Archive | August 2013

10,000 Steps

Getting to 10,000 steps

Getting to 10,000 steps

The other day, I mentioned I had joined a gym. One of the goals is to do 10,000 steps a day! Most days, I don’t get there… but I get close.

Here are some of the ways I am getting my steps up:

  • Parking a bit further away – this includes school, shops, church, basically anywhere we go where we have to drive and park.
  • Taking a walk around the school – I usually get to school a bit early, so I do a lap of the school, or two, before stand in front of the kids classroom to wait for my kids.
  • Shopping – when I do the supermarket shopping, I try and do a bit more walking than usual by going down some of the aisles I wouldn’t normally go down, like the pet food aisle. There is no temptation in pet food, or toilet paper, and I usually have no need to go down them.
  • Dancing to music – my kids think it’s cheating, but I’m not so sure. Jigging along to music, even in the car, adds steps to the pedometer, and has the added bonus of embarrassing the kids! I figure I’m still getting active. I also put the music on and dance to it while cooking dinner.
  • Doing the coffee run at work – at work, we have a coffee shop down the road and there is usually a coffee run required each day. I try and volunteer for this when I can.
  • Remembering to put the pedometer on as soon as I get up – this is a big one. It doesn’t matter how many steps you do if you don’t have the pedometer on, especially when you’re asked how many steps you’ve done at the end of the week. I’ve worked out that most days there are 200-500 extra steps that aren’t counted as I don’t put the pedometer on as soon as I get up!

If you are trying to get your steps up, other than going for walks, these tips may help. I know that going for a long walk every day is simply not possible, and I spend a lot of time sitting at the computer, especially for work. In winter it’s often too cold and wet to go outside for a walk… I hope these tips will help you.


Filling an op shop box…. or two…

Filling an op shop box

Filling an op shop box

Last week, I delivered a huge pile of stuff to our local op shop. There were about three boxes and as many garbage bags full of clothes, shoes and toys.

I know there are books, blog posts and more out there that tells you how to do a massive clean up – I know because I’ve read them. Every time I read something I think “that sounds great, let’s give it a try”. And always very little happens.

What I do now is clean out a little bit at a time so that part of the house works for me. I have an empty cardboard box near the stairs that is marked for the op shop. As I am am sorting things out, I consider whether or not I want to keep different items. In general, I think “would I want to move house with this?” (It’s not as if I’m moving any time soon, but it’s a good way to decide if something should be kept.)

If I decide we don’t want to keep it, it either goes in the bin or in the op shop box. If something isn’t good enough to sell, it goes in the bin – or if I decide I don’t want the boys to remember it exists and want to keep it (like McDonald’s toys). If it is good enough to sell, then it goes in the op shop box.

The sorts of things that end up there are clothes that I no longer wear, shoes that are still good but don’t fit, toys the kids have grown out of, books that we don’t want to read any more (I do keep a lot of books after I’ve read them), and a number of other items, such as the Red Nose the boys got from a Santa visit a couple of years ago.

When the box or boxes are full, we take it down to our local op shop.

I find that doing this makes the job seem a lot smaller than trying to de-clutter the whole house or even a single room in one go. It’s also easy to get the kids involved as they often add things to the op shop box, sometimes without any prompting. It also means that I de-clutter as I go and don’t get overwhelmed by the task ahead. Hopefully when we do eventually move, there will be a lot less junk in the house than the last few times we’ve moved.

Weight loss is NOT a competition

Weight loss is not a competition

Weight loss is not a competition

I have just come back from the gym – yes it’s just over 7am and for the last 3 and a half months I’ve been getting up at 6am 3-4 times a week to get to the gym by 6.30 for a half hour workout.

About 4 months ago, I decided I really needed to lose some weight. I couldn’t fit into some of my favourite clothes and I knew things had to change. The biggest issue was that I sit at a computer all day for work, then come home and sit at a computer to write. I needed to get active – so I joined a gym.

I am losing weight for ME – I don’t have a time goal, though I do have a goal for weight loss and I’m a quarter of the way there. I have 2 boys and 4 nephews to keep up with and I needed to get fitter and healthier. I’m not doing this for anyone else, just for ME.

Lately at the gym they are having a competition – you get points for the number of times you go to the gym and the amount of weight lost. They also give a prize each month for the person with the most weight lost that month. There are also shows like The Biggest Loser where people are losing weight for prizes. These really annoy me.

Weight loss is NOT is competition. If you are losing weight for a prize, will it be sustainable in the long term? For me, it won’t.

The best incentive for me is that I’m now fitting into some of my clothes again, and I’m looking and feeling much better than I was. Mr N has been teasing me about not being so cuddly any more… but I can live with that.