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!
I am 38 years old, female, a degree-holding stay-at-home-mom, and I weigh 278 pounds. I have been obese for ten years now. Time to get out of this fat prison I have made for myself.
--This is the original introduction I wrote when I first started this blog in 2007. I leave it as a reminder to myself of where I came from. Currently, I am 46 years old and weigh significantly less...see the blog for details. I lost 103 pounds, then had a partial regain, and am once again working at weight loss and better health.
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