25 March 2010

This morning I was thrilled to see that I've hit a nice number of 30 lbs of weight loss since I first weighed myself after Olivia's birth. With the help of a handy dandy online calculator thingy, I've learned that I've lost 30 lbs in 29 weeks. (For anyone who's trying to count up on their fingers, I weighed myself at 6 weeks postpartum because nothing other than making it though the day really counted before then.)

And because I like lists of things, I thought it might be fun to look at what I've been doing that has helped me to lose weight. Maybe it'll help me reach some new realizations, maybe it'll give someone else some ideas of things to try, or maybe it'll just entertain me for the short bit of time I have until Olivia realizes I've snuck out of the bedroom.

So here I give you my top ten!

1. Eating homemade foods. Seriously, this is the biggest one by far. Eating out made up for a lot of the pregnancy weight (well, that and a ridiculous amount of yummy cheese) and eating foods that I have prepared at home is helping me to drop those pounds. The stuff I cook is never as salty, greasy, sauce-covered, or outright enormous as the things that are usually found on plates at restaurants.

2. Using my brain while eating out. Those times when we do eat out, I make a huge effort to choose wisely. I often choose salads with yummy toppings, grilled chicken, and no salad dressing. I omit things - bacon bits are good but not really my friend. I work to make what's on the menu fit my needs instead of just ordering the first thing that makes me salivate.

3. Running. Oh my goodness, have I ever been happy to get back into running! I reap so many benefits from running. I burn calories. I'm inspired to make better eating choices. I get hugely encouraged by the quicker changes on the scale. I feel more completely me. I'm happy during the run to be running, after the run to be buzzy, and the next day to be full of energy as a result of working out. Have I mentioned that I love running?

4. Cleaner eating. One of the biggest shifts in mindsets for me has been to stop looking at crappy foods as a deserved treat. Eating foods that are good for me leave me feeling good in my body, a bigger reward by far.

5. Acknowledging emotions. Yeah, this one goes hand in hand with the previous one. Emotional eating is a lot easier to avoid when you actually deal with your emotions. Shocking, hey? This area is a work in progress but I'm human so I'm ok with that.

6. Oatmeal! I've learned to love the mush. Most mornings, the kids and I eat oatmeal for breakfast. We've all learned our favourite doctorings (I like honey, ground flax seeds, and chopped up strawberries if we have them). With that bowl of oatmeal in my belly I not only avoiding eating cold cereal but I often coast straight on through til lunch before I get hungry again.

7. Smarter lunches. I like sandwiches for lunch but they really don't do much for me in the "get some veggies in there and stay full for a while" category. I try to keep cooked rice or quinoa in the fridge so I can do a Kim-sized (ok, Kim and Olivia-sized) stir fry to toss on top. Much yum, no peanut butter.

8. Snacking on fruits and veggies. Eating a banana or a mango for a snack serves me a lot better than eating muffins or salty trail mix. I try to keep a bag of sugar peas in the fridge for evening munchings because they're sweet enough to taste like an indulgence.

9. Not bringing crap in the house. Really, you'd think this would be a no-brainer hey? If I buy the bag of yummy cookies, I may think I'm going to leave them for the kids but truly I know that I'm just going to take a few here and there until they're all firmly living in my thighs instead of making it anywhere near the kids' snack plates.

10. Keeping the momentum going. If I've had two or three good runs during the week and four or five days of clean eating, I'm a lot less likely to make bad choices. If I've had a few days of eating for the sake of eating and eating foods that don't serve me well, I make a conscious effort to get my ass back in gear. Once I'm back on track the coasting is much easier.

And so there you have a snapshot of what I've been doing and how it's been working for me. I've got quite a ways to go until I make it to my goal weight, but I'm going to focus only on the success I've achieved so far. Well, that and all the running I plan to do this summer. Have I mentioned that I love running?

06 March 2010




One of the things I love most about homeschooling is how my children get so many opportunities to learn things by doing. Lily, being a very typical 4 year old, loves to help out by following me around and by joining in on everything I'm doing. Somewhere in the past year, her "helping" became real helping and she now washes and dries dishes, sets the table, folds and puts away laundry, and makes meals. She gets a real joy from contributing and I enjoy watching the satisfaction she gets from accomplishing tasks.

Here's some of the supper prep Lily did the other night.

Chopping potatoes:




Showing me the work she did:

video

Lily washing dishes and Nick mopping/dancing. (Hhmm, I'm noticing a theme here of Lily in her pj's all day every day...)


And last, but certainly not least, we've got Olivia. At 7 months she can't quite run the washing machine yet but she sure is good at collecting dirty laundry!

05 March 2010


When I imagine what my ideal unschooling life with the kids would look like, I always picture really grand and amazing things. Shelves filled with inspiring resources, trips to mind-blowing places, and interactions with really cool people.

I forget sometimes, though, that so much of the good stuff that really offers the most to my kids is space and time in our own home.

This week, I've been sick with a silly head cold and it's left me tired and grumpy. It's also led me to sitting and just being quiet more, which has turned out to be a really great thing. In the quiet of yesterday, Nick pulled out a Shel Silverstein book that had been sitting on the shelf since we bought it sometime last year. He sat beside me on the couch and read to me, page after page, poem after hilarious poem. I listened and laughed with him while Olivia napped on my lap and Lily sat on the floor listening with that pensive little look on her face she gets when she's really mulling things over.

The second Nick put the book down, Lily grabbed it and flipped back and forth through the pages asking me to read every poem that had an interesting picture beside it. She caught on to some jokes really quickly and with other poems she asked about 75 questions before she caught the gist of it.

The rest of the day was filled with the kids battling for the right to pick out the next poem and Nick, the kid who wouldn't read out loud when we tried to force him when he was in Grade 1, read and read to us until I had to ask him to take a break so other people could have the chance to talk. As soon as Liam got home the kids pounced on him, so excited to share the hilarity with fresh meat. Nick begged him to read "The Bagpipes Didn't Say No" since when he tried to read it himself earlier he could hardly breathe he was laughing so hard.

All it took was one book and some free time at home, and the kids opened up an entire world of language and imagination. And I was blessed enough to be able to witness the joy on their faces and the way their brains whirled and soared at the sound of Shel's treasures. Such a great lesson for me and a reminder of how much learning I'm doing right by my children's side.

Here's some Shel for you:



 

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