Sunday, August 31, 2008
Addicted to Dr Who and to Battlestar Galactica.
Hooked. Line and sinker.
Been reading spoilers at the Digital Spy website.
Don't look if you don't want to know what happens!
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Went to Mass. Read about St Monica, and about her son St Augustine ( his feast day is tomorrow).
It is the prayers of Monica herself that have been invoked by generations of the faithful who honour her as a special patroness of married women and as an example for Christian motherhood.
We had some wine at dinner, in honour of St Monica , and made Steak With Red Wine. Why?
We are given one episode of her childhood which suggests a possible origin for her firmness of will. She was sometimes sent down to the cellar to draw wine for the family, and fell into the habit of taking secret sips. She developed such a passion for wine that before long she was drinking great draughts of it whenever opportunity offered. One day a family slave who had been spying on the little girl denounced her as a wine-bibber, and Monica, covered with shame, gave up the habit. Soon afterwards she was baptized, and thenceforth seems to have led a life of irreproachable virtue. St Monica ~ EWTN library
St Monia is a great example of perseverance in prayer.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
That is what I have been asked. Some people
( thankfully, not the whole world and not everyone I meet) know I have a lost a heap of weight, over a five or six year period.
A heap? About 35 kg, about 80 lbs. I say about as I didn't often weigh myself at my heaviest, and I know that I was probably a lot heavier and had lost some weight before I first weighed myself.
Thankfully? Well, because it is just way too embarrassing to talk about weight. Putting the truth of my weight gain and loss on my blog this past Lent was like coming out of the closet, I am sure.
Anyway, people want to know how to start. It is often the first step that is the most difficult.
I agree with Lisa Delaney from Secrets of A Former Fat Girl. She advocates starting with one thing and letting that one thing be exercise. Well, maybe two things ( Would you believe two things? asks Maxwell Smart in Get Smart).
Delaney's advice? Exercise and a mantra. Something that helps you not give up. Something inside that clicks.
First things first. Why exercise? Well, when we are overweight we are often more sedentary so any extra exercise will help automatically with creating a calorie deficit and causing a weight losss. Plus, it makes you feel good - eventually. It changes your image of yourself, from one who hates working out to one who is a fitter person ~ eventually.
All good things come in time, to those who work and wait.....
And exercise makes you fitter, makes your metabolism work faster, makes you feel good, gives you that happy endorphin feeling ~ eventually ~ makes you feel you are finally doing something permanent, long term, feel good about your weight.
For me, my first workout to lose this weight was walking. Yes, I had been a lot fitter in the past, I had been to aerobics classes and done Jazzercise and weights and Jane Fonda and Denise Austin. But those were in my overweight but not obese days, or my thin but trying to be thinner days. Or my eating disorder days...
I have had a problem with food and body image all my life, since my first mother-sanctioned extreme diet at age eight.Probably before that,even...I can't remember a time when I didn't think I was fat, regardless of weight. And those Extreme diets just so don't work for me , and for most obese people,I suspect.
So this time, it was going to be different. I was starting with small steps, with walking. Started at fifteen minutes, worked up to thirty then forty five than sixty. And then got into kickboxing.
But starting small, with walking, helped me change how I felt, and made me feel good and got me fitter. I walked outside, rain or shine. I walked in the morning, or as soon as I could, given my schedule. I bought some indoor walking DVDs for the days I couldn't leave the kids - I have some Leslie Sansone's if anyone wants to borrow them!
One thing, exercise. Two things, exercise and that mantra. That mantra, that inside saying that lit my fire and helped me keep going, that was important, too. Just as Delaney said. Her's was/is INO ~ It's Not An Option.
It's not an option to give up. To not go for that walk or do that exercise. It's not an option to think that health and exercise are options in themselves.
Make your positive statement part of your life, your little self discipline, so you won't give up on that exercise. Or on yourself.
For me, my first mantra was - if she can do it, so can I. While in hospital, after yet another miscarriage and recovering from deep vein thrombosis, I read a Slimming magazine. The Slimmer of the Year had lost a lot of weight , through walking and healthy eating. I thought - what made her better than me? Nothing. If she can do it, so can I. And so I didn't let myself quit.
We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit.
How to start losing weight? Start with walking or some other form of exercise. Make a conscious decision to do this daily or three or four times a week. Work on that mental click, that mental saying or determination, that won't let you give up. Use this exercise time for prayer - I used to pray my Rosary while walking. Develop that self dicipline.
It is not easy. I give you that. I hate it when you read books that tell you - just eat less and move more. Yeah. Right. This doesn't address the physical issues that obese people have, the mental issues, the mind stuff. The feelings. The spiritual connection. Time. Organisation. How to.
