Friday, September 30, 2011

How To Get Hired - Resume Advice from a Small Business Owner

As I would imagine most small business owners would attest, human resources is one of the most difficult aspects of owning your own business. We have had the good fortune of really putting together a great, cohesive team. Every few months, for one reason or another, we find ourselves again short staffed. (For those of you who know Andrea, this is not her position. We will always have a place for her in our company! How could you not!?) So, last week, we listed a job on Career Builder for a New Home Sales Consultant. Since posting, we have received 111 applications and we'll likely get another 150-200 before the posting expires.

Here is the link to the job posting...

I feel it is my duty to share with my friends some pearls of wisdom that I have observed this week (and over the last four years). I am by no means an expert, but have probably reviewed 1,000 resumes and I do know that there are quite a few things you can do that will truly put you miles ahead of your competition.

1. PROOFREAD!!!! I know this seems basic, but please, I implore you, do NOT have typos on your resume and cover letters. If you do nothing else after reading this post, please go do this with your resume. Read it over at least three times (OK - even once would have solved a lot of these problems) then give it to a friend or five to read. While being typo-free doesn't automatically shoot your resume to the top of the stack, it will avoid the immediate reject pile. Here are just a handful of typos I have seen...

  • City of residence spelled wrong
  • State abbreviation not capitalized along with a missing zip code
  • My name spelled wrong - this is bad
  • My company's name spelled wrong - this is really bad
  • Various words spelled wrong - spell check is your friend
  • Poor grammar 
  • Phone numbers with dashes incorrectly spaced
  • Incomplete email addresses
  • Incorrect Phone Numbers

2. Add a cover letter, but only if it's a good one and you take the time to customize it for the job. (Again, please proofread and make sure the customized fields are actually complete - i.e. name, phone, company, etc.) Don't go on and on about how good you are at XYZ accounting system if that's not one of the requirements of the listed position. I will say that probably less than 10% of applicants do actually send along a cover letter. Use this opportunity to emphasize why you would be a good fit, especially if your work experience isn't an exact match. A reasonably good and customized cover letter generally shoots you to the top of my list, regardless of the resume. 

3. Customize your objective. Fit it to the specific job to which you are actually applying. Don't tell me your objective is to work for a Fortune 500 firm as a business analyst when you're applying to my company of four employees. And, don't write, "Seeking a career in the (administrative, dental, aeronautics, or anything else as equally unrelated) field" if it's not the field of the job description. Keep it simple and just slightly specific. Here would be a perfect objective for our particular job - "To obtain a challenging position in New Home Sales with a growing company in order to best utilize my sales skills and outgoing personality." Even if your experience (i.e. - elementary teacher) doesn't lend itself to the particular job (i.e. - New Home Sales), but you think you'd be a good fit, don't leave your normal objective in the resume. 

4. At least pretend like you will actually stay at the job for more than six months. I literally groan out loud at some of the objectives I read. "To obtain a job at an optometrist's office in order to further my opportunities in the industry." My personal favorite - "To continue my education in order to pursue my career in (fill in the blank with some totally unrelated profession)." You might as well just say "To find a position at which I can milk a salary while I wait for something better to come along and, when that time comes, you will be lucky to get a two week notice." 

5. What the recruiters tell you is true - I spend less than 30 seconds on each resume. Well, that is unless it is good. I can usually tell in the first few lines if I'm interested or not. See numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4. This is not cruel, it is just a necessity when reviewing so many applicants.

6. Respond appropriately. If the listing says, No Phone Calls Please, then don't call. It's just annoying. And, always send your resume electronically if possible. Faxes just don't cut it these days. And, if possible, PDF your resume and attach that instead of a Word document. The formatting just never seems to come through correctly and it will always look right in a PDF. 

7. Obtain a professional email address. There is no excuse - they're free. Even if your nickname and personal email address is, that doesn't mean your future employer needs to know about it.

All kidding aside, please don't get me wrong, I review a lot of good resumes. And, I'm sure some of the people making these errors would make great employees. But, I haven't yet determined a way to sort those out. My time is limited and I will probably only interview 5-10 of the probable 300 applicants over the phone. I will be lucky to conduct 3 face to face interviews from those people. Your resume needs to be perfect and great, not close and good. 

