Tag Archives: hard work

In other news….

That picture is soooo not me, I don’t have a picture of me working out! Perhaps I should fix that!

Anyway, to start, my stress triggers recap: house hunt/purchase attempt(s), Equifax mumbo jumbo, mortgage application, frigid weather, sinus cold, my dad’s state of being, hormones, relationships/moving-on from pointless hopes, kids being kids…

Yeah: I think that’s most of the ones I’ve talked about of late.

Now add to that my brand new shiny computer had a glitch from a recent Microsoft update, and the resulting frustrations over not being able to work on my dome designs. I had really hoped to have a significant amount of that completed to show here by now, but alas it will have to wait until the glitch is resolved. I won’t have Sunday time to do that until after Thanksgiving, but I very much look forward to the results when I eventually do get to it.

I am slowly chipping away at the process to become a continuing education course provider. Currently I’m on the portfolio/curriculum vitae. It doesn’t seem on the surface that it would be a big deal, but organizing 15 years of applicable skills into the format they are seeking is a bit tedious. So that is not completely done yet either, and I haven’t even started writing my courses. I projected 6 months when I decided to commit, and like all cases, my estimate may or may not be entirely accurate, but I will eventually complete it. One step at a time, as my schedule allows.

Finally, because of all these stress triggers, I’m feeling the need to burn it off – quite literally!

Except when I’m smack dab in the middle of a stress-trip with a spice cake right in front of me, I have little to no appetite. I’m still eating, but finding it easier and easier to stick to healthy items in very small portions. That’s a great thing! Especially since I’m officially eating vegan now; no grains, no meat, no dairy, no soy, no nightshade vegetables; except that darned piece of cake!

Then, I have a strong desire to move nearly constantly. In between clients I am finding myself pacing quite a bit. I’ve also been taking every opportunity to go exercise. Being it’s been so much colder, nearly all of my workouts have moved inside. I’ve been alternating between the Planet Fitness across the street from work and the YMCA near home.

I have been lifting 2 to 3 times a week, except this week because my cold caused a missed day. I do use the dummy-proof machines since I’m not working with a trainer or spotter.

As for cardio, I am still getting at least 40 min of speed walking via treadmill 4 to 5 days a week, I aim for an hour when possible. I fluctuate between 3.8 and 4.2 mph on the treadmill because I so enjoy matching the beat of the music I’m listening to. This last week though, I’ve been working with incline more, to push the cardio aspect a bit. It’s that or run, and I really don’t enjoy running…. ¿Yet!? …. Will I ever?

Anyway, I just wanted to share my progress with my readers to show you really can do anything you want. For me, that just means a little of everything.

My current lifts are all weights based on 3 to 5 sets of 10 reps at a time. I do 2 sessions, with the second hitting 5 sets, before I raise the weight by 5 pounds again. Last week I had a day I pushed a little too far or too fast and I really felt it for a couple days afterwards.

  • Leg press 205
  • Leg extension 85
  • Seated leg curl 90
  • Inner thigh (Adductor) 110
  • Outer thigh (Abductor) 110
  • -Glute extension 70 (I haven’t actually done this one recently so it may not be completely accurate.)
  • Back extension 140
  • Abdominal (curl- arms up) 85
  • Abdominal (curl- arms front) 80
  • Rotary torso 80
  • Lateral raise 55
  • Shoulder press (I just learned this is also called military press, and it was one I had backslide on poorly, I’m part way back up.) 30
  • Tricep extension 55
  • Tricep press 65
  • Biceps curl 30
  • Lat pull down 70
  • Seated row 65

I haven’t been good about logging my times weightlifting in the health tracker- mainly because I log the pounds and sets in a different app and forget to duplicate it, but here’s my average steps and calories views.

I’m not seeing the results myself yet, but several people have said I’m looking better these days. In my pregnancies, that stage was 2 to 3 weeks before I actually noticed changes myself. Besides the scales have not budged, they still stay between 220 and 225. Merh.

I welcome all of you to share your progress in the comments as well. I’d really love to know if there’s anyone out there that I’ve inspired in any way, or encouraged to persevere through their own struggles. And there’s always room for commiseration in fitness journeys!

May you all have easy stress free times. May you have great work-outs with plenty of support. May you find you only desire the calories your body needs. And finally, may you see results of your own hard work.

