Friday, September 25, 2015

Broken Records Can Be Replaced

I've tried this whole "get-healthy-feel-better-make-a-ridiculous-amount-of-changes-all-at-once-and-become-insanely-overwhelmed" thing so many times before.  So.  Many.  Times.

And then something happens.  Something stressful.  Something bad.  Something overwhelming.   Just.. SOMETHING.   The thing that makes me crumple in a ball and wish it all away.  Which leads to totally derailing the plan, and beginning the whole process over again a few weeks/months/years later.... with an extra dollop of shame and self-loathing, of course.

Then.. I turned 30.  And I thought.. do I seriously not have this figured out yet?  The thing is, I do have most of it figured out.  I just kept sabotaging myself and beating myself up every time I failed. I have the head knowledge, I just need to put it in action and accept the fact that I'm human, I'll fail -- but that doesn't mean I have to continue failing. 

So that's what I've been doing the last few months.  Slowly working towards that goal again. Get healthy.  Feel better.  Move more.  I've tried and failed so many times, I didn't want to broadcast this time because.. what if I failed again?

But I haven't.

Well, wait.  That's a lie.  I have.  But the difference is, when I fail.. I pick myself up, remind myself what I did wrong, and move on - RIGHT AWAY.  Every day is a new day.  So I didn't push that work out as hard as I could, I will next time.   This is a huge difference in my thought process - and it's making a bigger impact than I ever thought it would.  In fact, I've gotten further than I ever have.

Most people have that number in their minds.  That weight they'd like to be, the mile time to hit, the weight to bench, the pant size, the paycheck, etc.  We all have goal numbers.  I have quite a few.   But my first number... it was to see the scale number I hadn't seen in a long time.  If I had to guess, I'd say it's been about ten years.  In previous attempts, I'd gotten SO CLOSE... just to throw it away on one of those "somethings" I wrote about first.  This time, I was determined that wouldn't happen.

Then, one morning... I saw it.  I SAW IT.  And my heart dropped.  And a smile invaded my face.  I DID IT.  I FINALLY FREAKING DID IT.   And the funniest part - this particular morning was a terrible one.  I hadn't slept, I had a huge workload looming over me, and I was just not feeling anything or anyone.  It's funny how something so little can turn our mood around, huh?  I went from "I'm so tired I can't see straight, no one talk to me or risk being throat punched" to "YESSS THIS IS THE BEST DAY EVER!"

So I feel like I've been a broken record lately.. but guess what?  I replaced the record.  So let's have a dance party and celebrate.  This is only the beginning.

Now, onto that next number...

Friday, April 17, 2015

Hi, My Name is Kristin, and I'm a Bleach-aholic.

A lot of my posts are directed at food, exercise, weight loss and the like... but that's not all it will be! 

Here's a big topic:  CLEANING.

I always thought the DIY stuff was way over my head... I didn't have the energy, time, or money to really invest in making what I could easily purchase....or did I?  I didn't even know what it involved.  Just the thought of doing it made me tired.  Plus, no matter what.. I didn't want to give up my beloved bleach.

I *LOVE* BLEACH.  I'm slightly ashamed to admit it,  but I do.  I love the smell of it - it just smells like clean.  But it's easy to get carried away with bleach, something else I admit to doing. 

Did you know, the people who work in factories that package bleach have to wear loads of protective gear? Like goggles, gloves, face masks... That's kind of frightening.  What they're treating as toxic I'm freely (dare I say - cheerfully) pouring over every surface in my house.  Eeesh.

I've been on the organic, natural 'bandwagon' for a while when it comes to FOOD (well, I was on it partially, anyway - it took me a while to fully commit!)... but honestly didn't give what I use in the shower, to clean the house or in the laundry much of a second thought. 

But if you think about it, our skin is our largest organ.  Shouldn't it matter what I'm slathering all over it?  Whatever goes on my skin is absorbed into my body. And what about my lungs?  Surely breathing in chemical fumes every time I clean the bathroom or the floor can't be good, right? ....  Right.

The last few cleaners I've purchased were the Seventh Generation line - you know, the all-natural 'green' cleaners.  But they were getting expensive!  I came across coupons and sales, but still felt like I was spending an awful lot for what they did.