Sh*t! If it was easy we'd all be like Twiggy or Madonna. NOW.
By the same token, it is not as difficult as some other books make it. You don't need to make huge changes ,you don't have to give up wheat or dairy or chocolate or God forbid, alcohol! Start small. Work on exercise and mental stuff, then address food and food issues. Lower fat, lower GI, healthy choices 80% of the time, portion control...Stopping ZOMBIE EATING.
One by one, step by step.
P.S. Zombie eating? From the blog of The Amazing Adventures of Diet Girl ~
People talk about comfort eating or emotional eating but what about ZOMBIE EATING? I've found myself at the Cookie Table at work, staring down at the crumbs on my chest and thinking, What the hell happened there!? The feet and hands and mouth took over before the brain could make the connection between receiving the stressful email and grabbing the biscuits.
Other times I've been glassy-eyed in line at a coffee shop, fixated on the idea of my hand wrapped around a hot cardboard cup of overpriced beverage to soothe an undefined troubled feeling. Then I'll take the first sip and come back to earth... Shit! What did I do that for!?
Back at McDonalds, I was jolted out of my reverie by the dulcet tones of a lady customer, "Arrriiiight hen, gis a Big Mac meal wi' Diet Coke!"
I took in the spotty lad behind the till and the swaying drunks in the queue. Fark! How the bloody hell did I get here?
I left, walked home in the rain and watched telly.
Most times I have the ability to stop, tune in and realise I'm just stressed or anxious or bored or needing to pull a Greta Garbo - and therefore not shove something unnecessary in my gob. But sometimes I don't even register that I'm feeling anything at all. It happens so fast and mindlessly that I don't wake up in time.
I was nominated for two blog awards ~ The Kick-Ass Blogger and The Brilliante Blog.
And I have to name some other bloggers, bloggers I think deserve this recognition.
|Part of Speech:||adj|
My son Greg at Antic Hay
My friend Chris
My fellow CM-er Stephanie at What I Know Now
My buddies over at Catholic Mommas
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Which workout? That puke-in-a-bucket workout - the 30 Day Shred one.
Level one is kinda easy. Level two is more challenging.Level three has a high dread factor for me - who knew you could get a kick-ass, killer, advanced workout in thirty minutes.
I did Level three today, high impact, working out hard - attemped it lower impact last Saturday and did all the workout while coughing my heart out. But today, I only coughed once ( okay, maybe two or three times..) - those meds are working! And I can do high impact again!
The walking planks and travelling push ups are tough on the upper body. The rockstar jumps and plyo lunges are not easy, either, nor is doing cardio with weights.
I don't have a love feeling for this workout but I do it anyway - it is fast, efficient, effective, advanced, push yourself, non stop, in only half an hour. I feel as challenged after this half hour as I do with a Taebo Advanced sixty minute workout. Go figure?
I was really feeling it in the shoulders and arms and legs and butt, when at the grocery store this morning, and after the workout. Woo hoo!
Friday, August 22, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
..of unschooling pics... and with music...
Wednesday ~ I began the day with Mass, for St Bernard of Clairvaux. Kids? Computer games, Wii Fit, some Kumon Maths, Alexander reviewed Italian for uni, Thomas and Anthony researched some info on a Saint of choice , then wrote mini reports.Writing and religion! Jonathon went to teach Scripture.
I worked out, blogged, read blogs, sent Kumon emails, talked to kids, cooked for lunch visitors, blow dried hair, then went to play! Went to the movies with two other homeschooling families~mums to see Mamma Mia, kids to see Star Wars Clone Wars. Absolutely LOVED Mamma Mia - we sang in the cinema, laughed and, yes, cried.
The winner takes it all
The loser standing small
Beside the victory
Thats her destiny
Home for lunch - our family, Jonathon, my friends and their children, Br L. from our parish, after also teaching Scripture class.
And I can chat with you baby
Flirt a little maybe
Does your mother know that youre out?
The children played games of guns and Zombies!! The grown ups talked, everyone left, clean up, delivery of junk mail, laundry, a bit of work for Kumon, some email too, while eldest son Luke cooked dinner and the other boys watched the movie Hot Shots.
And another visitor - how cool! I love visitors!
Ring, ring, why dont you give me a call?
Ring, ring, the happiest sound of them all
A few of us stayed up late, talking. Dh, I, Luke, Alexander, Thomas were up to midnight discussing child development, child raising, parenting, Kumon, kids' thoughts, individual rights, rules or no rules and the Westenberg Model of Parenting and Homeschooling. lol!
