being thrifty, celebrations, fEAsible, fEAsting, food shopping, meal planning, miscellanEA, my goals, taking stock, wEAlth

a new word for a new year…

My Focus Word for 2017

After much thought and deliberation I have decided on my focus word for the year and it is

economise

Taken from the Greek oikos meaning house and nemein meaning manage –  economise is the careful management of resources, careful use of something

I like the sound of carefully managing resources as I feel our throw away society is something I prefer not to be part of and I want to see just how resourceful I can be this year.

As well, due to impending changes in our household income  I need to cut down on unnecessary spending.  Becoming resourceful with our resources in order to ‘minimalise’ our purchases will also feed my desire to simplify and ‘minimalise’ our possessions.  Now we have the caravan whilst waiting for the cottage to be sorted we only have room for what is absolutely necessary and I love living with such a drastic reduction of ‘things’.  At the moment we only have 2 cups – so we have to keep on washing them up to reuse – it is quite challenging to see what we can get by with but also quite liberating.

The plan

Already this year I have been writing a Menu plan for the week – this seems to be the most effective way to save money,  reduce food waste and eat healthily.

At present I am shopping in my cupboards and only buying fresh vegetables and other necessities to add to what I already have to be able to make 7 healthier home-made meals each week.

I find it hard to admit that I am not sure what my food bill was each week over the last year – it was so manic that just getting through the week was a challenge on its own.  I ended up in Sainsbury’s with no plan and often duplicating items I already had in my cupboards.  We have probably eaten far more ready-made meals than ever before – pizza, vegetable samosas and quiche are the pre-prepared foods we normally fall back on together with those pots of chilled sauces for pasta.

I believe almost all of my lunches at work last year will have been bought and I dread to think the number of baked potatoes with cheese and coleslaw I got through but it will be quite a few – luckily it is my favourite lunchtime meal.

When I run my end of year spending report on my computer program all will be revealed and I don’t think it will be a pretty sight.  I know I will be upset at the amount of money I will have spent and wasted.

I find that at this time of year it is so easy to start off on the right foot but then as life takes over our good intentions fall away.  I have yet to resolve this recurring situation and I am thinking hard of a way to keep on track even through busy periods.

Below are some of my ideas to get me into Economy mode and at the same time increasing the number of nutritional  meals we have to improve our health.  I buy as much organic produce as possible – I like to think my food is free from any contaminants or artificial flavourings etc. –  this already makes my shopping dearer than the average, however, on the plus side we are both vegetarian so no expensive fish or meat in my trolley.  Having said that some vegetables can be quite expensive bought at the wrong time.

  • Having a menu plan is the number one priority – it only takes 20 minutes to write a simple plan for the week.  For me it is best done on a Sunday so that my new plan begins on a Monday – on a busy week even this amount of time can be difficult to find so my plan is to have some pre-written menus for these weeks to tide me over.
  • Keeping up with what is in the store cupboards, fridge and freezer is the second priority and including these foods in the menu plan helps to keep everything rotating and avoid food going past it’s sell by date.
  • Only buying store cupboard items with long dates on them when they are on offer such as cereal, packets of Passata, tea bags rice etc.  Some foods that I buy are rarely on offer but others come round fairly frequently.  Having a quick look as I go along the aisles to check the offers is worthwhile and saves money on those staple items.
  • Trying out new recipes to add variety to the weekly meal plan.  Test these on a weekend and time how long they take.  Having lots of very quick meals can become quite boring to the point where we often go off a certain meal.
  • Planning the menus around seasonal produce – this saves money as fruit and veg in season is usually cheaper.
  • Look out for coupons and vouchers.  As I shop at Sainsbury’s I automatically get Nectar points but I also get coupons at the till with either money off or additional Nectar points.  Make a point of buying the item on the coupon if it is something I would use or normally buy.
  • Remember to freeze left over bits of foods that have been opened but only a small amount used – such as tomato paste, coconut milk etc.  Also grate and freeze cheese and breadcrumbs and mix up and freeze crumble topping.

 

In addition to the planned meals I have a one or two quick standby meals in the freezer just in case.  Last week it was a ready-made pasta sauce to add to whole wheat pasta and this week a pizza. If I don’t need to use them then I will save money by not having to replace them.

