Saturday, 28 February 2009

How I Fit In Exercise With Seven Children

Some of you have asked how I find the time for exercise when I have so many children. I intend to give an example of how I fit my exercise into my daily life by sharing today's routine on the elliptical machine. (Do not read further if toddler toilet habits gross you out.)

Ideally, all of my three youngest children would take their naps at the same time, leaving me plenty of time to exercise. Sadly, this does not happen every day. In fact, it happens quite rarely. But, ever the optimist, I still try to arrange it.

Many days, I wait until my husband gets home from work, so he can watch the three youngest kids while I exercise. This is not ideal as my evenings are very busy, and the later I leave exercising, the higher the chance that I will just say, "Sod it," and not do it at all.

So there are days when I try to fit in some exercise during my children's "nap time." Today was one of those days.

First, I had to make sure that the baby was asleep. He was. So I decided to put the other two children down for their naps. Once this was done, I got on the elliptical crosstrainer and started my exercise. My goal was to fit in an hour.

Ten minutes into my exercise, the baby started crying in the other room. I stopped the machine, wrote down my time, distance and calories burned, and then I checked on the baby. After only a few minutes of feeding, he drifted back to sleep. Great!

Back on the elliptical trainer. Twenty five more minutes passed, and then a little voice from upstairs yelled, "I pooped!" This was my three year old. She is potty trained, so when she yells this, it usually means that her poop is too soft and messy for her to wipe herself and she needs assistance. I stopped the machine, wrote down my time, distance and calories burned on it, and went upstairs. I cleaned her up and washed my hands. I took another peek at the baby to find he was still sleeping. Great!

Back on the elliptical crosstrainer. Before even starting up again, my two year old started yelling, "Mommy, I poopy!" He is not potty trained, so I had to get him out of bed, change his diaper, throw the diaper into the outside rubbish bin, and wash my hands. Then he went back into his bed. I checked on the baby again and found him still asleep. Great!

Back on the elliptical crosstrainer. Despite my two year old asking me over and over to get him different toys and to get him a drink, I kept exercising. I told him, each time, to wait until I finished exercising. I actually got the next 25 minutes of exercise done, partly because it's Saturday and my husband, who had been out running errands, came home and helped out with the younger three while I finished the last ten minutes of my workout.

Easy, right?

Mug Give-Away Winner


Skinny Dreaming Mug

The give-away had 23 people entering and a total of 27 entries altogether. All of the names and extra enties were added into a hat and a name was drawn at random. The winner of a Skinny Dreaming mug is Wheezybouncer! E-mail me with your mailing address and your mug will be on its way!

Friday, 27 February 2009

Will I Win?

This Monday's weigh-in at Slimming World is both another day for us to make low-syn food to bring and share as well as the day the "Greatest Loser" is selected. At last Monday's weigh-in, I had lost more weight than anyone else in the group. I was only ahead by one pound however, and the woman who is one pound behind me has been known to occasionally drop large amounts of weight in a week's time. I however worked my butt off to lose some weight last week and my weight stayed the same.

So this week I'm experimenting a little bit. I'm not having any sugary or chocolaty snacks at all this week. (Usually I allow myself the occasional small treat.) I'm exercising three hours a day too. I did the same amount of exercise last week as well, but I know that I won't be able to keep it up for much past this week. I have too many other responsibilities and things to do to let myself devote three hours of the day towards exercise every day.

It won't kill me if the other woman wins. She's a friend, and I'd be really happy for her. I don't even know if there's a prize involved in winning the "Greatest Loser," but since finding out I was in the lead for it, I want to win. It's silly, I know.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Give-Away Time

Competition Time

I've decided to give out a prize in honor of my upcoming 37th birthday and to help promote my blog a bit more. The winner will be sent a Skinny Dreaming mug from my shop.

