. I hadn't even realized it but I had stopped having the endorphin rush a couple months ago... no wonder my workouts had seemed so lackluster and uninspiring. It never really occurred to me that I had just gotten used to my routines and was fit enough that I literally was no longer working out as hard as I had been. From now on when I get on that treadmill I am going to push myself... really push myself. I'm going to do what I think I can't do... and then I'm going to do it a little longer. Because the truth is I can. And you can to.

Thinking Outside The Box

In our never ending quest to stop the madness that is our disorganized life the Furious Family has taken an unprecedented step.

Yes, my friends, we replaced the antique bookcase at the bottom of our stairs with this antique dresser. Why? Well because, like many of you, we live out of our laundry baskets. Since our upstairs bathroom is nearly defunct EVERYONE gets dressed downstairs which means piles of clean and discarded clothes all over the place. A few months back I put a hamper in our dining room figuring that (although most likely a huge decorating NO NO) looked better than the strewn about clothes did. I was right. Worst case scenario it looks like you were just about to do laundry. While that solved the nightgowns and PJs piles it didn't address the clean clothes on the stairs or waiting to be folded on the chair.... that is if they ever even made it up from the mountain of clothes in front of the dryer.

After some brainstorming I decided to give this little furniture switchero a shot. So far this seems to be a success. We were fortunate to have on hand a dresser that fit the space and the decor (enough) to be put into use without seeming out of place. If this doesn't in fact help to keep the kids clothes off the floor, while still keeping them close at hand, then those drawers might be converted to toy & game storage.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Well That's One Thing We Have In Common

What you ask? Sleep. We all actually have to sleep. A fact which I find fascinating about humans.... and animals in general... but I digress...

You all know that I get very little sleep. So little that I'm sure some of you think that I must be exaggerating (I am not). And although I certainly wish I had more sleep the fact that I don't doesn't actually bother me... just the side effects of it.... if that makes any sense at all. You see I don't expect to sleep through the night. Waking up ten times?! Yeah that is a bit much. But I don't have a problem with a baby (or an adult... but we'll get to that later) waking up 3 times a night. Call me crazy but that seems perfectly reasonable.

Although I had times in my late adolescence when I could sleep for a good 13 hours straight... and on one occasion a shocking 23 hours (making my then step-mother more than a bit suspicious... and no I wasn't on anything thank you very much... I was just high on life!) The majority of my life I've been a sensitive sleeper. I may have been one of the few kids in all of creation that not only did not want a night light but required absolute darkness to sleep. I couldn't get settled for what seemed like hours, due to the sounds of the still awake house, and even once I was finally asleep I woke due to frequent nightmares.

To this day I not only have blackout shades but have also been known to cover those pesky green and red power lights with electrical tape to insure COMPLETE darkness. I dread spring because those damn birds will start chirping long before I'm ready to get up. I keep a humidifier running to drowned out the other ambient noises. Even still.... even before the baby, and before the seizures.... I will still wake up 2-3 times a night. I seem to often wake up during my dreams, whether or not that is actually true or just how it seems to me I do not know. When I wake up I cannot just roll back over and go to sleep.... oh no.... I have several crutches if you will. And try as I might I really can't fall back to sleep without them.

Every time I wake up I lie there wondering if I have to go to the bathroom. It really doesn't matter if I have to or not... at a certain point the amount of time wondering if I have to go exceeds the amount of time it would have taken me to just get up and go in the first place. And in the end I always get up and go. But it doesn't end there folks... that is just crutch number one. Crutch number two is applying lip balm. Crazy? Yes. But if I don't put it on I'll lie there, empty bladder and all, now debating whether or not my lips are chapped and/or in the process of chapping (yes also crazy and maddening). So when my kids wake up and need a snuggle or a nurse or a pacie or whatever before they can lay back down I have a lot of empathy for that. Hey even Mr F has his bag full of Halls cough drops he has to sleep with!

Let the Mrs Furious Sleep Study Commence!

My Sleep Stats:
go to sleep at 12:30 AM
Baby/Kid/Mr F snoring wakes me up 4-10 times
I go to the bathroom only 1x (this has taken a lot of effort)
wake up 9 AM

Monday, February 25, 2008

Learning Curve

I'm a fairly recent convert to weekly meal planning. It was something I was pretty resistant to doing fearing it would take away some of my kitchen creativity. And I guess in someways it has. Before meal planning we rarely ate the same meal twice... now we eat the same things on a fairly regular basis. But I've learned that what I may lack in exotic meal combos we more than make up for in consistently good food that is on the table with little to no stress.