Gimme gimme gimme a man after midnight
Won't somebody help me chase the shadows away
Gimme gimme gimme a man after midnight
Take me through the darkness to the break of the day
Today the boys will do some more Kumon Maths and some Latin. We have read about St Pius X and looked at the Olympics coverage online. Jonathon is at a meeting. I have a bucket load of Kumon prep and phone calls and folders to do. We will all go to work at Kumon.
I work all night, I work all day, to pay the bills I have to pay
Aint it sad
Then dh and I are going out for a small dinner, together , alone, just the two of us. Probably around eight p.m. A date night! Woo hoo! I've organised this, simply because I've been sick and so we have had less time together. And now I'm getting better...And I want to play...hence the movies twice this week and friends over and now a small dinner out...Small because I want to just spend time with dh and not spend a lot of money or calories!
Honey honey, how you thrill me, ah-hah, honey honey
Honey honey, nearly kill me, ah-hah, honey honey
Luke will be cooking again, after work, he said he finds this cooking relaxing. He will make Japanese ( it was Italian last night) and the boys are having a SpongeBob Squarepants mini marathon. The five that are home together.
Waterloo - knowing my fate is to be with you
Waterloo - finally facing my waterloo
More unschooling pics for that mental photo album.
So I say
Thank you for the music, the songs Im singing
Thanks for all the joy theyre bringing
Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty
What would life be? Without a song or a dance what are we?
So I say thank you for the music
For giving it to me
[Sorry! After seeing Mamma Mia, I just couldn't resist those Abba lyrics! ]
Night is young and the musics high
With a bit of rock music, everything is fine
Youre in the mood for a dance
And when you get the chance...
You are the dancing queen, young and sweet, only seventeen
Dancing queen, feel the beat from the tambourine
You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
See that girl, watch that scene, dig in the dancing queen
Makes me want to do Singstar!
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
I have a fondness for St Bernard. When I became a Catholic, one thing I felt I had to take on faith, not intellectualize, even though I could not yet grasp its depth, was devotion to Mary. The writings and prayers of St Bernard helped me along the way to understanding this devotion.
The Memorare - we try to pray this regularly, in Latin and in English.
“In dangers, in doubts, in difficulties, think of Mary, call upon Mary. Let not her name depart from your lips, never suffer it to leave your heart. And that you may more surely obtain the assistance of her prayer, neglect not to walk in her footsteps. With her for guide, you shall never go astray; while invoking her, you shall never lose heart; so long as she is in your mind, you are safe from deception; while she holds your hand, you cannot fall; under her protection you have nothing to fear; if she walks before you, you shall not grow weary; if she shows you favor, you shall reach the goal” St Bernard of Clairvaux
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I put this quote on my blog yesterday - and several friends, in real life (? weird term but you know what I mean..) and in email, have commented on it. On how much it spoke to them. On how it reflects the why of homeschooling.
The why of homeschooling? Isn't homeschooling about education?
Gasp! Did I say that homeshooling as not about education?
Well, yes. Simply because it is so much more than that .
Homeschooling, unschooling , is about life.
And creating memories. Memories that are stored away, that make up the child and then the adult. Formation, in other words.
I think that strong positive family memories, exposure to activities and ideas and to other people, are what make a strong case for homeschooling. For the advantages of homeschooling.
You never know what will strike a chord with a child. Ignite an interest. Be tucked away in the scrapbook of memories.
For this reason, we unschool. We live and thus, by living together, we learn. We laugh together, read together, play together , watch movies together, eat together, do chores together, do some schoolwork together, talk together, get cross together, go to Mass and pray together ~ and hopefully build on this storehouse of interactions.
Last night, we prayed the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Yes, I was a bit silly during prayers - moving my feet in rhythm and prompting dh, the leader, simply because I have memorised this litany. Sigh. I am bad in prayers...
However, we did pray together, we did smile together, we spent time together and with our prayer intentions. Creating a scrapbook of prayer and family memories.
Today, we had French class at another homeschooler's home. The kids laughed as they listened to the CD and followed along in the French storybook. They tried to learn the Lord's Prayer in
French. They did French copywork, a la Charlotte Mason. And shared morning tea and active outside games.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Working things out physically- weight and health and fitness. Re-reading The Lazy Girl's Guide to Losing Weight and Getting Fit . I am basically lazy but I continually work on myself and on my tendency to be lazy.
Ajay Rochester writes about the secret to losing weight - the secret?
The secret is I had to relearn the way I lived, moved, ate, thought and felt about myself. Once I did that the weight loss was easy.