Skinny Dreaming Mug

Prizes will be awarded from a random drawing which will be done on my birthday on the 27th of this month at noon, and there are four ways to get entered. You can get up to four entries, but only one entry per method. No entries allowd past 10:00am (UK time) on the 27th of Fbruary.

Ways to enter:
1. Make a comment in the comments section to this post.
2. Mention this contest in your blog, along with a link to this post and tell me you have done so (and give me a link to that entry in your blog).
3. Add my blog to your blog list in your sidebar. (If you have already done so, please let me know.)
4. "Follow" this blog. (If you need to know how to do this, feel free to ask. Those of you who already follow this blog will have an automatic entry.) (If you subscribe to this blog by e-mail instead of "following," let me know.)

Winners will be announced on the 28th of this month.

Not limited to just the US. International entries are allowed as I am shipping this myself.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Back On The Elliptical Crosstrainer

I must admit, on the day my sweet kitty Caspian died, I did not use the elliptical crosstrainer. I didn't use the Wii Fit either. I did, however, still go for the hour-long walk with my husband and our dog. We spent the walk reminiscing about all the good memories that involved Caspian and all the times he had made us laugh.

Yesterday, I did a lot of exercise though. I spent an hour on the elliptical crosstrainer (10.2 miles). I spent an hour and two minutes on the Wii Fit doing aerobics with 15 minutes of that time using hand-weights. And I still went with my husband to walk the dog, walking for an hour.

I doubt I'll be able to fit three hours of exercise in every day, but my kids are all off of school this week. Having the teenagers home makes it a little easier for me to fit extra exercise time in. And now that I am under 200 pounds, I intend to put some distance between me and the 200 pound mark.

Because talking about the funny or cute things Caspian did turned out to be really cathartic, I started a new blog to continue to do this. The Kitty's Corner

There's nothing in it yet, but there will be later today. Please send me stories and pictures about your beloved cats, whether they have passed on or are still around, and I will include them in the blog. You can ask for a link back to your site and let me know what name you want credited for the story. With permission, I would like to include the best stories in a book compilation. (Note: You must be the copyright holder of the stories and photos.) You can send other things too. For example, my husband drew a couple of comics based on our cat that I will post there. And a friend of mine painted a beautiful portrait of her cat that I'd love to share there.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Caspian Died

Robert just called from the vet's, and our cat Caspian had to be put to sleep. He had liver failure and was dying anyway.

I'm in tears.

Sick Kitty

Our almost-eight-year-old cat, my favorite pet out of all the pets I've ever owned, is very sick. We had an appointment for him to be seen tomorrow, but he was so sick that I was worried he wouldn't make it until tomorrow. I convinced the vet to squeeze him in to be seen today. The news is not good. My husband has now had to take him to their vet hospital branch for tests. If he has what the doctor suspects, it has a 100% mortality rate and I will lose my beloved cat.

I think I'm going to lose my cat, but I am still holding out hope that the tests will find that something else, something treatable, is wrong with him.

In the meantime, the stress and sorrow have me crying and I am struggling not to binge eat. (I won't. I can win at least at this.)

Our elliptical crosstrainer (the replacement for out third broken one) arrived today. I may need to workout some stress on it.

A picture of my cat, Caspian:


I went to my Slimming World meeting yesterday for my official weekly weigh-in. I lost another 1.5 pounds! That makes my weight 199 pounds! I have now officially reached Onederland! Woohoo!!!!!!

Starting weight: 272.5 pounds
Weight this week: 199 pounds
Total lost to date: 73.5 pounds

It feels GREAT!!!

I still have 64 pounds to lose to reach my goal weight, but I am really confident that I will reach it.

My husband Robert lost 2 pounds. After having several weeks of small gains, he was really happy to see the scale go down. We are both planning to jump start our losses into a slightly higher amount this week IF our new elliptical crosstrainer arrives. The replacement for our last one was supposed to be delivered yesterday, but it never arrived. We are hoping it gets delivered today.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Yesterday, I upped my Wii Fit exercise and used the hand weights again. My arms, neck and shoulders are aching but in a good way. Robert and I went for a walk last night that lasted three hours. My legs are really sore today!