It has taken me awhile to figure out that meal planning is a little more complex then just assigning seven meals to seven days. It took a bit of trial and error for me to realize that in order for meal planning to pay off I needed to be really thoughtful about exactly what days I made which meals. My life is different every day. Kid only goes to school 3 afternoons and we've got play dates and dance classes to work around. It has taken me several months to really nail down what I can and can't get on the table. Before meal planning I'd just make the decision that day and more often then not a fair amount of food was thrown out due to mismanagement.

But meal planning has a lot going for it....I'm no longer wasting food or money... I'm no longer stressed at 5:45 wondering what I could throw together. When I look at my meal plan at 5 o'clock and see what I'm making I have such a sense of relief sweep over me. And the feeling I get when I've really nailed it and gotten the exact right meal on the right day?.... Well it is pretty close to euphoric!

This Week The Plan

Kid is off this week. I have no idea if that is going to mean that I have more time to get stuff done since I won't be driving around as much.... or less because she is driving me crazy. My initial vote is for less so I'm trying to keep my plan pretty conservative. Baby is trying to kill me (slowly & painfully) by not only waking up 5-10 times a night but mixing in some annoying alert time in there now as well. This, my friends, is not only exhausting but is now amplifying my chronic pain issues which is wrecking havoc on my body and my mind. Honestly I'm used to the constant wakings but the alert time has got to go... ASAP... or I'll be hitting the wall any day now!


Monday - Chicken Noodle Soup

Tuesday - Brown Sugar & Ginger Salmon w/ Asain Veggie Stirfry & Spring Rolls

Wednesday - Spaghetti & Meatballs w/ Steamed Broccoli

Thursday - Pork Tenderloin w/ Green Beans & Rice Pilaf

Friday - out

Saturday - Take-out

Sunday - Chicken Fajitas

Diet & Exercise
Last week as you know I kind of fell off the wagon a bit and had a really hard time getting my workouts in. I rallied towards the end of the week and got in a good cardio workout on Friday, Saturday & Sunday. I'm playing around with my incline and have found it to be a bit more challenging and a lot less routine. I'm planning to do 4 cardio workouts and one pilates workout this week. I'm shooting for 45 minutes but I am going to really max out my incline intervals to make these shorter workouts really pay off.

Errands & Chores

Monday - Laundry

Tuesday - vacuum & grocery shop

Wednesday - additional grocery shop

Thursday - wipe down wood floors

Friday - catch up on all returns

Sunday, February 24, 2008

I'm Back

Okay I'm back. I spent a fair amount but as usual I will probably be back later in the week returning a good 2/3rds of it... so no worries on that front.

I did score some new fashions...
fitted green tee & printed hoodie
40s styled dress that I am absolutely loving.

I also found two shirts that I really liked but of course they didn't have in my size so I'll be stalking them for the next few weeks. And I got a peasant style sleeveless linen black dress that I do like... but I bought in a Medium. Sometimes I still have a hard time believing that I should buy a smaller size!

I got some new curtain rods and a duvet set for the guest room so that I can slowly start to transition that room into Kid's room and maybe start to feel that it is a little more "finished". I'm sticking with the "Shabby Chic" line for that room... which I personally like and is both girly and can be dressed down for a kid's room and is sophisticated enough to look nice for company.

I spent a fair amount of time in the make-up department replacing all the old cosmetics I threw out during the closet clean out last weekend. I literally hadn't bought any in at least seven years and I still had some Trish McEvoy stuff that I got when I was in college. So this was certainly a long time coming.

And last but not least I got Baby a pair of rain boots to match Kid's!

Oh you know I made a video...

photo credit goes to Kid for all Mrs F fashion shots

Sunday Morning Musings

I've been checking out a couple new blogs lately. They are both, oddly enough, equally appealing to me. The
FIRST one is chronicling one family's journey as they attempt to take a year off of mindless spending. And the second one? Well, the SECOND one is devoted to an undying love of Target. You see I am somewhat conflicted.

But today Target wins...

wait... Baby can't resist the ding of the photo booth camera!
Blog Widget by LinkWithin