Links for Friday on Saturday

October 10, 2009 Categories: Extreme Health Makeover , Faith , Homeschooling , News , This and That | 5 Comments  

It’s been a while since I did an update post – and things are always crazy-busy, so here’s the bullet-points version:

~ It’s gotten cold here – we’re running the furnace in the mornings. I’m ready for fall, but praying that we don’t have record snowfall like last winter.

~ Project health makeover is going well. Kevin told me he can see my weight loss in my face. My jeans are loose, too.

~ Michelle is back from England, and I’m loving our weekly chatfests again.

~ I’m going to participate in NaNoWriMo for the first time this year. Wish me luck. I’m trying to talk Natalie and Noah into joining me.

~ I’m also going to take part in the 24-Hour Read-a-thon. Michelle’s taking the boys for a sleepover, and I’m hoping Natalie will be invited somewhere, too.

~ My sister Debra and her ex-husband – who divorced a few months ago – are in counseling and working toward reconciliation. This makes me very happy.

~ I talked to my youngest sister, Marni, on the phone today for an hour and a half. She lives in St. Louis – clear across the country. I miss her. I miss all three of my sisters, and I’m very glad that we’re all getting together in June.

~ I’ve decided that Natalie’s hatred of her history curriculum is not her fault, but the curriculum’s, so am considering a change. (Any ideas? She’s in 7th grade, studying American history from the Civil War through modern times. I’m considering The Story of US.)

~ Speaking of Natalie, it looks like she’ll be braces-free by Christmas, after 2 and a half years.

Well, I think that catches you up. Here are the links:

~ Cursive writing may be a fading skill

~ Buckets comic: Politics through the ages

~ Pictures that make you say ‘wow’: Photographers get up close and personal with wildlife

~ 20 centuries of church history in 4 minutes and 17 seconds

~ “Your Navel Never Lacks Blended Grape Juice”: A More Biblical Study on Alleged “Wine”

~ Confessions of a homeschooler

~ Why Roman Polanski can rot in jail for all I care

~ ‘Whatever’ so totally tops most annoying word poll

On Books and Movies lately:

~ Book Review: Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden
~ Book recommendations from a non-blogger #4 – Rod (Dad)
~ Book Review: The Magicians by Lev Grossman
~ Literary Road Trip: Author Lorie Ann Grover
~ Book Review: Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata
~ Book Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
~ Book recommendations from a non-blogger #3 – Teresa (Mom)
~ Book Review: Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich
~ Book Review: Eleven on Top by Janet Evanovich
~ Book recommendations from a non-blogger #2 – Marni (my sister)
~ Literary Road Trip: Author Dia Calhoun
~ Book Review: The Promised World by Lisa Tucker
~ Book Review: The Purloined Boy by Mortimus Clay
~ Book Review: The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

Extreme Health Makeover – Week 9

September 29, 2009 Categories: Extreme Health Makeover | 2 Comments  


My week of alternating a normally restricted calorie day with a extremely restricted calorie day worked – down 2.8 more pounds. Woot!

Extreme Health Makeover – Week 8

September 23, 2009 Categories: Extreme Health Makeover | Comments Off  


Okay, so I know these haven’t exactly been weekly posts. Life got very busy – and then we didn’t have meetings for two weeks. Plus, one week I gained 1.7 pounds, the next week I lost 1.5, and the next week I stayed the same. Not as much fun to post when the numbers on the scale aren’t going down!

But, our leader – and my husband – have encouraged me to concentrate on the positive changes I am seeing, so here goes:

~ I used to get extremely out of breath just walking up the stairs into the post office. Now I only get kind of out of breath.

~ I was doing 4 miles on the bike in my 20 minutes and now I’m doing 4.6 miles.

~ I feel better emotionally and I’m sleeping better.

At our meeting this week, we were supposed to bring our spouses or other support people. I totally forgot – which I felt very bad about, because from some of the things the other women have said, I have one of the most supportive husbands of the bunch!

I met with my trainer this afternoon, and we’re going to try something new with my calories: alternating a normal calorie day with a very low calorie day, every other one. Hopefully those numbers on the scale will move next week.

Here’s my current workout plan – weights 3 times a week, cardio 4 times a week:

Chest Press – 40 pounds – 3 sets of 11 reps
Pull Down – 50 pounds – 3 x 12
Shoulder Press – 30 pounds – 3 x 14
Leg Press – 100 pounds – 3 x 13
Abdominal – 60 pounds – 3 x 11

20 minutes on the bike – 4.6 miles

Links for Friday – September 18, 2009

September 18, 2009 Categories: Books , Extreme Health Makeover , Kid Stuff , Movies , Reviews , Television , TV on DVD | Comments Off  

Today is Jonathan’s birthday – he’s turning 10. Which means that our house will be inundated with Playstation-playing boys this evening. Three extra boys, plus Natalie’s friend for a sleepover equals 8 kids in our tiny house. Kevin may run away.