I do not envy anyone in the job market these days. If I were back out there on the hunt, I would likely make a tremendous amount of changes to my resume as well. It is my hope that these few simple changes will really make a difference and send you to the top of the pile instead of just in the mediocre middle. 

Stay tuned for more chapters in this series as we've only just begun down the path of hiring. I'm sure I'll come up with more advice as we enter the interviewing stage.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Personalized School Work Boxes - Part One

So, the kids' sitter is off this coming week and I was at Walmart alone on Friday. What did I end up with? A couple file boxes, two huge packs of scrapbook paper, spray adhesive, ModPodge, file folders and three canvases. For those that don't know me well, crafting is NOT my thing. But, I was caught at a weak moment and just started throwing stuff in my cart for two projects. (Initially, I had grabbed two three ring binders for the girls and some sheet protectors and was going to call that good for this project.)

I was actually able to get started on my first project this weekend as Tom was gone for a golf outing. I have seen this posting by I Heart Organizing on Pinterest many times. She put together file boxes for each of her boys with folders for each year. I loved that she put the school picture on the front of each folder. Her post also includes free printables for the file folder cover sheets and labels. I'll be working on this in the coming week as my printer is not yet set up.

In the meantime, I decided that I wanted to take this one step further and make personalized boxes for each of the kids. Before you give me too much grief, no, Jack does not have any masterpieces yet. But, one day he will and his box will match the girls'. (And, I've contemplated adding a folder for important papers - shot records, doctor visits, etc.) I decided to document the whole thing with photos so I could share it here with you good people...

Here is the box I started with. They were $5 at Walmart this week. It's a nice plastic box with a latching lid. It's not too big and not too small. I think one file folder will be appropriate for each years' papers, report cards, etc.

I started by letting the girls pick out the colors they would like for their names. Here are Josie's choices.

OK - take that back - she picked other colors first and I guided her in another direction. I decided to use the orange she originally chose as a template. I realized that the kids have a lot of the same letters and it was silly to continue to recreate the correct size and look of the letter. Plus, it became more of a "font." It also allowed for me to have a messy template - it took a few tries to get the letter looking the way I wanted it. This will make more sense in later steps.

My model with one of my templates.

Once I had the template cut, I traced it BACKWARD onto the actual page I wanted to use. There are two reasons for this. One, I had textured paper and I wanted the texture on the outside. Two, which I guess is really the same as one, I didn't want trace marks on the side that would show.

I was worried the girls would get in the way, but they managed to keep themselves busy. (Jack was napping.)

Here are all of the letters for Josie!

Then, I placed them on the box the way I wanted them to look. I couldn't really come up with a great way to mark their location, so I just took a picture.

I used spray adhesive to get them to stick to the box. I will caution you - it does not take much! In fact, I'll likely be redoing Josie's because I used to much and there is adhesive everywhere. Learned my lesson and Tessa and Jack's are much better.

I sprayed it in my sink and over newspaper just in case. (You can see the junk in this picture. It does NOT dry clear.) For Josie's I may try ModPodging over it to see if that hides the imperfection. It can't hurt anything.

And, the finished products!

Now, I have to keep these templates and figure out what else I can do with them!

Stay tuned for part two of this project. I haven't decided if I'll be using the free printables or making my own. All in all, a VERY easy project which is just what this girl needed!

Back on the Horse Check-In - 09/25/11

Another week has come and gone! I had a great week and just an OK weekend. I'm finding that I can do things during the week, like simply keep my hunger curbed, and stay on track. When the weekend comes though, it seems too much emphasis is placed on eating. So, while it wasn't too bad, I didn't stick to my goals.

I bought a book on Amazon tonight that I'm very excited to get in the mail. It's The 4-Hour Body by the same author of The 4-Hour Work Week. I first heard about it from an aquaintence's blog - Mark's Blog. He's lost 70 pounds so far from following the program. From what little I have read, it sounds like something that will be an interesting read anyway. The diet eliminates the "white" foods but places little emphasis on true calories. Plus, it looks at various supplements to achieve desired results. Finally, my favorite part of the concept is binge day. I struggled this week with the thought of so much protein and "good" carbs and no "reward." I'll obviously read about it, but it sounds like binge day can actually be good for your metabolism. It will keep you out of starvation mode among other things. You can read a sample chapter here.