We didn't get to bed until after midnight last night, so he gave me my Valentine's gift then. He bought a therapeutic massage oil and gave my back a wonderful and thorough rub down. This is why my back is not hurting today.

I have already got the crockpot on with the bean soup in it, and I plan on relaxing today. I still intend to get some exercise in later today though.

We had some good news about our elliptical crosstrainer. The store manager where we bought it told us a replacement would be delivered to us on Monday. It'll be great to get back into my workouts on the machine again! And hopefully it will give another boost to my weight loss.

Hope everyone is enjoying their Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Trigger Foods

I am finding on this journey that certain foods are trigger foods for me. I don't go on all-out binges anymore, because I would have to log those into my food log and the calories numbers would haunt me all week. But certain foods still cause me to want to eat more, and I wind up with a higher calorie count for the day on days when I eat those foods.

About a month ago, I tried having oatmeal for my breakfast in the morning each day as a healthy start to the day. Unfortunately, oatmeal turned out to be a trigger food for me, and I would either go over my calorie allotment for the day or I would struggle all day fighting cravings and the urge to eat.

Oatmeal is a trigger food for me.

I recently learned that oatmeal is a common trigger food for people. I wonder how many people who have this problem with oatmeal have yet to make the connection. Trigger foods can be different for different people though. While oatmeal might be a trigger food for me and many others, there will be others who have different trigger foods or more than one trigger food. Chocolate is another common one. Most trigger foods are carbohydrate-rich foods.

Have you discovered what your trigger foods are?

New Recipe Blog

I started a blog to put the recipes I have tried out all in one place, with pictures of the food Robert and I have made. I wil still post them as I make them here, but in my recipe blog, it will just be recipes and all in one place, so it will be easier to search for recipes you might want to try out. Skinny Dreaming Recipes (I also have it listed in my sidebar now.

Monday, 9 February 2009

A Little Closer To Goal

I'm down another 1.5 pounds, so I'm at 200.5 pounds, and I've lost 72 pounds so far. :) Onederland is so close!!!!

I can do this!!!

Finding Time To Exercise When You Have Young Children

As most of you know, I have seven children. Three of them are teenage girls, so they don't hinder my exercise time in any way, other than trying to talk my ear off occasionally while I am concentrating on a complicated move. But finding time to exercise with small children in the house is a lot more complicated.

My younger four children are aged 6 years, 3 years, 2 years and 10 weeks. I find that I often have to wait until the evenings to do my workouts because that is when the teenagers and my husband are home. But the teenagers usually would rather be playing video games in the other room and the husband sometimes has to work late (or also would rather be playing video games in the other room), so there are times I have to be more creative with my workouts.

Last night was one of those times. The baby started crying while I was exercising. And nothing calmed him. His diaper was dry and he didn't want to eat. He just wanted to fuss. I had been exercising for about 20 minutes, and I wasn't getting much of a workout because I had to keep stopping to try and calm the baby.

I finally gave up and came up with a different solution. Here are a couple of photos of my solution.

Yes, my hips look enormous, and yes, my my workout clothes are very baggy. (I've dropped a few sizes since I bought them.) The toys in the photos are not as close to me as they look, and I had a burp rag over my shoulder because the baby spits up often.

The really great thing was that Cameron stopped crying while I exercised with him this way. And when I stopped for a moment, he started to fuss again. When I started to do the stepping exercise again, he fell asleep. After 25 minutes of doing Wii Step Aerobics with Cameron in my arms, my back was killing me! The workout did become a lot harder though and I built up more of a sweat, so that was good. I might have to do this form of exercise more often!

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Before And During Photos

Here are the "before" photos Robert and I shared during the Slimming World Mr. & Mrs. competition.


Here are a couple of photos taken of the two of us a week ago on January 31st.