I haven’t done an Extreme Health Makeover post in a couple weeks. We didn’t have a meeting on Labor Day and I had a week where I gained 1 1/2 pounds, then the next week lost 1 1/2 pounds, so no further loss so far. Workouts are going well – starting to get into a routine. Listening to the fourth Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants book on audio – makes the workouts go faster.

We’re in a routine with our homeschooling, too – the kids are doing well. The boys love the Horizons Math (we switched from Saxon). Natalie’s not completely thrilled with her history, though I don’t think that’s the curriculum’s fault. She’s enjoying her science and I’m enjoying the short stories we’re reading and discussing.

Even though my web surfing time has been seriously curtailed, I still managed to save a few links to share with you all:

~ Ten Scariest Sea Creatures – and Kevin wonders why the ocean is one of my biggest phobias.

~ The Telegraph: 50 Things That Are Being Killed By the Internet

~ New trailer for New Moon – two people in this house are very excited to see it.

~ Our own Andrea of HJ has an awesome post: Why I Still Homeschool

At Books and Movies recently:

~ Literary Road Trip: Author Jennifer Bradbury
~ Book Review: The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry
~ Whatcha Watchin’? Wednesday – Grey’s Anatomy: The Complete Fifth Season
~ Book Review: The Twelve by William Gladstone
~ Book blogs you should be reading
~ Still time to enter my BBAW Giveaway – win one of eight books. Enter by 11:59 pm PST tonight.
~ Book Review: Girls in Pants by Ann Brashares
~ Literary Road Trip: Author Terry Davis
~ Book Review: Holly’s Inbox by Holly Denham
~ Whatcha Watchin’? Wednesday – Monk: Season 7
~ Monday’s Movie Review: District 9
~ Book Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Extreme Health Makeover: Week Five

September 3, 2009 Categories: Extreme Health Makeover | 4 Comments  


For this week’s meeting, we didn’t have a planned speaker or agenda, which turned out to be a good thing, because it gave all of us a chance to talk and get to know each other better. It’s a bigger group than they’ve had in past years, and it’s taking a while to learn each other’s names, let alone anything else about each other.

The workouts are going well. In case you’re interested, this is what I’ve been doing. (Feel free to skip this part.)

Weights – three times a week:
Abdominal crunch machine – 50 lbs. – 3 sets of 14 (I started with 3 sets of 10.)
Leg press – 100 lbs. – 3 sets of 10 (I started with 3 sets of 10 at 80 lbs.)
Pull down – 50 lbs. – 3 sets of 12 (I started with 3 sets of 10 at 40 lbs.)
Shoulder press – 30 lbs. – 3 sets of 13 (This one kicks my butt. Or shoulders.)
Chest press – 30 lbs. – 3 sets of 14 (I started with 3 sets of 10.)

Cardio – three times a week:
Either 10 minutes on the bike and 10 minutes on the treadmill, or 20 minutes on the bike.

Weight lost this week: 0.4 lbs.

Biggest accomplishment: Three full days at the fair – no fair food consumed.

Extreme Health Makeover: Week Four

August 25, 2009 Categories: Extreme Health Makeover | 6 Comments  


Another week has gone by, and 3.4 more pounds have hit the dust. Woo hoo!

At last night’s meeting, we discussed LAB values. I need to go in to the clinic to have some blood drawn (oh, goodie!) so they can check my cholesterol and glucose levels. The doctor who is on the leadership team – and also happens to be our family doctor, Dr. Bacon (he’s terrific!) – gave us some very encouraging statistics. He talked about metabolic syndrome – which is basically a progression of health conditions that leads to diabetes and heart disease. He said that long-term studies have shown that lifestyle changes like the ones that we are making are more effective than any pill on the market for preventing diabetes and heart disease. That’s pretty amazing!

So, next week, I’ll fast overnight and get my blood drawn. It will be good to know the values (if anyone wants to know what healthy levels are, I can tell you – I took very good notes :) ) and also to see the difference at the end of the year.

Extreme Health Makeover: Week Three

August 18, 2009 Categories: Extreme Health Makeover | 3 Comments  


Another good meeting last night, where one of last year’s program graduates introduced us to SparkPeople, which is a free site where you can track your nutrition, weight loss, and fitness goals. I especially like their recipe calculator, where you can input all of the ingredients of a favorite recipe, tell it how many servings, and then it gives you the nutritional breakdown – essential for counting calories when cooking at home.

So far, I’ve two weeks behind me of cardio three times a week, weights three times a week, and staying within my calorie restrictions. I weighed in this morning and was down 2.6 pounds.