For me, I just need to keep all of this front of mind. The Audio Book in my car is helping and reading more will also help. I think this will be a good week weight loss wise. That being said, last week was so bad, I don't have much worse to get. :) I have 5 weeks left until October 31st which is my first official long term goal. I should be at about 4-5 pounds by this week. Hopefully, the scale agrees tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Back on the Horse Check-In - 09/21/11

Another good day yesterday. And, I'm not one of those people who stays off the scale until weigh in day so I know that is moving in the right direction too. Here's how I did yesterday...

1. Log what I eat - I use and their iPhone app - Done!
2. Eat under 1250 calories of high protein, good carb food - this is net of exercise calories - Done! Kept my "good carbs" to one serving. Today was whole wheat pasta for dinner.
3. Drink 64 oz. of water or green tea - Oops - missed this one. Can't win 'em all.
4. Exercise for 40 minutes - Done! This was a tough one to get started. Tom and I did Insanity together which is always better. Managed to get it accomplished with all three kids awake and around the house too.
5. Take a vitamin - Done!
6. Be accountable - I blog about my progress in the evening or next morning - Done!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New House Update

A few cliches come to mind as I write this post...

Rome wasn't built in a day
Good things come to those who wait
Patience is a virtue
Slow and steady wins the race

I just read through my previous posts labeled with "New House" and realized my first post about our new house was dated June 24th. This was probably a day or two after we received the first offer on our old house. So, we've been working on this for the last 90 days. That being said, we didn't do anything with it until we were officially closed on the old house. I figured it's time for an update!

Our floor plans are finalized and approved by the neighborhood association. I will be posting some sort of rendering of the plans, but am trying to figure out how I want to do this. Chad, our construction manager and architect, and Tom and I, have spent a lot of time on this and I don't really want it out there in cyberspace free for the taking!

Now that they have been approved, Chad is in the process of finalizing the full set of construction drawings.   In the meantime, Tom's been able to get the lumber package out for an initial bid and will be doing foundations next. A call has been made to set up the survey and we're moving toward actually closing on the lot. We have little desire to close on anything until we have all of our ducks in a row with everything else. Our hope is to break ground within days of closing, which will happen within the next three weeks.

So, this brings us to the next step which is selecting finishes for the inside of the home. We have a good idea as to the basics, but it's getting close to the time to make true selections. For instance, we know what type of flooring we want (carpet, hardwood, tile, etc.) and even the brand (Shaw) but we need to pick the specific line and color.

This brings up the broader issue of choosing a color palette for the inside of the house. We don't want to start picking colors for finishes without having a plan. I'm struggling with whether I want to go with browns or grays. Gray is so in right now! I think that's where we'll start. Here are some rooms I've found on Pinterest that appeal to me... We are definitely doing white trim and dark woods - adding a few beams in the great rooms.

Benjamin Moore - Antique Pewter
Not sure of the color but love it all
More Gray

On the not so exciting end of things, we looked at fireplace inserts today. Now, at first that may seem exciting, but it's truly just the inserts. Not the mantle, not the doors, not the logs, just the insert.  We are not doing a full masonry fireplace for a few reasons. We'll have one fireplace in the family room and one outside on the covered porch. The one inside will have gas logs but the one outside will be truly woodburning with a gas starter. We now know what we're looking for so we can go from there.

Finally, it's time to get serious about the exterior colors and stone. Tom is thinking he wants to go with a dry stack stone, maybe even the same as Timber Run. I'm OK with that, but could also go for something a little different. We've been doing drystack at Timber Run for three years and I'm ready to see something else I think. That being said, people love that stone and it's so versatile that it will go well with multiple different paint colors. Here's a pic of the condos...

So, there you have it. A glimpse into what we're thinking through right now. It's an exciting time, but also a lot to do. Which brings to mind one more cliche - How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Back on the Horse Check-In - 09/20/11

Yesterday was a good day!

Here were my goals for the day...