And these are photos that our friend Paula took of us at the meeting where we won the Slimming World Mr. and Mrs. award last Monday. The photos are a little blurry, but she was taking them on her mobile phone.

I still have a lot of weight to lose, but I've come a long way already! (I cringe when I look at my "before" picture.)

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Slimming World's Mr. & Mrs.

Tonight at Slimming World a couple of things happened along with our weigh-in. Today was a "bring and share" where everyone is supposed to make and bring some food to share with others that is either low-syn or syn free. I made a pasta dish with some food I had on hand.


Two cups of whole wheat pasta
1 red onion (finely chopped)
2 Quorn sausages (grilled)(If you don't have the brand Quorn in your area, it is vegetarian versions of meats, so there was no actual meat in the sausages.)
2 medium eggs (boiled)
3 tbsp. extra light mayonnaise
100g low-fat cheese (grated) - optional
seasoning to taste

Boil the pasta until soft and then drain. Add three tablespoons of extra light mayonnaise (or make Slimming World's syn-free mayonnaise if you are following the plan) and mix in until all of the pasta is lightly coated. Add seasoning to taste. (I use Nature's Seasons seasoning blend, but it can only be found in the US. I get it shipped to me by friends and family.) Chop the sausages into small bits and mix in. Mix in the chopped red onion. Dice up the boiled eggs and mix into the pasta. Sprinkle the grated cheese over (while the pasta is still hot) and mix in.

Robert made brought his chicken, rice and vegetable casserole dish. (He made so much of it last time that he froze half of it, so this time, he thawed the frozen portion and heated it up along with some onion stock.)

My friend Helen made a Banoffee Pie from a recipe on the Slimming World site. It was really yummy! I went back for seconds, but the other members had gone back for seconds before me and it was already gone.

Robert and I, being the only couple going together to the meetings, were up for this year's "Mr. & Mrs." competition. Other members, if their significant others were losing with them even though not members, could have tried to win it too. But we were the only ones, so we won by default. We still had to get up and tell our stories to the group, pass around before and after pictures, and answer questions. (I will post the before and after photos that we shared in a separate post later.)

We won a little paper-weight and pen set which were engraved, and we got a sash proclaiming us the winners. It was fun, although I get terribly nervous standing and talking in front of people, even though I know most of them already. There was also a sticker to put in our Slimming World books.
Mr & Mrs Slimming World 2009 gift
Mr & Mrs Slimming World 2009 gift2
Mr & Mrs Slimming World 2009 gift1
Mr & Mrs Slimming World 2009 sash
Mr & Mrs Slimming World 2009 sticker

I found out that there is a "Most Weight Lost" competition later this year, and I am only a few pounds away from overtaking the lead loser at the moment, so I've got a slight chance of winning it!

I lost 1 pound this week. That now means I weigh 202 pounds. My starting weight was 272.5 pounds, so I've lost 70.5 pounds so far! I also hit my 5 stone marker. (In England, people state their weight in "stones" which are equal to 14 pounds. I've lost 5 stone and half a pound.)

I was actually disappointed that I only lost one pound. I worked just as hard this week as last week, but last week I lost four pounds. I am so close to Onderland and I want to reach it so badly! In retrospect though, I am no longer annoyed about only losing one pound. I'm proud of it. I've decided that it would be really great to reach Onederland by my birthday. My birthday is on the 27th of this month, so I have 3 weeks and 4 days to lose 2.5 pounds or more. I can so do this! Even at my slowest pace of losing, I can still reach that target! It'd be great to reach it this week and be further into Onederland by my birthday, but I'm just taking each week and each day as it comes.

I also just realized that LAST week, I reached another of my mini goals, which was to lose 25% of my starting weight! I needed to get down to 204 to reach that mini goal and last week I was 203. Now I'm 202. I'm creeping ever closer to each of my mini goals along the way. I've now reached 12 of the 25 mini goals I have set for myself.