My lunch at work is the area I need to get to grips with – I am more likely to eat a sandwich at home and prefer baked potatoes at work rather than too much bread. My current idea is to buy a ready done baked potato but take my own fillings and salad. This should cut the cost down and I can also organise myself to make soup for the week and freeze in smaller portions.

 

So far this year we have really enjoyed getting back to proper home cooked meals and saved money at the same time.  I actually prefer the winter salads I make of shredded cabbage, carrot and beetroot and raw cauliflower florets – I like the crunchy texture.  I find the bagged lettuce quite limp and wasteful.  Any remaining salad items have made delicious sandwiches served with home-made soup for lunch at the weekend. The meal plan for this week was a little different as we were on holiday from work and stayed at the caravan for 4 days and had to rely more on easy to make meals.  On Saturday night we are hosting a Burns Night Supper with some friends – we brought the haggis back from Scotland (vegetarian for us) together with some mini steak pies and macaroni pies, not sure of the nutritional quality of these!

 

I will put the menus in the tabs above – here is the quick link

Weekly Menu Plan January 2017

 

Just to update on the caravan we now have running water and central heating and a fully operational shower.  The Swift engineer who was coming to replace the fridge socket however did not arrive – or rather he did come but thought we were on the caravan site next door – as this is all closed up for the winter he went away again.  So fridge socket still not sorted…watch this space!

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drEAming, fEAsible, my goals, random thoughts, taking stock, wellbeing

A new journey…

I know I am a little late in saying this but…

Happy New Year 2015

 

After a long and sometimes difficult year I was quite glad to say goodbye to 2014 and welcome the new year – a fresh start and a new journey – below is a quick photo reminder from some of my posts last year which include one or two of the more memorable moments.

2014 in pictures

 

However, only a few days into 2015 we received a phone call from the care home where my mum in law lived to say mum was in A&E after being resuscitated from a choking incident.  Sadly she never regained any consciousness and died a few days later only days away from her 91st birthday.  Such a sad end – but her quality of life had not been good for the past 6 months with the worsening of her dementia and the Parkinson’s so in a way it was a blessing for her that she slipped away peacefully to a long earned rest.

Just before this drama occurred I had begun writing this post and thinking about what I might do this year as I pictured a whole new year stretching out in front of me – quite unblemished, as it was then, like a fresh fall of snow before any footprints appear.

I began by thinking about my focus word for the year – last year it was Focus and for the early part of the year this kept me on track, but as the year went by my Focus changed not surprisingly when we experienced the flood.  The impact that has had on our lives together with my colleague being off work ill has been tremendous.  Now I feel I need to get back on track, sort myself out and turn my dream of a simple and healthier life into reality.

After much deliberation over words I have finally chosen Wellbeing – I believe this encompasses all I want to achieve this year.

I wasn’t too sure exactly what came under the umbrella of wellbeing so I started with the dictionary definition

well-being or wellbeing
noun
a contented state of being happy and healthy and prosperous

Of course I had to go and choose a word that had alternative spellings and after checking up on the difference I have chosen to go without the hyphen – this is the more modern interpretation as wellbeing is becoming a recognised term in its own right and I am told the hyphen will eventually be dropped just as similar ‘brought together’ words have in the past – I am just helping to accelerate that transition – so I apologise to any traditionalists that may be reading this!

My choice of Wellbeing is not because I feel really unhappy, unhealthy or lacking but the state of good health is not just the absence of disease – well not in my mind anyway.  If anything this last year has been quite a roller coaster from start to finish even the most positive of events – becoming 60 and a grandma within a couple of weeks was equally as stressful and emotionally challenging as becoming homeless due to the flood!

I have read that by taking care of what is important in one area can make life easier in another. Likewise, neglecting one area can negatively affect another. It is all about keeping life in balance – so I will be putting this to the test.

The areas that I will be looking to bring into balance are probably the same for most people who work and run a home

  • Personal & Leisure & Family – taking care of myself and allowing time for myself to enjoy my day-to-day life as well as spending time with friends and my family – it will take into account my hobbies and things I like doing recreationally – maybe starting new ones who knows!
  • Home – this is how I will deal with all the management of the house – housekeeping – decorating – gardening – general upkeep
  • Health – the goal here is to become healthier both physically and mentally and will include exercising – meal planning and putting to right any niggling health issues
  • Work – I think this speaks for itself – I definitely need to find an answer to reduce the long hours I have been forced into doing
  • Finances – this area had plenty of focus last January but is ready for another minor overhaul

In addition I want to take steps to slow down, where possible the pace of my life, and make it simpler so that I am able to live the moment and enjoy the day and not feel quite so guilty when I find I am doing one thing instead of dealing with another.

