So, when I set my goal this year (to read more about that go here ) about loosing weight I sat down and tried to think of some ways I could make the concept easier. Weight wasn't ever an issue for me when I was younger, but age and pregnancies combined with a somewhat static lifestyle for a few years packed on a lot of pounds unnoticed. At my heaviest I wore a size 22. I've battled for years to take this weight off and now I can fit into a size 10 jean and an 8 dress. I'd like to be in a size 8 jean as well by the end of this year. It was a goal I had last year that I failed to meet. I checked my actual weight (something I never do) and looked at my body critically. My stomach is what's holding me back from those jeans.
But, I already cook 99% of our meals at home. I don't snack often, I barely ever have desert, I have cut chocolate (oh, how I miss thee) out of my life almost completely, and I've added in a lot more physical movement into my life. I really didn't know just how to make things work to trim that extra 20 or so pounds off of my body.
While scrolling through my news feed one evening on Facebook, chatting with a few friends on my personal page, I noticed a picture of two jars. One said, "Pounds to go" and one said, "Pounds lost". I had to share it. And while out shopping this weekend I purchased two vases (from the thrift store) and some green marbles (from the dollar store). Both the vases and marbles can be used for something else when I'm finished with them. I chose not to paint the words on them for the simple fact that one of the vases looks like it has a round belly and the other looks slimmer though not skinny. I placed thirty marbles into the vase with the round belly. Each pound I loose (yes, I suppose now I must weigh myself more often) will move a marble to the slimmer vase.
I could have gotten smaller vases but these ones appealed to me. It also doesn't show that I've so much weight to loose and makes it appear more manageable. My husband liked the idea and so we put the rest of the marbles in a small jar for him that we already had on hand. For each pound he looses he'll put a marble into the slimmer vase as well. At the end of the year we'll be able to see just how many pounds we've both lost.
While I'm still not sure exactly what I'll need to do to peal these last pounds off I know that I will make it. I have a visual representation of my goal and incentive to get there. I'll be looking for some new things I can do this year to slim down those few last inches. Maybe, just maybe, I'll have a few more ideas by this time next week.
I've done a few things to try to simplify things around the house as well. I really get frustrated with the seemingly non stop question of, "Are the dishes in the dishwasher clean or dirty?" I ask it, Daddy asks it, and each of the campers have asked it at least a few times a week. I had a few pieces of the white magnetic scraps left over from the heat vent cover I'd bought a few months back (yes, I know I still need to show how to make the dry erase alphabet magnets) and I had an idea. I took those last two scraps and wrote "clean" on one and "dirty" on the other. The idea is that if the dishes in the dishwasher are dirty the "dirty" magnet goes on it, if they're clean the "clean" magnet goes on it.
So far this is working. It makes it easier to tell at a glance before we open the dishwasher to grab a glass. I made the magnets two different colors so that our non-reader could easily tell by color if the dishes inside were clean or not. We haven't had one question since I made these at the end of last week! Life is already more peaceful.
The other thing that I've done is gone to The Confident Mom site and downloaded her free organizer for household work. I print off a sheet a week, she made a year's worth and it's perfect in my opinion, and check things off as I or someone else in the house gets them done. She also has a set of blank ones that you fill in yourself. I simply cross off the items that don't apply to my house at the beginning of the week, like anything to do with a second floor on the house or a second car. It's actually set up almost like my weekly cleaning plan of several years ago was, but I find this more convenient to use as there's things on there that normally I would forget. This has simplified my days like you wouldn't believe! No longer am I fretting about what I haven't gotten finished in the housework each day. I simply look at this list in the morning to see what I need to do and keep it where I can look at it throughout the day. In the evening before bed I double check to make sure I did everything on the list. I don't do it all at once either, I fit each small item to check off into whatever else we're doing that day.
She only has two things listed on Sundays to do: plan your weekly meals and review the family weekly calender. I already do these things on Sundays so it's one of my favorite things that these are on there. It means that even if it slips my memory one glance at this sheet will remind me to do it. She also has things listed like "get moving", self care, and personal time. Things I need to be reminded to do in my life as the children, husband, household, and pets usually get my attention before I'll take ten minutes to myself. I've been doing well taking time for myself each evening for a few months now, but we all know on those busy days when life is going 100 miles an hour we usually forget to take care of ourselves.
So, thus far, these are a few things I am doing to simplify life. So far these things are working for me. Of course there's more I can do and these things are just the tip of the iceberg, but for this moment I am happy that I'm taking these steps to make life more simple in my home.
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