Siva Hir Su

Flogging Story So Far

Listen: https://youtu.be/BZGkxlLZZsM

I am thanking God I’m alive, yet acknowledging that Nathan and my couple of friends might be sick of my fitness puzzle updates, I thought I’d write it out. My story so far does make me who I am, and currently it’s kinda pissing me off.

Despite having birthed 2 children, losing weight during pregnancy, to reach 190 pounds twice; I’m shaking my head as to why the eff I’m hovering between 200-225 now.

At this point I can honestly acknowledge that I’m doing spectacular by all reasonable definitions. I already knew I was doing decent, but there were a few people that thought I wasn’t eating enough and thus causing my body to think it was starving. Because of their doubts I began to use my Samsung Health Tracker app to its fullest potential to find out for certain if my knowing was accurate or if their doubts were.

I have to say, except for the fact that it doesn’t track the calories I burn doing deep tissue massage, I’m really enjoying the accuracy and details it allows me to track. When I enter food I can pick brands, specify my particular serving, even down to individual ingredients for things like my breakfast shake, and it does all the math for me. I love it.

As you can see below, my worst day of food intake (when I’m at the old job) is the number of calories that many people consume as normal. Yet, for me that now only happens once or twice a month. Most days fall more in the range of what I took in on the 26th, which is more of the 850 to 1100 calories. Which, by the way, gives me plenty of energy. I actually struggle more on the high calorie days, because usually those involve succumbing to my food allergies.

That reminds me of a cartoon that Nathan found a few days ago…..(he’s been sharing memes on this topic with me because I’m ranty about it, he’s trying to help me find levity.)…

Anyway, I find it interesting that my nutrient balance score is low. I have been watching that score system and basically I get a better score when the protein to carb ratio is in a certain range. Unfortunately, I usually eat few carbs. My food intake still has carbs, but much lower ratio than most people. I also try to focus on healthy fats and I eat seafood or use pea protein powder for my proteins since I have had issues recently with red meat and never did do well with dairy or soy. I’m betting they factor that into their algorithm as well.

Moving on: in addition to these super healthy lower calorie days, I’m getting plenty of exercise. Beyond doing massages- which do burn calories, I’ve been doing more yoga and core exercises (leg lifts, variety of crunches, and planks) and walking a ton. Today I’ve done 30 min of yoga, about 40 min of core exercises, and then took an hour walk, keeping up pace with my Flogging Molly mix. My app only counted one of my jogging bits as running, but I picked up the place several times during my walk to keep up with the music. That’s despite the cold weather. *I really do love Flogging Molly for exercise.* My average steps per day is generally over that which the app recommends with few exceptions, and the one high-calorie day I hit 18,000 steps, nearly 8 miles of walking!

I’ve also been reeling in my blood sugars, finally getting my fasting numbers to begin to normalize. I have to say that the walking increase has helped with that, but making sure my dinners are on the light side also did. And blood pressure never was a concern, but I’m logging them anyway to make sure it stays that way.

My stress levels are even doing great and even when I push my speed with the walking/jogging I’m still keeping lower heart rates.

I swear that this meme is too true. Too close to home, but still funny.

Damn those genetics.

Anyway, I’m definitely feeling like all my work should amount to something visible. I have nothing to show for 4 months of dedicated exercise and food control. Except slightly better blood sugars. Oh well, I suppose I know, and regardless of people’s assumptions, I still know I can lift my husband (and most of the people I work on). I’m healthy despite having an obese body. Rawr.

I’ll leave you with 2 appropriate funny memes, and my usual blessing.

May you know your hard work matters. May your determination net visible results. May you see your improvement, and may you enjoy a healthful life.

Siva Hir Su

Lookin’ Up

So the new year has brought challenges, all of which I’ve met so far.

I was hired full time as Activities Director. Yet to see a pay raise from it. Oh well, I’ve come to realize corperations rarely stay good on promises designed to get the good workers to do something. I fell hook, line and sinker for that stinker again.

Cleaned up mess number two from the oaf I filled in for. This time for good.

Lost power for 3 days due to Winter weather and stayed afloat with a minimum of lost wages, and only one night in a hotel.

