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Some might say that a challenge presented by oneself doesn’t really count as an actual challenge. Pffftt, I say. It totally does count. My challenge to myself is one of fitness and health.
Over the summer, while everyone in the Northern Hemisphere is trying to watch what they eat and keep their figures beach ready, I’ve been indulging. My kids were home for the summer, and we had a couple of birthdays to celebrate. With birthdays come cake, something that is not usually present in our home. There was also the additional snacks in our home that I don’t usually keep here…everything from cheese sticks to graham crackers to pretzels. Now, to be fair, we had our fair share of fruit and yogurt on hand as well, which was never turned down when offered as an alternative to some of the “sweeter” snacks (except by me…I am not a fan of yogurt despite my best efforts). My husband was here for the summer too, which meant that we dined out frequently because some of his favorite indulgences aren’t available to him overseas.
In addition to my poor diet over the summer, my exercise became almost non-existent. I was taking daily walks with my youngest each morning. Those dissipated as soon as school was out. My excuse was that I couldn’t leave all the kids here by themselves while I went out and walked. Two of the kids would wake up at a decent hour, while the other two seemed to sleep half the morning away. I would use the heat as an excuse as well…it was even too hot to go swimming out back!
My high-fat low-movement regime resulted in an extra 5 pounds that went straight to my mid-section. Now that school is back in session and my husband is about to depart back to his job overseas, it’s time for me to get back on track. My challenge to myself is to cut the fat and increase the activity level. I joined a local gym a little over a week ago, and I had my orientation earlier this week. Challenge Accepted! The plan is to go to the gym Monday through Friday-every day. Five days a week, one hour each day. This seems like quite a challenge, especially each morning when I wake up and think to myself how tired I am, how good it feels to just lay in the bed, there’s always tomorrow…yadda yadda yadda. Then, I force myself to get up, get dressed, and just do it. Who knows? Maybe this challenge will lead to a greater challenge later on…can you say Triathlon?
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I stumbled upon this invention while skimming around the internet looking for some Blog Hopsto participate in. It’s called the Bobee Diaper Changing Station. I think it’s a great idea…just to have everything right there at your fingertips. This would be awesome for childcare centers too…although you’d probably have to have several (like one for each kid, or at least one for each size diaper?) Anyhow, they can be decorated with the stickers they come with and they look super cute! Inspired by Savannah is giving away one of these great items here and as of today, it’s a really LOW entry giveaway (for those of you who are bad at math, low entries = better odds of winning!!) I recently won another giveaway that was low entry, and I never win anything! So, if I can do it so can you!
You gotta hurry though–this giveaway ends August 29, 2011 at 11:59 pm!
I was on my way back home yesterday on a flight from DC to Atlanta when I saw a young boy being escorted onto the plane by a flight attendant. He is what is deemed an “unaccompanied minor” by the airlines. As he walked onto the plane, I could see his face was still wet from tears he shed while telling his father goodbye. His eyes were all red, and he looked really scared. My heart broke for this little boy, and made me think of my three children I had just dropped off at their dad’s the day before.
I wondered why his father wasn’t flying back with him. I wondered why his mother didn’t fly up to DC to go get him. I know that children over a certain age fly unaccompanied all the time, and it shouldn’t be that big of a deal. This little boy seemed so clearly upset and bothered by being alone. There was another unaccompanied minor that was sitting next to him. She was a very confident looking young girl…she looked younger than he was, but I would soon find out that was not the case. The flight attendants warned both of the children to stay in their seats when we arrived in Atlanta so they could escort them both off the plane. Afterwards, there were a few moments of awkward silence. I felt sorry for the little boy…I figured he was probably embarrassed about crying and now too shy to talk to the little girl seated next to him. I felt sorry for her too. I thought she probably was scared to talk to him for fear he would burst into tears at any moment. My thoughts of pity for the two of them were interrupted by the sound of their chatter!
The little boy apologized for the crying and explained to the little girl that he was just sad because he was leaving his dad’s and didn’t want his summer vacation to end. He introduced himself as Ryan. Ryan then went on to ask the girl what her name was, and she answered. They talked about Harry Potter, iPods, Angry Birds, school, sports, summer break, where they each lived, who they had been visiting, divorce, siblings, cousins, step-parents…they didn’t stop talking the entire flight. I was reading my book and overhearing lots of the conversation because they were seated directly across from me. By the end of the flight, I was just feeling sorry for myself…I had NEVER had the courage to strike up a conversation with a complete and total stranger, and then continue that conversation for a full hour and a half. It’s not that I’m stuck up and don’t want to talk to anybody…and in general I believe that most people don’t take the initiative to strike up such conversations because they don’t want to be seen as a pest. I don’t want to bother anybody. The man next to me might just want to sit in peace and read his newspaper (most likely he does!!). That’s all I usually want too! On the flip side, I really don’t get out much and should take the opportunity to meet new people when and where I can.
All in all, it’s pretty ironic that I learned something about socializing and meeting new people from some 12 year old boy that I initially thought was a shy, awkward kid…he sure proved me wrong!