Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Are you an Unclutterer?

Have you been to yet?

If not, I'm devoting today's post to convincing you to try it.

This post was shamelessly stolen from from May 21, 2009:

An unclutterer is someone who chooses to get rid of the distractions that get in the way of a remarkable life.

These distractions, also known as clutter, can be:

  • Physical. You have things you don’t have use for, things you have too much of, things that are out of place, things that don’t inspire you, things that you don’t want. The things you do want are disorganized. You’re overwhelmed by stuff.
  • Mental. Worries, stress, and anxiety about things you can’t control or things that could be solved if you were better organized.
  • Time. You have too much to do and not enough time or desire to do it. Or, you’re not managing the time that you do have well. Things that matter to you are pushed aside by busy-ness.
  • Processes. You’re not working to the best of your ability or don’t have processes in place to handle routine actions. You’re spinning your wheels.

What is the clutter in your life? How would your life be different if you chose to get rid of the distractions? Are you an unclutterer?

Monday, May 25, 2009

1st Weigh In

Well, I weighed myself for the 1st time since starting my new weight-loss plan. On Sunday morning, I weighed 107.4 lbs. That's a loss of 9.6 lbs over 8 days. (Remember I started a week before on Saturday.)

I certainly don't expect to lose this much every week, but this is a great kick-off, isn't it? I was drinking more water than usual, so I'm confident that this wasn't a loss of water weight.

Bobby's been following a similar plan, except his sandwiches have more calories and he has some additional food: oatmeal for breakfast and a few snacks like a handful of sunchips. He also ate the 3/4 of the chipotle burrito that I didn't eat. He lost 8 lbs. More significantly, he's wearing clothes that didn't fit him a week ago.

We've been swimming and walking and doing regular activities such as working on vehicles over the long weekend (Memorial Day). This is more exercise than we've been getting lately, though not much more than we were getting before.

I hope we have a few more phenomenal weeks like this one before we settle into the normal 1-2 lbs per week. It's rewarding to see a significant loss like this during the 1st week or two, when it's the hardest to adjust to new habits... Trust me, Bobby & I've been hungry!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Plan for Desolation

I'm officially back on track with my health plan. I've been only eating my Subway, but it's taken a few days for me to work back up to my 67 oz of water. I figured out that my water filter in the fridge had a few things in it - grass, etc. that was making the water taste bad, so Bobby put in a new filter and I'm doing great.

Bobby is officially a Smith, because now he's swimming like a fish. He's doing flips, laps, the whole bit. We even bought him his own goggles. I couldn't be happier.

In fact, I'm experiencing true bliss. I'm not filling every corner of my mind, and every second of my time working on my Master's project, so I'm free to just be happy... and I am. Maybe it's because I feel lighter. I don't officially know if I've lost any weight, but I'll weigh myself tomorrow and then we'll all know.

Part of my healthy lifestyle includes incorporating fun, healthy activities into my life. So, I'm planning a short back packing trip. I've been talking about it for a while, but now I'm really going for it. We've already invited Tina & Cory (our niece & her boyfriend) and we have people in mind for our other 2 slots.

We'll go to a special spot, just outside of Desolation Wilderness, which is in Northern California. Bobby and I went on our first backpacking trip here, and it will be the first backpacking trip for each of our 4 companions, so it should be perfect. I might even see if my little brother, Matthew can come. We'll all be sharing a tent and meals and I hope we'll even do some solo time in the wilderness. I'm so excited!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Diet Fail, Home Office Success

Okay, I'll admit that I've slipped a bit the last few days. Yesterday I had 100 calories of whole wheat waffle, didn't drink my water, and didn't swim. The day before, I had 1/4 of a chipotle burrito, didn't drink my water and didn't swim. I was working on my Masters Project, but it's still not okay. I should take even better care of myself in these times of stress.

Now that I've confessed, I'm ready to rejoice! My project isn't done, but I'm taking a break today, so I feel fantastic. I've eaten my delicious subway breakfast and I'm dressed to swim. I have to say it again: I feel great.