So... I decided to start researching how to clean naturally... and the answers kept coming up the same few ingredients:  white vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, and peroxide.  Over.... and over.... and over.  That seemed too simple.  There must be more... right?  Wrong.  You can easily clean your entire home with just those few ingredients!   And, at a fraction of the cost of those "green" store-bought cleaners!

I was sold.  I sat down with my husband and told him what I was thinking of doing, and all the reasons why.  I'll be honest - I expected him to roll his eyes with a "sure, honey - whatever you say" kind of response... (not that he normally does that, but come on - we're talking about cleaning.  It's not exactly exciting material.)  But to my pleasant surprise, he was totally on board and agreed that the fewer chemicals we use in our daily lives, the better.  Yippee!

So I made myself a list for what I'd need. 

My first "introductory" DIY Cleaning recipes are going to include:
-Homemade household cleaners
-Homemade garbage disposal cleaner
-Liquid laundry detergent (recipe courtesy of the Duggars, conveniently down-sized to normal family proportions by Ryanne)
-Homemade hand soap
-'Homemade' Dove body wash 
-DIY, all natural berry cleaner (and bonus: it helps them last longer, too!)

Trying to make this as cheap as possible, I made 2 lists - one for dollar store items, and everything else I'd try to purchase at Meijer (luckily, my favorite dollar store carries so many great and useful tools, and is less than a half mile away from Meijer!).

Here's what I purchased from the Dollar Tree (I love that place!):

(2) 64oz containers, with lids
(2) ice cube trays
(1) cheese grater (to grate soap)
(1) jar with lid (to store soap shavings in)

Then I went to Meijer for the rest of my supplies.  I purchased:

Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
Fels Naptha laundry bar
Lemon Juice
Hydrogen Peroxide (with a spray nozzle - it cost way more than the regular bottle, but I plan to buy it once and just keep refilling it with the larger, cheaper bottles!)
White Vinegar
Large Bucket (to mix laundry detergent)
Glycerin (For soap making)
Bar soap (preferably Dr. Bronners)

*Note - to make your own soap, you'll need a large pot, preferably an old one you won't need to use for food anymore. Doesn't need to be anything fancy, if you don't have one look for one at the dollar store!  Luckily we had one on hand, it's now my soap-making pot!

Voila! This is my official 'starter' kit for making all kinds of things!!  
I've made a few items on the list and am working to make more...  So stay tuned to upcoming posts for recipes and how-to's for making your own products and cleaning your home the natural way! 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Betting on Myself

Today is a big day for me!

First, it marks my 2 week mark on the Paleo Autoimmune Procotol (AIP for short).  I feel better physically, mentally and emotionally.   

I honestly thought this was going to be really hard.  Because.. I love bread.  No, seriously.  I have an unnatural affinity for bread.  My philosophy has always been that no meal is complete without some sort of bread!   And I often get hit with some serious sugar cravings.   So I was thinking this would be torture, but to my surprise - it's not.  At all.

Sure, I've had cravings here and there but nothing I can't handle!  I just need to re-wire my brain to appreciate *real* food, and I can tell just 2 weeks in that it's working!  In addition to feeling better overall, I've also lost 4% of my body weight in 2 weeks... just by eating real food and not processed junk.  Woop woop!

Second, today I hit my weight loss goal for my first DietBet.  If you're asking yourself what DietBet is -- I'll tell you!  It's an absolutely genius idea, and it's pretty simple.  You join a game, and bet yourself $30 that you can lose 4% of your body weight in 4 weeks.  You compete with other members and then the winners who succeed in losing their 4% all split the pot.  What could be better than getting leaner, healthier AND winning a little extra cash? 

My first game was with Jillian Michaels, and it runs from March 7 - April 7.   As of this morning, I have lost my 4% -- even with 8 days left to go! WOOHOO!  I'm excited to find out how much each winner's winnings will be.

I've got a long journey ahead, this is just the beginning - so I'm going to join more DietBet games to help keep my motivation going!  

If you love the idea as much as I do, feel free to join me in the game!   This is my next challenge: Join The DietBet Challenge!