I’ve found that walking on the treadmill for 20 minutes makes my lower back ache, but I can do 10 minutes on the bike and then 10 minutes on the treadmill with no back pain. I’ve increased my weights on two of the five machines I use – and when laughing with the boys yesterday, I felt stomach muscles I haven’t felt in ages.

I also noticed that I’m walking faster when I’m out and about. I know these don’t seem like very big amounts of progress, but to someone who is morbidly obese and been pretty much sedentary for the past few years, it’s a huge deal.

Goals this week include getting my 8 cups of water a day, getting 8 hours of sleep a night, and surviving a trip to a theme park with the kids without succumbing to fair food.

Extreme Health Makeover: Meeting Two

August 10, 2009 Categories: Extreme Health Makeover | 1 Comment  

It was a great meeting tonight – lots of time for discussion and questions. I’m starting to put people’s faces and names together. Mike, the owner of the local fitness club, spoke. I am the most encouraged by the fact that the program’s focus is on realistic goals and gradual change – change that is sustainable. This isn’t a diet, but a program to change our lifestyle and mindset.

Mike is big on anagrams. First of all, he says that biggest key to getting fit is MAGIC:


He talked about goal-setting tonight, using the anagram SMARTER:

Specific goals
Measurable goals
Attainable goals
Relevant goals
Trackable goals
Extra Effort is required.
Revise and Repeat – keep what’s working, change what’s not.

Over the past week, I stayed under my calorie count every day, and I worked out four times. Twice I did both weights and 20 minutes cardio, twice just 20 minutes cardio. When I weighed in on Thursday, I was down 0.4 pounds. It’s a start.

Extreme Health Makeover: Meeting One

August 3, 2009 Categories: Extreme Health Makeover | 6 Comments  

Tonight was the first group meeting for the Extreme Health Makeover. I met the other participants, had my Body Mass Index and Body Fat Percentage measured, took waist and hip measurements, had before pictures taken, and recorded a short video introducing myself. Oh, and they took my blood pressure – after they measured my BMI and body fat. It was a little high. Go figure.

I had to get over my initial reaction, which was, “I’m the biggest person here.” They were all very friendly, though, all happy to be chosen and eager to get started.

I also scheduled my weekly appointments with my personal trainer, Kimberly. I will meet with her once a week to turn in my food diary, report my weight, adjust my calorie intake level if needed, and do weight training. Four more days of the week, I will go to the gym on my own, doing weight training and cardio.

And so it begins.

Extreme Health Makeover

July 28, 2009 Categories: Extreme Health Makeover | 19 Comments  

I am embarking on a new adventure, called the Extreme Health Makeover. I want to tell you all about it, but I think some background is in order first.

I have struggled with my weight since puberty. I was overweight in high school and college (although when I look back at those pictures now, I think I looked pretty darn good!). I did manage to lose some my last year in college, but then I fell in love with the wrong person and tried to drown my sorrows in another relationship. When that one inevitably ended (he lived in another state), I was lonely, and I comforted myself with food, gaining back all the weight I had lost – and then some.

During this time, I went back to church after a long time away, and I met Kevin, and we got married. (Kevin thought I was beautiful, just the way I was. And he still does, many pounds later.) Unhealthy eating habits, four pregnancies, and comfort eating – you do the math. I am now at the heaviest I’ve ever been, and it’s taking its toll. I get out of breath walking one flight of stairs. I can’t keep up with my kids. I have acid reflux, back pain, sore knees, varicose veins – you name it. I can’t live like this anymore. It is time to make a huge change.

About a month ago, a friend of mine invited me to go to an event at the park, called Get Fit Colville. For the last two years, our community has been participating in Washington’s drive to become the healthiest state. They have a big kick-off event in the summer, and then people work hard to lose weight and get fit. There are prizes for percentage of body weight lost, and one pound of non-perishables are donated to the local food bank for every pound lost. So far, people in Colville have lost over 3,000 pounds.

The Get Fit Colville committee is also sponsoring Extreme Health Makeover. People who are determined to make a change apply and go through an interview process. 30 people applied, 11 were chosen – and I was one of those 11. I have received a year’s membership to the local gym, including an hour a week with a personal trainer. I will meet with a nutritionist to form a reasonable food plan, and will attend weekly meetings with the other participants for support and accountability.

I am very excited – and hopeful for the first time in a long time. I thought about setting up a specific blog for my weight loss journey – but this is my personal blog, and what is more personal than this? I will be sharing my journey and progress here, week by week. I am counting on all of you to help hold me accountable and get on me when I get discouraged or am tempted to give up.

I’ve already been attending the gym in the mornings – so far just walking on the treadmill. On Monday, I have my first appointment with my personal trainer, and in the evening, the first meeting with the rest of the participants. I’ll let you know how it goes!