Friday, September 30, 2016

Life


Happy Friday! It's finally the weekend (at least for me) and I am happy to have a little down time tonight and hopefully tomorrow. It's been a busy couple of weeks, but that doesn't mean I am neglecting my healthy eating. I have done much better with that since stopping the tracking. Using a more relaxed method is so much better for me, as I explained in my last post. I'm still enjoying my CSA box but that is coming to a close next week. I'll have to start hitting the produce section in the grocery store more often. I am really glad to have fresh locally grown squash available right now! We not only got the last of the summer squash, but we are getting delicious winter squash now, too. Zucchini, yellow squash, delicata, acorn squash, spaghetti squash and butternut squash are all in my pantry and I am roasting, baking and steaming them nearly every day. I hope to make some winter squash soup this week, too. I got a heck of a deal on grass fed beef and lamb (about $3 a pound!) so bought a bunch of that to stick in the freezer along with the pastured pork and free range chicken. Good stuff!

Someone asked about my schedule on the last post, and I've often gotten comments or emails asking whether I work outside the home and what I do with my time. I have posted about that in the past but things have changed a lot over the past few years. I no longer have little kids and teens taking up most of my time, so that has freed up my day for other things. I know I am very blessed to be able to spend much of my time as I wish; for most of my life, that was not the case, as I was either in school or working full time. I did have some great years when the boys were little, being a stay at home mom to 4+, homemaker, and farmer's wife (and that was a LOT of work, but joyous work!). My husband and I have chosen to have me stay home since our daughter was born, and even though she is in middle school now I am able to keep working part time from home and keep my priorities on home and family.

One of the passions of my heart is animal rescue. Ever since I was a child, I wanted to work with animals and help the less fortunate. I love all of God's creatures and it breaks my heart to see any animal suffering, neglected, or abused. So I spend a part of every day volunteering in rescue. My kids and I used to just go and walk dogs at the shelter; eventually it evolved into being even more involved. I do transports when a dog or cat needs to go to a different rescue or home, take animals to the vet when needed, do home checks on potential adopters, and foster dogs and cats in my home. I had planned to cut back and stop fostering for awhile to give myself more time to focus on my health, but we had an emergency foster come in last night who was in danger of being euthanized if I did not take her. Once she is adopted, and my other foster goes to her new home, I am not taking any more animals for awhile. I'd say I spend an average of 3 hours a day on rescue, plus 1-2 hours more in pet and foster care (just feeding, walking, exercising, grooming, etc). I also spend an hour or two a week working my Therapy dog, which is lots of fun, and 2-3 hours a week training my other dog. Having time to do what I love is amazing and not for one second do I take this for granted.  It's a hobby that I find very rewarding and fulfilling and it just downright makes me happy that I can give of myself in this way. And the animals give back 100 fold. They know when they have been helped and they love you for it.

So aside from that, I do the typical homemaker stuff, keeping up the house, shopping, cooking, laundry, yard work, help with homework and fundraisers, all the usual things all stay-at-home-moms do. On weekends and after school, I spend time with my family. We try to have dinner together most nights. I spend an hour or two most weekdays taking my daughter to her after-school sports and groups, and we're part of an active church family with regular church service and activities two or three days a week. (I have to say I never thought I would enjoy church as much as I do!) I take my two youngest kids to various appointments (doctors, dentist, orthodontist, specialists) and sometimes get together with other Moms to visit and have fun. Sometimes we take the kids to a movie together, or to a big park to play. Last week we went to a fall festival and the kids had a blast! We have dinner with friends about twice a week. I go to meetings related to my science career twice a month (trying to stay in the loop for when I do go back to work). Right now, as I type, I am listening to my daughter practice the violin and I'm pausing to play tug with my dog every so often. Multi-tasking at its best! I also do still work from home but spend less time on that than I used to (just a few hours a week). Plus, you know, I blog once in awhile and sometimes, when everyone is in bed, I just sit down and read or watch reality TV and drink decaf coffee! I love the quiet at night.

Anyway, it's not very weight-loss related, but if you wanted to get to know me better there you have it. I like a simple life. I like sleeping with the windows open and listening to the crickets chirp at night in the summer. I love the seven trees I planted around my house over a decade ago and the huge, mature maples that were already here when I moved in. I love sitting on my porch in a rocking chair and watching the birds and the squirrels in the yard. I love having children (even the adult ones!) and being with family. I do know that all of this will only get better and more sweet as I get to a healthier weight, so I am making time for that, too.  I have given a lot of thought to a comment I got some time ago, stating that the commenter looks at weight loss/better health as her "job" and so commits a certain number of hours a day specifically to that; this resonates with me, and when my fosters are adopted, I would like to take those hours I am now using on rescue and spend them specifically on bettering my health. Seems like a great idea to me!


17 comments:

Anonymous said...

oh I love that you rescue animals! What a great way to spend your time. I hope when you do get to your weight and healthy body goal, you can keep helping animals!

Anonymous said...

Life is beautiful.

I joined WW last week and I am following your blog to see if you can figure out the emotional part of all this. I have the exact same struggles with food that you have described. It makes it so much harder than just following a diet plan when you have emotional charges surrounding what you eat.

Anonymous said...

I have a lot of admiration and respect for the work you do with vulnerable animals needing help and support. In that regard you're admirable and more people should follow your example.

Lyn said...

Thanks, Anons, most rescues need more fosters and other volunteers. I hope readers will think about going and doing what they can to help... even just walking a dog once a week!

Other Anon~

I hear that WW is a good plan now (not like my mother's WW of the 70's). I think finding your triggers is a key to controlling the emotional eating, and triggers are different for everyone. For me, obviously too much focus on diet (tracking) is a trigger, stress without a physical outlet is a trigger, and there are a few others I am sorting out. Sugar is a physical trigger for me too in some cases (certain types and amounts of food). I hope you can sort yours out as well. It's sure not easy.