The ball joint went out on our only vehicle, noticably making noise on a Saturday. We were gentle on the car to get through until the first available opportunity to see our mechanic (Tuesday), and $400 later we were rolling normally again.

Unburrying from oaf’s mess required extra work hours, some of which I voluntarily did off the clock to ensure meeting other needs during the week. Corporate neither knows nor cares, as they are against overtime at all costs, and all they care about is a warm body keeping things moving from resident/outsider perspective. So problem solved. The ones that care, most likely noticed, as I’ve had many compliments about how I’m such a hard worker this week.

The whole mess put together led to weak self-control with food, and reduced sleep, so I did loose my upbeat demeanor briefly on Friday. I apologized to those present and regained composure to complete my work week.

I will get back on my wagon- AGAIN!

I spent part of my week in training for software we currently use, though apparently not to its fullest potential. It left the trainer and I both with things to straighten out technologically. I also pointed out to my manager incongruent polar opposite sentiments between the training that day and the company Facebook posting policy, she essentially said “I know you should have said something to them”. So now I get to be the bearer of an uncomfortable email conversation in hindsight. Yea me. But hey, it might make two of our other processes easier and quicker- more efficient. That’s a good thing.

And I keep trucking.

I’m looking forward to extras I’ve put into the entertainment calendar for February, including a birthday party for myself. I figure since my birthday already falls on a Friday, which is the usual day for music and Happy hour, why not add a few extras to make it special for me. That includes inviting my family and what few friends I still have, to join us -on the house. I’m quite looking forward to it and hoping at least a couple of people can come down for a bit that afternoon. It would go miles to reducing my feeling of ostricized loneliness, something I know is completely an unintentional side effect of working so darned much.

It’ll be a moment of relief regardless of who shows up.

I’ve come to acknowledge that in a way the residents have become my friends and family to a large extent. They genuinely want to know me, how I’m doing, and especially all about my little ones. That means mountains to me. I hope that this arrangement continues to be full of warm fuzzy moments, and sets my steady course to another step better.

May you all clear this winter with warm fuzzy moments of improvement, feelings of belonging, and loving celebrations.

I can only fix me.

This morning started with oversleeping from exhaustion. My infant is still not sleeping solidly through the night, we’re moving, and I’m going on 45 days without any downtime, knowing my next ‘day off’ will encure more heavy lifting.

I made it to work with 5 minutes to spare- only because we grabbed a breakfast bowl from QT, sans the cheese. I get to work and I’m confronted with chatty-Cathy that has spouted a whole mess of broad biased and bigoted generalizations like you’d hear on Fox news, and YouTube followed that with a notification to listen to Cranberries’ “Linger” with Spanish translations.

After the chatty-Cathy I ruminated on writing a long apology to the world. Apology for such an insignificant readership to actually matter, apology that my voice isn’t bigger/louder, apology for the attitudes of middle-class mostly-white over-55 Americans, apology that I’m not able to rise myself up higher/faster to make it known we’re not all like that.

I thought about telling the world to just ignore and walk away from America. That we’ve lost sight of real morals and values (not to be confused with cheap propaganda morals/values) and helping human kind. That America is full of racist bigots that will cast blame on anything and everything someone with any shade of color does, from stealing from our welfare system to opening business here on the American dollar and not paying taxes, both of which chatty-Cathy said within 5 minutes of me walking in.

But then if the world does walk away from America, what’s to come of the few of us genuinely striving for better. What if those few of us eventually need to flee America, where would we go if the world turns it’s back on us.

I realized that I was ruminating from scared, tired, lost and feeling alone. I listened to “Linger” knowing the song well already.

I realized I am a fool, things do go wrong, shit does stink, and sometimes this world sucks badly. I can’t apologize for everything that goes wrong when I’m not in control of those things. I’m also not a victim and refuse to be blamed for every thing that happens, especially when I’m not involved and not around to contribute, and especially when I know I’m already doing my best to help and be a good citizen.

Thus the only thing in my control is working on myself.

I can only vote using my conscious, ignore naysayers and those that insist on following status quo, focus on making my vote fall in alignment with my inner being’s knowing.

I can only focus on finding happy and my next step of improvement.

I can only battle the things that bug me long enough to find a solution. The solution is truly the answer, the battle only begets more battle.