1. Log what I eat - I use and their iPhone app - Done!
2. Eat under 1250 calories of high protein, good carb food - this is net of exercise calories - Done! I was actually down a little from this. Because of a longer exercise, I burnt more calories. Plus, I decided to watch those carbs a lot closer. I do so much better with weight loss when I have only one serving of "good carbs" a day. Today was brown rice. Now, I just need to make it to the grocery for a few more staples.
3. Drink 64 oz. of water or green tea - Done!
4. Exercise for 40 minutes - Done! I did a TurboFire video that was supposed to take 45 minutes, but with kid interruptions, it ended up taking about an hour. Which, I think is OK. I wore my heart rate monitor and my heart rate stayed up even during the interruptions so it just meant more calories burnt!
5. Take a vitamin - Man, I forgot this one.
6. Be accountable - I blog about my progress in the evening or next morning - Done!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Back on the Horse Check-In - 09/19/11

Blah. What a bad week. I'm not sure where I got off track, but back again I come. The workouts fell off the face of the earth and the calories just started adding up. And, we're being honest here right? I stopped logging food all together.

Now, to look to the positive news from the week... I have officially determined that I eat when stressed and when bored. As soon as something comes up that stresses me out, I see it as an excuse to eat. I guess I'm not totally sure why, but with as much stress as I have in my life right now, I need to get over it. Eating junk will certainly not make me feel better in the long run. In fact, it makes me feel pretty crappy in the short one too - can anyone say guilt?

So, today is a new day. I will start again. Today, I will take a new look at things and remember a few things...

- Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels
- Working out makes me feel better
- I will not lose five pounds in two days

Here are my goals for the day...

1. Log what I eat - I use and their iPhone app 
2. Eat under 1250 calories of high protein, good carb food - this is net of exercise calories 
3. Drink 64 oz. of water or green tea
4. Exercise for 40 minutes 
5. Take a vitamin 
6. Be accountable - I blog about my progress in the evening or next morning 

And, here are the longer term goals...

1. Run the Riley Run 5K in 25 minutes - Ran last week and felt pretty good. I'm still thinking 25 minutes may be a stretch, but I'll give it my best!
2. Lose 10 pounds by October 31 - a pound a week - Did I mention how bad this week was for me? Needless to say, the scale reflected this. I do think I can make this date though. This week just proved to me that I need to not have an off week. I suppose an off day here or there can work, but an off week just doesn't work. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Back on the Horse Check In - 09/15/11

So, I'm posting this on my phone because I've been a bit busy this week. Not really with anything in particular other than life in general. But, here we are on Thursday and I haven't updated on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. Mostly because Monday and Tuesday were abysmal. I went over on calories and didn't exercise. I did manage to drink my water though and take vitamins.

I made up for it Yesterday though. I manage to, get this, eat LESS thank my allotted calories for the day! A lot of that had to do with forcing a 4.25 mile run. I actually felt really good running and probably could have gone further but was on a time crunch.

As I frequently do, I was mentally composing a blog post all day yesterday. It was filled with whines which is why I didn't write it. Sometimes, our lives get a little out of control. I hear "how do you do it" a lot and sometimes I just want to scream "I don't!" Sometimes it feels like I get a lot done buy don't do any of it well. Yesterday was just one of those days. Or, it was until I went for that run. How is it that I always forget how much better I feel after I exercise?! After my run, we went to Bible Study. Once we were home, Tom helped the girls pick up the playroom while I cuddled with Jack and put him to bed. I read the girls books (making an effort to enjoy it and not rush) while Tom did the dishes. All was right again in my world. :)

So, no need for a downer post. Perspective is always an important thing and something I struggle with on a daily basis. Getting priorities in line always help. Today will be another great day!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Back on the Horse Checkin - 09/11/11

I missed filling everyone in yesterday about the day before, but I did pretty well. Here are my stats from yesterday...

1. Log what I eat - I use and their iPhone app - DONE!
2. Eat under 1250 calories of high protein, good carb food - this is net of exercise calories - I did good here - not perfect but good. I went on a major snack binge before dinner which is dumb. I think I went too long without eating and I was hungry and bored.
3. Drink 64 oz. of water or green tea - DONE! Finally made some more green tea and it was good.
4. Exercise for 40 minutes - DONE! In fact, it was closer to an hour. Instead of Insanity, we took the kids to the bike path. Tom took off on a run and the girls took turns in the stroller and then riding the bike. I kept up with the double (non-jogging) stroller. I jogged about half the time while pushing that beast!
5. Take a vitamin - DONE!
6. Be accountable - I blog about my progress in the evening or next morning - DONE!