So there we are Project Wellbeing – all I have to do now is work out a plan of action and I feel my first task is to establish some routines to provide some stability to my life.

Hope you all have a good weekend – I have a bit of catching up to do in blog world but I know from my quick scans of my favourite blogs that many of you are well into any new challenges you have set for yourselves  I hope I will have time to leave the odd comment again soon but this might be after the funeral when life has calmed down a bit over here. x

 

fEAsible, getting things done, homestEAding, managEAble, my goals, nEAtening, organising, rEArranging, simplifying, systems, taking stock, to do list

It’s the little things…

How the chaos and clutter sneaks in and builds up

I surveyed my house this morning and took a quick snap of some of the many bits and pieces left lying around to be put away. Thursday is my last day at work and the start of the weekend for me and the day I feel absolutely drained by the frenzy of the working week.  So this is usually the evening when very little gets done as by this time I have run completely out of steam and have neither the intent nor the inclination to do anything but rustle up something quick to eat and then flop.

Although my house may have been tidy on the Sunday evening after the long slog of a weekend’s housekeeping there is always a slow build up of items on most surfaces by Thursday.   My survey this morning highlights the problems I have as you can see from the list of items below…

  • A large unopened letter from Tuesday left on the office desk – it was actually post for my mother in law because we deal with her finances and both hubby and I knew from the size and weight it was one of those dreaded annual report books from the shares company that we never read as we would need to employ an accountant to translate. It unfortunately goes straight into recycle and one day we will write and ask to get this info online. Note: task for task list!
  • The inner peel off lid from the Yeo Valley Yoghurt again on office desk – saying ‘Is this your lucky Lid’?  – well it might just be  – it has a lucky number to enter on the computer to win a Camper van – I cannot pass this over even though I know it is highly unlikely that I would win and almost not worth the effort of doing it but somehow I cannot just bin it! Note: another task for task list.
  • An Ikea leaflet with £15 off promotion – office desk? – correct! – I do keep these just in case there is anything we have in mind to buy and I would put it away in my coupons envelope but I have to figure out how do I remember the offer? For the time being it has just been left lying  around on the office desk.

Coathanger

  • A coat hanger and heating timer left on the back of the settee – the former left by hubby who was up and off to get the London train at 5am this morning. I expect he left it here not wanting to wake me up rummaging in the wardrobe – so we can excuse this…
  • The timer (in the red box) arrived in our house on Tuesday it is to replace the useless one at the cottage and is on our Easter job list but at the moment is waiting for hubby to read the instructions to know if it is definitely compatable with the boiler timer. Note: task for hubby’s task list!

Rotten apple

  • The rotting apple left on the kitchen counter – I discovered this in my fruit bowl on Monday morning as I grabbed an apple to take to work. I put this one aside thinking that I would cut off the rotten bit and possibly cook or eat the rest when I got home… mmmm never got back to it so it is even more rotted now and may just have turned into compost.  Of course I should have sent it over to Sue at 365 Days – £365 she would have it peeled and sliced and turned into an Apple Pie and twenty other dishes in the blink of an eye LOL!  Note task for task list…only joking Sue!!

Spotlights

  • Spotlights left on the landing bookcase – I bought these from Sainsbury’s well over a week ago and left them in the office hoping hubby would replace the spotlights that have gone – I am still hoping!!
  • Tradepoint leaflet left on (you guessed it) the office desk – I have put this where we can see it to remind us to go and pick up a new catalogue at B&Q when passing – problem is I am not sure when we will be passing as we don’t actually ever pass B&Q as it is at the other side of town!

Necklace

  • Necklace left on dressing table (ooops Beauty Station!)– I wore this at work with my black and white outfit yesterday (unusually co-ordinated for me as I hardly ever get as far as adding jewellery) and removed it before bed but it didn’t quite make it to my jewellery box only 5 feet away instead it has spent the night on my dressing table, Beauty Station.   But the reason for this is probably because the jewellery box sits on top of my chest of drawers and the top was covered in a pile of magazines for reading, clean tights to put away, clothes that I had taken off (and should have gone to the laundry basket in my daughters old room as we are limited for space in ours) and didn’t quite make it.