I can only complain long enough to help refocus into a definition of what I need/want, because again complaining begets more complaining, and the solutions are really what I need.

I can’t let things bug me, or I’ll end up being eaten alive by concerns, fears, worries, and guilt.

I can’t keep existing trying to please others all the time. People are finicky and promise things they can’t fulfill. Swear they care, to turn and walk away. Say they like or love something until there’s a cloudy day or they’re simply not feeling like it today. Ask contradictory things of me to either challenge me or prove that I’ll fail, and either way it only accomplishes tearing me down and apart. Say they care to turn and blame me for everything that goes wrong for them. There are only so many apologies I can give before realizing that those apologies fall on deaf ears.

I’m done waisting my breath and heart. I’ve gotten much better at being much quieter, nodding and moving on, even with my own 4 year old. One day I’ll fix myself enough to attract people willing to work as hard as I do, willing to own their own crap as much as I do, willing to improve themselves as much as possible, and willing to work on finding improvement as much as I do, and willing to commit as much as I have.

For now, I must do better at one thing only: finding my happy and my next step of improvement.

The world will continue to be, for better or for worse, with richer and poorer, with birth and health and sickness and death.

All things are in this world and I must do my best to find the best I can, and leave the best mark I can. I must be there for the Divine/God, for good, for myself, for my husband and family. In that order even, as the first 2 really help to be there for myself and my family. That then becomes my legacy by default- was I there for my family enough that they saw my improvement and learned how to find their own improvement.

I wish that for everyone. If we can all accomplish that, eventually this world will seem a much better place. You’ll never eliminate the negatives, but the positives can weigh heavier in our experience, and enrich all of our lives. I wish that for all of you. Be well my dear readers. Find your happy today and most of all days.

Llama chase  fail.

Today was a day of Llama Chase. It started as most days slow but steady.  I overslept only by an hour,  but as I woke,  I kept thinking:  we’re not going to get anything done today. (More on that in a bit).

 I pulled up my calender and began devising a game plan for the day, as I was speaking with Nathan about the day I just kept saying I don’t think we’ll have enough time to get done what I’d hoped to. He said we’ll give it a shot,  do the best we can,  & cover up what doesn’t get finished.  He told me go get dressed and he’d  fix breakfast quick. 
So I started getting kids situated & was about to pull out my clothes.  He said breakfast was ready & immediately exclaimed “Why is there an atv  in the driveway?” followed very quickly with “That’s the llama, why is she out!?”

I was so startled I began the chase wearing only a sarong. No shoes, nothing but a sarong. As I clutched the sarong closed I began to run after JD, the lady llama, trying in vain to guide her back to the entrance of the pasture. I yelled for Anya to go get Ashley,  Jennifer’s eldest daughter. At that point I took off up the hill for toward the old pasture, now owned by someone else. I gave up Chase as Anya & Ashley came back out.  I told them where she ran & said I needed to get shoes to help more. 

I ran back, threw on shorts & tank top & shoes in record time. 

As I made it up the hill Ashley informed me that they had got her part way back & she split for the trees. She said we needed more people. We told Nathan to take Ian over to Jennifer & help us herd the llama.

2 laps around the 10 acres of old pasture later,  the llama took off down the road. All of our attempts to catch her failed,  including trying my scooter, trying riding the horse,  & blocking the driveways with vehicles. 

Another hour later she was on the property of the neighbor a half mile away. He pulled out his atv, explaining she’d been there since last night & he was the one that had run her back 2 hours earlier.  We had no idea she was even out because everyone got home late last night.

Anyway another ATV chase. Still nothing.  The neighbor took phone numbers & said he’d try again later & call when he did.

At that point some of us needed to leave for KC, so stuff was gathered & we left: exhausted, hungry, & thirsty. 

Needless to say,  my intuition was right.  Absolutely nothing was accomplished,  nothing got done.  

….

Now what was it we’d intended to do?

Finish the floor section we had started last week. We’d spent 14 hours one day pulling out 3 layers of patches, one of which was filled with a brown carpet remnant, sheets & yoga mat.  Cutting out old metal piping,  & started laying new joists. 

In that process I’d managed to accidentally grab the tail of a Prairie King Snake as it slithered out of the old drain plumbing. I know they’re harmless,  but it startled me bad enough to squeal for a couple of minutes.