Anonymous said...

I highly, highly recommend seeking a counselor who has experience with Cognitive Behavioral therapy. I have very similar challenges to Lyn, and just over a year ago, I joined WW but also sought out counseling based on research my doctor provided me on the efficacy of different approaches. WW has been great for the accountability, but the counseling is where I got my head right and learned to overcome setbacks, recognize anxiety and exhaustion, deal with guilt, etc.

I went to two counselors for first sessions and 1 was very clearly a good fit. The other was awful. Keep looking if you don't find a fit.

After a year, I've lost 150 lbs and am 2 lbs away from my goal weight. I had to throw the kitchen sink at this thing -- counseling for the emotions, WW for the accountability, online groups for community, checking in with my doctor every 3 months to stay focused (knowing I am weighing there helps me), coming clean with family members about my struggles, research to understand bilogical influences and tailoring my diet choices around that, etc.

A year ago I truly felt I was at my last ditch effort before I needed to consider weight loss surgery. In that year, I've lost as much or more than you would expect from someone who has surgery (331 to 180), without the risks. But I did have to go through a lot of pain - emotional pain - to achieve it. However, I now have this huge network of accountability and support around me, because the hardest part is just about to begin - maintenance. I started with that in mind. I will be 100x prouder of maintaining for a year (then 5, then 10...) than losing the 150.

heidi said...

"I will be 100x prouder of maintaining for a year (then 5, then 10...) than losing the 150."

Amen. That is the hard part.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I really admire all the work you do with animals and I was wondering, as an animal lover and someone looking to improve your health, have you ever considered a vegetarian or vegan diet? The health benefits of a whole foods plant based diet are well documented (check out the book "How not to Die" for a start), and you can easily meet all your nutritional needs with beans, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds and a variety fruits and veggies, and probably lose some weight, too! And as someone who hates to see animals suffer, you're probably aware that there is inevitably a great deal of suffering involved in raising animals for food, even if it is organic, "free range" or "grass fed"... Just a thought. Best of luck on your health journey!

amy said...

Wow, color me impressed! I had no idea! You are so humble never to have mentioned any of this before. "Degree holding stay at home mom" is the understatement of the century!

Graze With Me said...

You say "My husband and I" in a paragraph up there...I had NO IDEA you were married! And I've been reading since the beginning too. I feel like you've always written from the view of a single parent! Anyway, thx for sharing. :)

Lyn said...

Anon/CBT~

very inspiring and I agree with what you said. I am not opposed to counseling; no luck yet in finding on who is a good match and also takes my insurance. I still check to see if there is anyone new from time to time.

last Anon~

Actually, part of why I buy local, pastured meats is because I can go to the farm myself and see whether the animals are being raised humanely. That is important to me. My first husband owned a dairy farm (not fully grass fed) so I know what farm conditions are like, even on farms where we try to be humane. I did consider a vegetarian diet but have found it pretty difficult to reconcile that (whole grains, legumes, etc) with eating lower carb. I have not tried but would think it would be tough to be vegetarian and not eat grains and limit legumes, too. Do you know of a website or blog of anyone doing a low carb vegetarian diet? That would be interesting to look into. I do make vegetarian meals sometimes though and don't eat as much meat as I used to.

amy~

I've only been this involved in rescue for the past couple years, after my plantar fasciitis resolved. I've mentioned several times here that I volunteer in rescue, but don't usually write a lot of detail about it... although a rescue blog would be kinda fun to write!

Graze with Me~

Oh I used to write a LOT about my husband and my marriage the first few years of my blog! Most of it is still there in the archives. You might remember when we separated for awhile. I wrote a lot about that because it was really hard for me not to eat for comfort due to the stress of it all. I did share later that we reconciled and things were much better, but I stopped writing about my marriage (and my older kids, for the most part) several years ago because some people don't want to be written about :) The single parent feeling probably came from the fact that my husband, until very recently, was travelling extensively so I was tending the home front alone a lot of the time.

Anonymous said...

Theres no need to fear natural, complex carbs coming from whole plant foods. Eating a plant based diet protects the body from diseases . The website nutritionfacts.org is a good source of info

Andria said...

Can you expand on this: "I go to meetings related to my science career twice a month"? I feel like that's something my husband would be interested in. Is it just a local group of folks? A national thing? Thanks.

PamL said...

Thanks for sharing! I've been reading a long time, so I think when I started your daughter was 4 or 5? I still thought she was young-- as if time stops, haha! And I'm so glad you and your husband reconciled- I remember you writing about the rough times, and had no idea you worked it out. So happy for you- life is such a joy when sharing it with someone you love. Keep up the good work- when I eat healthy for long stretches, after about 2 weeks, I feel this amazing burst of energy!

Lyn said...

Andria~

Is your husband new in his field? If so he can ask his colleagues about any local groups or meet-ups related to his specific field. That's how I found out about mine many years ago... through work.

PamL~

Haha, yes, I feel that way sometimes when I read other peoples' blogs! The time just flies and it is like "whaaat? When did your children get so grown up??" Thanks, I'm feeling very good today!

Betsey C. said...

I have also been enjoying your blog since your girl was 5! Where has the time gone? You sound happy today, and that makes me happy. We are all in this together!

Andria said...

I was more asking what the meetings are, who organizes them, what you do, etc.
Thanks.

Lyn said...

Andria~

It's local, my colleagues from when I was working organize them. We talk about our work (my old work, their current work) and new research and advances, problem solving for current issues. It's pretty interesting.