Easter card

  • Opened Easter card left on living room units – I picked this up off the mat when I walked in last night and was so excited to receive a hand written envelope that I just had to open it there and then. It was a homemade Easter card from a friend which reminded me that I must return her recent email as well as send her a card.  Note: task for task list.   I then put it on one side to go and take my coat off and make a drink before starting the tea.

I won’t bore you with the rest but you get the gist and even though I have places to put some of the above and systems to deal with them it is often the shortage of time on a workday evening that keeps me from attending to such things. So I am beginning to wonder if I have the right systems in place.

With this in mind for May I have chosen Developing my Systems to be my Focus for the month and I cannot believe given my track record that I am already planning this.

Putting systems in place

We all have systems don’t we whether they work for us or not. Some we deliberately set up but a large part of our routine is done through habit, both good and bad, and if we don’t develop a habit consciously then we develop one by default and that is often the start of a bad habit in my experience.

So I wondered how good are my systems – do they help or hinder me and could they be done better and most of all could they free up some much-needed self time and stop the feeling of Thursday night burn-out.

If I considered the running of my home and life as a business and the success or failure of my business was in direct relation to how efficiently I manage the day-to-day running then I ask myself ‘am I a good manager or should I sack myself’?

To know the answer to this I reasoned that I have to look at what my systems are now and if they can be improved. I am very much a systems person but not so much a routine person if that makes sense – that is I like things to be done in a certain way or order but I don’t necessarily do the task or maintaining when I should be doing it. For instance I might find myself blogging rather than using that time to cook a homemade meal and one which we are eating earlier rather than later.

In my job I deal with figures all day, adding them subtracting them, percentagising (is that a word?) them and checking them. I tackle each part of my workload like batch baking for the freezer. I am able to keep on track at work because most of my work has a deadline. I am sure my boss would not approve if he found I was planning my menus or blogging instead of billing the Legal Aid files! I stick to doing what I should be because I know I have to.   However, it is different at home as I am my own boss but this is where I fall down because I do go off and work on the wrong thing at the wrong time – now why is that?

To be clear on what my ‘Job Description’ is and of the systems involved I have tried to group the things I do into areas I have responsibility for and this has been my first stumbling block – how to categorise them in a meaningful way.

This is what I have come up with so far

Household and garden management

  • Cleaning
  • Laundry and clothes care
  • Sorting
  • Organising
  • Decorating
  • Gardening – lawn care and plant care
  • Stock control

Financial and Paper management

  • Earning
  • Budgeting
  • Bill paying
  • Saving
  • Document management
  • Purposeful Filing
  • Library stock control

Personal management

  • Wellbeing
  • Healthcare
  • Personal care
  • Socialising
  • Blogging

Meal and food management

  • Menu planning
  • Shopping
  • Cooking
  • Stock control

Wow – you can see why being a working housewife and mother is a full time occupation and I don’t have to include childcare on my list like some of you might!

Have I missed anything and how would you categorise all the things you do in your home and life?  Oh and let me know if you have got some good systems going…

I did wonder if meal planning should be part of household or a separate category and decided it is quite a large category to manage in itself so have kept it separate.

Recently I have been reading about Flow and Lean – some of you may have heard of these concepts.

5s’ has developed from lean manufacturing concepts in warehousing and they are…

Sorting, setting order, systemic cleaning, standardizing, and sustaining

this discipline ensures that money is not wasted to poor organsination or process.   Disorganisation costs money. Each process, from housekeeping to inventory transactions needs a formal, standardised process to ensure consistently outstanding results.

Sounds good to me so I wondered if I could adapt this lean process in some way to meet my requirements.

So in May I am going to get to grips with my systems. Each will get an in depth review and then a possible makeover. For the rest of this month in preparation I will be undertaking a time and motion study really looking at three areas

  • the way I do things,
  • why I put off doing things and
  • could I do them better?

a possible fourth would be could I put off doing them altogether!!

Now please excuse me while I go and put away a few items and get the place relatively ship shape again as well as look at making some Easter goodies and cards.

 

This weekend we (that is me, hubby, daughter No1 and her partner) are all going up to my expectant daughter No 2 to help her decorate and declutter her little cottage ready for baby’s arrival.