By the end of that day I was so tired & dirty, I  gave up on the idea of finishing until another day.  As Nathan put it we are not a team of construction workers,  it’s just the 2 of us.  We did pretty good,  & left it with the chip board just laying loosely over the open section. 
…. That was last Tuesday, & it’ll be another week until we accomplish the task. Why?

….

Work. 2-  14 hour days last week, with a 16 hour day in between.  Then Saturday & Sunday our schedule was as followed:

Saturday:

5am: leave for Topeka,

7:30 begin volunteering for Dog Show as fundraiser for homeschool group activities

5pm finish with Dog Show day 1, dinner on way home

8pm home, sleep

1am Sunday up for paper route

6:30am finish paper route in Eagleville, potty break,  then head 2.5 hours back to Topeka

9am arrived at Dog Show 1.5 hr. later than planners wanted us there, better late than never.

The ring I was stewarding finished judging at 3pm. Other people including Nathan were still busy. I sat down with Ian & began to get super tired & nauseous. By the time Nathan was done I was slap happy & heavy. Had trouble walking back to the car. Again stopped for dinner on the way home.

8:30 home, put chickens to bed,  then crawled to bed myself.  Whew. 

That was last night,  & now you know why I overslept an hour this morning!

This week is set to be very similar, so hence a week until we’ll get back to the floor. 

But we will, we always keep chugging on.
With that here’s some pics of the floor work & dog show.

Productive happiness! :)

So this weekend we took much stuff to storage.  We purchased and assembled the sides and bottom of the utility trailer.  We  also painted the bottom so that it would last  longer.

Then on the mobile home we finished off the pesky insulation.  There’s not  a stitch of possible asbestos left. And then we started laying the new layer of subfloor.
We’re about a third of the way complete with that. Happiness!

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I also spent some time in the garden.  Everything’s doing great.  I added a few seedlings since the rabbit/chipmunk ate a few of mine.  I  also harvested enough to fill 2 more gallon  bags,  including 7 adorable radishes.

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We also turned our  old futon frame into an adorable trellis; it’s sitting behind my flower patch.

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We hung a birdhouse from our trellis that Anya had painted when she was little. Today a bird was building a nest  in it.

As I stood at the window viewing the garden in amazement,  I watched as the little golden brown bird flew around gathering and then stuffing the birdhouse with grass. Then out of nowhere this amazingly bright beautiful green and red hummingbird flew up to me. It got within inches of my face,  hovered for  just a few seconds and then flew away.  I squealed with delight! I couldn’t have been happier in that moment.  It’s those things that make this whole journey worth it.  Every exhausting,  time consuming moment is worth it when I am able to partake in the beauty of nature around me.

Even though I know we’ll be moving in before the shell is even remotely ready, I’m still looking forward to it. I’ll just have at least a month of  doing my best to maximize every spare moment so that it starts to resemble a home soon.

I’m not woody the woodpecker.

So Sunday I did the garden,  & we started demo on the Ceiling of the trailer (see last posts). So Monday Nathan & I decided to divide & conquer. 

Nathan stayed at the trailer to continue with that theme.  I went back  to the tree cutting to dice & slice what was already felled.   It was a lot of hard work that left my arms & back in excruciating pain.  If we didn’t need the wood for next  winter I think I’d have given up already.   Where’s Woody when you need him? All in all, we both had a very productive day.

My tree accomplishments:

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Nathan found another spray foam baby,  some weird bug remnants,  & clothing & comforters used as insulation in a ceiling patch job. …

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But he got a lot accomplished:

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Hooray for us.

The only catch was: I was so exhausted by bed time that I over slept completely forgetting about my new building.  They called at 10am, & I had a melt down over my screw up.  I never do things like that,  I felt horrible.  Nathan convinced me that because it never happens,  not to worry & call them back with a fib about car break down.  I hate lying, but I felt like such an overwhelmed-overworked-schmuck,  that’s exactly what I did. I rescheduled for  2 weeks  from now  because it was the only day I had available.  Aye, yai, yai…. what’s a girl to do.

I really need the days off that we’re  taking for the visit to grandparents,  but I’m going to spend part of that finishing the paperwork for my accountant to do my taxes!  I forsee a lot of stress, & little (if any) down time in my future 😯.