And, here are the longer term goals...

1. Run the Riley Run 5K in 25 minutes - Didn't get a chance to run this weekend. I made need to amend this goal. 25 minutes is seeming a bit lofty. 
2. Lose 10 pounds by October 31 - a pound a week - Only lost 0.5 pound this week. (I was actually down 1 pound as of yesterday, but today was only 0.5 and Monday is the day that counts.) Looking back on my app, it's pretty obvious why I didn't lose that extra pound. I was 2500 calories over for the week (and I'm sure I missed a few here and there). My calorie goal is based on a pound and a half a week and 3500 is a pound. So, I was close to a pound over my goal. Hence, only losing 0.5 pound. I will do better this week. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

First Trip to Tuttle

This week made us think of fall so we took off to Tuttle Orchards today. The girls were excited because they like to pick apples there. I was excited because they would finally eat some fruit. For some reason, they love the apples there and won't eat them from anywhere else. So, off we went.

First we went over to the apple store to check things out. The kids enjoyed running through the greenhouses first, especially Jack.

Second stop was the measuring stick at the entrance. We've been doing this for a while.

2011 - Tessa wouldn't participate



2008 - We must have skipped Tuttle this year because we have no photos

2007 - Our first year in Greenfield

After seeing how we measured up, we went into the orchard to see about picking some apples.

After hauling both girls in the wagon, I was sweating and tired. Plus, we were finding no apples. It was the first weekend for upick and the trees were pretty bare. Everyone was tired, so we turned around, apple-less, and went back to the store. We bought a nice bag of apples and some peaches.

Later tonight, Jack saw Tessa's apple on the counter and started pointing and whining for it. So, I sat him up in his chair and let him have at it. I've been playing a little with my camera and used this chance to play around a little more.

Love how the apples are in focus and his face of joy is not.

He sure looks like he's enjoying himself! I love how he's kind of peeking over the apples.

Just a sweet baby...

It was a fun taste of fall. Next time, I'm getting an apple cider slushy though despite the calories... :)

Back on the Horse Check In - 09/09/11

Here were my goals for the day...

1. Log what I eat - I use and their iPhone app - DONE!
2. Eat under 1250 calories of high protein, good carb food - this is net of exercise calories - Blech. I really don't want to talk about it. I did really bad here for three reasons. See #4 and then pizza and beer for dinner. Not proud.
3. Drink 64 oz. of water or green tea - DONE!
4. Exercise for 40 minutes - Not today. I'll tell myself that it is because I was really sore and needed a rest day, but that's giving myself an excuse. The truth is, I really just didn't feel like doing it.
5. Take a vitamin - DONE!
6. Be accountable - I blog about my progress in the evening or next morning - DONE!

Not a great day, but tomorrow is always another day. Today has already been a better day and as long as I don't go crazy on snacks tonight, I'll be good. Oh, and I need to chug some more water. I weigh in on Monday, but have been checking everyday and not seeing any loss. Just got to keep after it I guess. 

Here was Monica's progress from Thursday (09/08/11). I found it on her blog. Monica - if you're reading this, let us know how you did for Friday and today. 

Yesterday's goals:
1. Drink 64oz of water. Accomplished!
2. Elliptical tonight for 30 minutes. Didn't happen - but got a lot of housework done. 
3. Start weighing myself everyday.  Check.

This weeks goals:
1. No pizza - still okay here
2. No desserts - made it one more day
3. More fruits, veggies, low carb, high protein - doing well here - maybe too much protein.  

Friday, September 9, 2011

Back on the Horse Check In - 9/8/11

So, here were my goals for today (and they'll stay here until I change them)...

1. Log what I eat - I use and their iPhone app - DONE!
2. Eat under 1250 calories of high protein, good carb food - this is net of exercise calories - Over by about 200 calories or so. Got on an almond kick today and may have had a handful too many. 
3. Drink 64 oz. of water or green tea - DONE!
4. Exercise for 40 minutes - DONE!
5. Take a vitamin - DONE!
6. Be accountable - I blog about my progress in the evening or next morning - DONE!

Here are Monica's goals for the day... Check in Monica and let us know how you did! (Also, Monica has started her own blog to track progress as well. Follow her here!)