 

Have a good weekend x

 

 

 

decluttering, fEAsible, managEAble, my goals, organising, rEArranging, simplifying

Introducing the February challenge…

Simplifying…

I am ready now for my next challenge this month.  I thought long and hard about what it should be as there are a number of areas in my life that I want to address this year, but my word for the year is FOCUS and so I am only allowing myself to do one thing at once, one task at a time through the month.

Although I feel there are some pressing issues like my house needs a big Spring clean, my diet needs attention and I could do with an exercise regime I have decided that a big scale purge on the house must be the next on the list.  There is no point in cleaning the house without first decluttering and simplifying the contents.  Once the house is decluttered it should run smoother and make it simpler and quicker to get ready for work in a morning, plan the meals, cook the tea and deal with the finances or laundry.

Last year I began to simplify some of my belongings but somehow over the months ‘stuff’ begins to creep back in.  I am keen to get started again and everything will be recycled in one way or another, nothing will be wasted, unless it is truly passed its’ sell by date.  I will sell some items on ebay or equivalent as well as sending things to the charity shops.

For those of you who have been following my blog you will know that I am photographing everything other than food (which is on my blog Rerouted) that comes into the house in the hope that it will curb my impulse spending on things I don’t really want or need.

Whilst I am on the subject of recycling one of the things I have been doing behind the scenes is making a ‘mini’ recycling centre for the boot of my car and here it is –  made in true Blue Peter style from old wine boxes that you get in Sainsbury’s.

Mini Recycling

Mini Recycling Centre

The reason for this is that I have a few recycling items that our local council cannot deal with and I can drop these off in the local supermarket and other shops that do.  Having them ready in the boot of the car means that if I know I am going to be shopping near or in this store after work I can take them with me to work, transfer them into a carrier and then deliver them to the shop.

Mini Recycle

This fits snuggly into the boot of my car and the sections enable me to sort the items ready to deliver to the appropriate place when I have time.

Sainsbury’s take the batteries and carrier bags (though I have few of these)

Argos the used water filters

Rymans and WHSmiths the used printer cartridges

My local wholefood shop Half Moon Street will refund 25p on every empty Viridian Vitamin bottle.

I also return those plastic hanger bits that come with tights to the relevant shops

 

Well what am I waiting for I had better go and get started on the mammoth purge…

fEAsible, getting things done, managEAble, my goals, taking stock

Happy New Year…

Stormy weather at Portpatrick
Stormy weather at Portpatrick

Happy New Year to everyone – I hope you all have a wonderful year and achieve all your hopes and dreams and goals.

As you will have noticed through my lack of posts I have been having a bit of an enforced blogging rest.  Christmas became a frantic race to the end mainly due to high work commitments and a lack of free weekends – too many family get-togethers!

As always at this time of year I am looking forward to a fresh start.

My planner has a new diary and clean task sheets all ready to begin the year – perhaps before I am.

I have been thinking about my word this year and without much effort the word FOCUS has kept dominating my thoughts.

I can identify with the ‘power of one’  Sticking to one goal at a time until the project is finished as I believe I am guilty of taking on or starting too many things and trying to achieve too much at once.  So each month I am setting a new single goal as I feel a month is much easier to plan for once all my other commitments are identified and scheduled.  With my busy work life and not many hours spent at home I precious little spare time to accomplish anything.

Focusing on one goal at a time does not mean that I will stop eating healthily or fail to watch my spending – it just means that any spare time will be given over to concentrating on the main project I set for the month.  Each day I will do something towards my main goal.

So my goal for January is to get my finances in order.  This will also incorporate a clearing out of the office and dealing with old paperwork and my filing cabinet as well as the desk drawers.  I shall also be reviewing all my systems for dealing with finances and paperwork to see if they can be made more efficient.

At the top of my blog is a drop down menu  – Focus 2014  – here, if you are interested, is where you will find my list of tasks that I will be doing each day (but in no particular order) throughout the month to bring me closer to my months goal.  I can’t wait to get started!

As I am still playing catch up reading everyone’s blogs please excuse my lack of comments – I see you have all been very busy too and full of new challenges too for the coming year.  I have been reading everyone’s plans and reviews and I will be following your progress over the coming months.