If you do the work on the inside, the outside will follow.
It is the inside work that counts.
I find this when working on myself as a mother. I work on who I am and this affects my moments with my children. In a positive way.
My current mantra for my interactions with my family is - Love. Joy. Positive. Acceptance.
Makes me stop before nagging about the messy family room ( hopefully!). Or before automatically barking out a list of things to do, instead of working on the list together, collaberatively.
Remind yourself that each moment we're creating memories. Think of those moments as photos in a photo album. We have no control over which pictures they'll keep. Ask yourself, "Is this a moment I want my children to carry with them forever? Is this how I want them to remember me?" Joyfully Rejoycing
Stop thinking about changing "for good and not just for days or moments." That is just another thing to overwhelm you and you don't need that!
Just change the next interaction you have with the kids.
Stop reading email right now and do something "preventative" - something that helps build your relationship with them. Fix them a little tray of cheese and crackers and take it to them, wherever they are, unasked. Sit down on the floor and play with them..... Okay - so that is one good, positive interaction. Pam Sorooshian
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
She asked - what have been the experiences of others in this regard?
Today was a positive experience for us, in selling the idea of homeschooling.
Selling? Yes, simply because when we go on any homeschool outing we become walking examples, talking advertisements for our educational choice. At least that is the way it seems. Sometimes.
Today I had organised an excursion to the Olympic Park Walking Trail, visiting the venues of the Sydney Olympics of 2000. The tour guide was a very interesting, amusing, witty man, a very real boost for our tour. We loved his little asides, his snippets of information, of conversation, of an inside look at the Olympics.
He in turn, was fascinated by the idea of homeschooling. Asked the kids for their reflections. Asked if it was legal ( I said no, we are all breaking the law today. He laughed and got the joke, thankfully). Asked about career aspirations, finding oneself and one's talents, university, the spiritual aspect.
He was a really funny guy and guide. Our tour, scheduled for one hour, took over one hour and a half as John kept showing and sharing extra snippets.
He asked for my email address, so we can keep in touch. He discovered that Alexander is studying Italian at Open University and asked if they could email, so he can keep up his Italian and Alexander can practise.
He played a prank on two latecomers to our group - two teens arrived late. He asked who they were, had they paid, what right did they have to join the group? The teens were flabbergasted. Flabbergasted until they saw our faces. We were cracking up with laughter. They got the idea.
John, our very entertaining tour guide, had us run through water fountains and run the Cathy Freeman race. Well, I was the only mum who joined in with the teens and although it made me cough more, it was fun, I enjoyed the activities and they were well worth the cough.
John was also very complimentary and, as you know, a little bit of flattery will get you anywhere! He kept shaking his head in disbelief that I was the mother of seven sons (Yes, we got the Seven Brides for Seven Brothers comment. As usual. ). And when I was running the race, he asked Anthony what number son he was. Then proceeded to continue his disbelief - no way could you have a 28 year old son, he said. Wasn't he nice?
He continued his flattery by being very positive towards homeschooling, our thinking outside the box of conventional education and of our whole group of kids. And about my age. Can you tell I liked him? lol!
Thursday, August 14, 2008
The reason math in school takes so long is they need to substitute drill for understanding. It's really hard to do pages of problems like 7.5% of 182 when you don't know and don't care what percents are, let alone 7.5% of 182. If the understanding is there first, the details are much easier. Joyfully Rejoycing, Unschooling Maths
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Call me masochistic but I love those sort of workouts. Yes, they have a high dread factor for me but, I feel a great sense of accomplishment when the workout is over. I feel like an athlete, like it is so worth the pain.
Yesterday in the post I received Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred - three thirty minute workouts on one DVD. Level 1, 2 and 3 - with 3 being the toughest.
Internet fitness friends tell me these are puke-in-the-bucket workouts - if you do Level 2 or 3 or two or more levels combined.
I was sad last night - I knew I couldn't do these with my current cold/cough/flu. I bemoaned this fact to Greg, when he called from the UK. I knew he'd understand, fellow workout freak that he is.
But today I had a bright idea! A first, I am sure!
Why not do Level 1 but keep it low impact and use lighter weights ( 2 and 3kg - 4 and 6 lbs).
That's what I did! A perfect short but effective workout for when I am not up to par. Might do the same tomorrow with Level 2..and when I am fully recovered from this can't shake it flu, I'll try the workouts high impact. Truly almost throwing up style, I hope!
From the Collage Video website, where this DVD is rated as advanced -
Monday, August 11, 2008
St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
St Maximilian Kolbe
And, of course, on Friday we have the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary ~ A Holy Day of Obligation.