While I was working on my project, I designed a small home office for my small house.
  • It is a half circle desk top with the outer edge touching bay windows (in blue).
  • A bit of the flat side of the half circle is carved out and a hanging chair (in red) is mounted on this side.
  • The windows should be at sitting height view and side-tabbed filing folders should be mounted above at standing height view.
  • Also the distance from the back of the desk should be 5 or 6 inches (in green) past the end of my fingers when seated and the cross-length of the room should be 5' or so (in pink), the same size as my arm span.
  • A little table should pull out from under the right part of the desk to give more counter space when necessary (in turquoise).
  • I like a depth of about 18" for the desk, but we'll see.
  • If the office is cluttered (oh, I hope not!), a 5' curtain can be drawn across the opening (in purple). If a person wants privacy in the office, they could hang a curtain a little farther out, so that it would be behind someone in the swinging chair.
I think this is plenty of room for a home office. It's got less open space to get cluttered and it's super-efficient. If the desk top is a solid surface at a low height (I want 22"), you can leave the curtain open and use this as additional seating for the adjacent room.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rich in experience, not things.

My Subway breakfast was delightful. Today I spiced it up with pepper jack cheese, banana peppers, and a small amount of chipotle sauce... Not too spicy, just zingy and fun.

As for yesterday, I failed to finish my water. I have a reason (I'll not make excuses). I had a final exam and my Irish Setter Puppy had entropion eye surgery, so I was distracted. However, I did get in a good swim with Bobby and I did finish off one of my two water bottles.

Today I'd like to point you to my two favorite blogs (for this week, at least): says that it's a blog about getting and staying organized, but I see it as inspiration for simplifying your life.
says that the aim of its blog is to see smallness as a quality worth pursuing in its own right: Smaller is cuter, faster, cheaper, easier, & lighter. I couldn't agree more. This site deals with small things, not just simplifying, so beware of the tendency to want to buy a lot of small gadgets.

I am on a simplifying kick! I've been reading Little House on a Small Planet by Shay Salomon, and I must say that it's my favorite book of all time. I just read a page or two at a time, so I can let my mind go and adjust to the flow of ideas that each story inspires.

I want to live a simpler life that is rich in experience, not rich in things. As I strive toward this goal, I get rid of things I don't need and realize I need even less. Each time I get rid of something, I find it a little easier to get to the things I need. For example, I emptied many of my kitchen cabinets and drawers. I gave away anything I didn't find essential to my life and hoped that I would make someone else's life easier with the gift of things they might need. Now, I don't look for scissors or the right spatula, because they are all hanging there, in plain sight. They aren't under a bunch of other spatulas and knick-knacks.

I am discovering that a simple life is a far more enjoyable life. Under all of the clutter lies an opportunity for new experiences and a better existence.

I'll be off now... I need to get back to daydreaming about how I'll build a simple, small home with my own hands.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Why am I starting this blog now? (Weight Loss)

Hello & Welcome to my blog.

I am starting this blog now because I want to log my weight loss journey as I go.

Here's what's been going on so far-

I have weighed about 170 lbs since high school except when Bobby and I had problems back in 1999 and I got up to 201 lbs.

When I hit 201, I started eating just one 12" subway turkey sandwich per day, divided between 3 meals and I ran for 18 minutes a day. I also walked 20-30 minutes per day to get to the running track and back and lifted weights in the evenings. I got down to 159 in just a few months.

Then I moved back to Sacramento and my weight creeped back to 170, despite trying to eat well and exercise regularly.

I was stable at about 170 until recently. Over the last few months, I just spiked up to 217! It started with joint pain and as I was more careful not to hurt myself, I became less active.

With extreme resolve, I have emptied my kitchen. I started back on my diet of just one subway sandwich per day 2 days ago. [Details - I let myself have mayonnaise and cheese on it, so I'm probably around 800-900 calories per day, depending on if I get a veggie or a chicken breast or ham sandwich.] This is enough for a person who has about 80 lbs of fat to lose. My body can tap into its fat sources if it needs more. I certainly don't advocate this diet for someone without any body fat! (Do you hear that, Body! You'd better toughen up and start using those fat stores!)

I've been drinking 67 oz of water per day by filling my 2 stainless steel bottles up in the morning and making sure to finish by bedtime. Drinking the water helps quell my hunger pains, as does exercise. I've been swimming to gain some strength without hurting my joints, but when hunger strikes at 7-10 pm, I stretch or do small exercises like squats, calf raises, dips, etc.

Despite feeling hungry, I feel better already. The diet has kept me from my usual stomach aches and being on a plan somehow gives me hope. I now only have to focus on waiting until my next meal - I don't have to stress over what changes I need to make.

I've already lost a few pounds, but I'll try to stay off the scale for a while. Hooray! I'm doing it!