PS –  if you are reading this – I love your sweet little addition to the family Sue and Mavis is such a cute name – I am sure she will thrive with you to look after her.

exercising, fEAsible, goal update, hEAlth, healthy eating, my goals, taking stock

The Healthy Eating Challenge – September update…

Target Date:     31st December 2012

Target Weight:    8st 12lbs (without clothes)

Target waist measurement:     28″

Starting Weight:    9st 5lbs (without clothes)

Starting Waist Measurement:   33″ (yes you have read that correctly!)

 

 Target for 30th September 2012: 

Lose 1lb (this will be measured by staying 1lb lighter for more than 7 consecutive days)

This was a mini target for this month to allow for research and implementing ideas

How did I do?

Major Achievements: 

eating an apple a day for my morning snack

drinking only water at work

avoiding cakes and biscuits at work – almost (see below!)

eating less food for evening meal on a smaller plate

taking daily supplements and Flaxseeds

Teeny Weeny Temptations:

I Chocolate Mini Roll (at home – bought to cheer husband up)

I packet of Chocolate Raisins (from Macmillan box at work)

1 tiny party plate of crisps, cheese and french bread (birthday treat at work)

1 Afternoon tea with jam and cream Scone and Trifle (at John Lewis)

Could do better:

Increasing my steps at work – getting up and going to see people rather than email – I have made a conscious effort but not quite good enough

NGOTGY:

(not got off the ground yet)

An evening walk

Yoga

Lots more sleep

Choosing new recipes

Preparing and taking lunches and planned snacks to work

And now the measurements…

Weight as of 1st October:  9st 3lb (yes yes yes I did it 🙂 )

Waist measurement: no change at 33″ (sigh! 😦 )

All in all not a bad result – I have been consistently at 9st 3lb either just over at 9.36 or just under at 9.28 now for the last seven days so I think I can claim a small victory here and really that has been achieved without too much hardship – it is notable though that these little changes have had a desired effect.

The Difficulties

My draw backs have definitely been that I really haven’t had the time to spend on my challenge and I am hoping when we are back to normal life at our house (when daughter and partner return to theirs – getting closer!) I will have more time to spend on myself. 

Work is pretty manic too at the moment my colleague on long term sick now awaiting radiotherapy and her second op in January and my helper off sick this week too!  So I have been holding the fort on my own and I am absolutely worn out this week.

My Teeny Weeny Temptations are obviously when I am either at work or out and about rather than when at home – it is easy to see the pattern when it is documented like this.

The Positives

As you can see from my NGOTGY section I have plenty of work to do to implement the changes I set for myself last month but after doing this challenge over the last few weeks I realise that it is the small and simple changes that are lasting.  The ‘apple’ as I have said before has become my symbol for this challenge and I cannot imagine walking out of the house in the morning without it  – it would be like going out without my keys or my bag.  I automatically reach for my supplements before getting my breakfast and I am so used to drinking water now that my colleagues do not even ask if I want a cup of tea, however, I will be re-introducing a herb or green tea to my list as this is quite a healthy drink.

 

The Next Steps

So from what I have learnt already I have decided to introduce each new challenge more gradually and break each one down into a smaller task than I had first planned.  So my next task this week is to spend time sifting through all my recipes and make myself a folder of snacks, lunches and meals that are easy to prepare, low on calories and high on nutritional value.  From this I will make some kind of menu plan and then a shopping list and then implement the changes starting with lunches for work.  The reason for choosing this first is that when I buy my lunch I have no idea of the content or calorific value.  I suspect that the soup I get from the local sandwich shop, although homemade, is laced with fats, fresh cream and salt – homemade would be much better.

On the Yoga front – I have photocopied some of the Asanas that I wish to work on with a view to laminating these as A5 cards to stick to the wall.  As my only real space for such exercise is in the living room and I do not feel I can contort myself into weird and wonderful positions in full view of my future son-in-law I will have to wait until I can have a little more privacy in the house.

 If I manage to get more sleep that will be a bonus and I will make an effort to set a limit of going to bed before midnight but this will not be a focus this week.  I am expecting that when we are back to the two of us the cooking and washing up marathon that I have now will ease and we will be able to eat much earlier giving me my evenings back.

The October Challenge

I set myself the goal of losing 2lbs for this month so I would then reach a Target Weight of 9st 2lb by October 31st (which has to be fairly consistent for 7 consecutive days to qualify).  As I have dropped more than I thought for September I have a little slack here and am already ahead.  It will be interesting to see if the changes I have already made and adhered to keep my weight constant and when I implement my next tasks how much impact they have.  Wish me luck!

PS  For more ideas have a look over at Laura’s site movetoportugal – I noticed this week she too is setting herself a few targets to lose weight.  I wish you well Laura – I am looking for good ideas so will be following along with you.

exercising, fEAsible, hEAlth, healthy eating, my goals

The Healthy Eating Challenge…

 

Target Date:     31st December 2012

Target Weight:    8st 12lbs (without clothes)

Target waist measurement:     28″

Starting Weight:    9st 5lbs (without clothes)

Starting Waist Measurement:   33″ (yes you have read that correctly!)

 

Target for 30th September: 

Lose 1lb (this will be measured by staying 1lb lighter for more than 7 consecutive days)

This is a mini target this month to allow for research and implementing ideas

Changes I have made so far –

  • Eating one apple each day:  I have done this religiously on my working days
  • Buying biscuits that are lower in calories: I have bought a supply of Fig Rolls each one is only 61 calories – I ate 4 during the weekend at the cottage but we were doing plenty of manual labour – doesn’t that help burn the extra calories off?
  • Avoiding cakes and biscuits at work:  I have been tempted only 3 times in three weeks – main culprit was the M&S Chocolate Teacakes – 75 calories each.
  • Measuring the amounts of yoghurt and cereal for breakfast
  • Taking my supplements, omega oil and a sprinkle of Flaxseeds
  • Drinking only water at work – partly so I don’t have to go to the kitchen and pass the tempting cake laden table at work

 

Small and not so small changes I need to address next –

Diet (Food and Drink intake and portion control)

  • Make a snack plan – I need to take another snack to work for the afternoon and add some protein to my apple snack in the morning – as I have read this makes it a more balanced way to eat.
  • Eat 2 Brazil nuts each day this will give me all the Selenium I need for the day
  • Introducing a salad at lunchtime while at work Monday – Thursday
  • Search my recipe books for some quick healthy meals to replace any ready meals that I might be tempted to use when I need a quick meal.
  • Look at using a smaller dinner plate – our cereal bowls are already fairly small and I am weighing my breakfast so they are not a problem.

Sleep

  • I need to go to bed at 10.30 each night to get a good 8 hours sleep as I usually get up at 6.30am – bearing in mind I am sometimes stumbling into bed at 12.30 I may find this difficult to adjust and get everything done that I want to within waking hours if there are fewer – so bear with me if I do not reply to comments left or indeed comment on your posts whilst the adjustment takes place!

Exercise

  • This could be my biggest challenge and it really will be little steps as I will struggle to fit in any time for exercising.  At one time I attended a Yoga class every Monday evening and would like to get back to this but I will have to wait until my daughter moves back into her own home (any day week now!) as meal times are a bit frantic at the moment and I can’t cope with any more comings and goings.  So I will practice three yoga exercises in the morning and evening, the Cat Pose, the Tree Pose and the Triangle Pose.
  • I will increase my number of steps in a day – as I don’t know what my average is at the moment I might think about buying a pedometer – until then I will try to go for an evening walk around the block – this however depends on how early we can eat our evening meal, since my daughter and her partner have been here it is approaching 8.30 before we eat.  Once they move out I can aim for 7.15pm when my better half gets home.

Visualising

  • I have read somewhere that it helps to have a mental picture of what you want to look like and to post pictures of this image around the house – so this is mine – a nice trim waist!

English: Woman Measuring Waist.

My thoughts and intentions –

There are a number of major adjustments to make like going to bed early and making tea earlier so I may do this in gradual 15 minute step reductions every other day over the coming week until I reach the target time.  Life is difficult at work at the moment as my colleague has recently had her breast removed and if she has to have radiotherapy it may be a while until she is back  (she is doing remarkably well though and sailed through the op) but meanwhile I have a heavy work load to keep up with and cannot guarantee getting away at 4pm on the dot.

I need to get down to some serious planning now for the snacks and meals so I have time to prepare and shop for them.

I also want to photocopy the Yoga poses and laminate them A5 size so I can stick them with those yellow sticky pads to the wall where I can see them.

So after a quick roam around my favourite blogs I had better start as I mean to go on and begin preparing for bed and a good LONG nights sleep. 

Night, night everyone x