Today's goals:
1. Drink 64oz of water.
2. Elliptical tonight for 30 minutes. - thought I should stay indoors with this nasty weather.
3. Start weighing myself everyday. 

This weeks goals:
1. No pizza
2. No desserts
3. More fruits, veggies, low carb, high protein 

It's not too late to join in the fun! Simply post your goals for today in the comment box and we'll track our progress together! Good luck today!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Back on the Horse - Check In 09/07/2011

OK Anonymous - you know who you are even if we don't. :)

Let's see how you did today. Here were the goals you posted for today and how you did...

Yesterday goals:
1. Drink 64 oz water - 50% complete - fell asleep before I drank my last 32 oz cup - but maybe a good thing - because I may not have made ti through the night dry.
2. 30 min walk tonight - didn't happen - when I made the goal it was nice and pretty out - then it got very cold and wet by the time I got off work.

This weeks goals:
1. No pizza - doing well
2. No desserts - had 1/2 of a cookie a patient brought me.
3. More fruits, veggies, low carb, high protein - doing well here. 

We'll check in with your long term goals in a Monday post - once a week for these. :)

Don't forget, accountability is key and even if you didn't hit all of your daily and weekly goals, all is not lost. Tomorrow is another day and you get to make that choice all over again! 

So, post how you did today and your goals for tomorrow. Can't wait to see how you did!

Back on the Horse Challenge - Welcome!

So, I finally have a taker! "Anonymous" posted goals this afternoon and I'm so excited to have them along with me on this challenge. The accountability is great and kept me focused on my goals today.

I encourage you to follow us on this journey and join in by posting your goals. Simply post your goals for the day or for the following day as a comment. Every day in which someone has posted their goals, I will post a "check in" post in which you can fill us in on your progress.

Make sure your goals are SMART.

S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Attainable
R - Realistic
T - Timely

Also, they should be written in the current tense as if you are actively achieving those goals.

Here is a good example -

I lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks.

S - Specific - 10 pounds
M - Measurable - Simply step on the scale at the beginning and end of the time frame
A - Attainable - A pound a week is something most can attain with a slight change in diet and exercise
R - Realistic - 10 pounds in 5 days would be unrealistic - This is very similar to Attainable
T - Timely - Set a deadline for achieving your goal

Perhaps your goal is a little different. Maybe you're at a good weight but want to become more fit or eat better. Here are some other examples.

I drink 64 ounces of water each day for two weeks.
I workout 5 days a week for 4 weeks.
I eat 5 servings of fruits and/or vegetables each day for a week.
I eat only 3 Hershey Kisses per day for a week. (Good for choco-holics, but here's where Realistic comes into play - cutting out chocolate all together would be unrealistic, but yet attainable. Make sure you have both.)

Remember that anything you do for 14 days becomes a habit. Also remember that if you blow a goal for a day, that doesn't mean you give up and throw in the towel. Each day is a new day. We've all been there. Just be honest, own up to it and give it your all the next day.

Join me in this challenge and we can work together to improve our health and fitness!

Back on the Horse - Day 9 & 10

OK - so I've gotten a day behind. I'll first update on Day 9.

Here were my goals:

1. Log what I eat - I use and their iPhone app - DONE!
2. Eat under 1250 calories of high protein, good carb food - this is net of exercise calories - Date night led to another overrun of about 400 calories - well, that and then see #4. :)
3. Drink 64 oz. of water or green tea - Don't remember how much water, but I know it wasn't enough
4. Exercise for 40 minutes - Boo - missed another day
5. Take a vitamin - honestly just forgot this one
6. Be accountable - I blog about my progress in the evening or next morning - DONE!

And, yesterday was supposed to be the first day to track my longer term goals:

1. Run the Riley Run 5K in 25 minutes - I ran this Saturday and didn't feel awesome. However, it was hot and there were hills and I had a bad attitude. Plan to run a 5K this weekend on the treadmill.
2. Lose 10 pounds by October 31 - a pound a week - Despite my best efforts, I did lose 1.5 pounds this week!

These are/were my goals for today (Day 10):

1. Log what I eat - I use and their iPhone app - DONE! 
2. Eat under 1250 calories of high protein, good carb food - this is net of exercise calories - DONE!
3. Drink 64 oz. of water or green tea - About half way there, but I plan to chug another glass before bed
4. Exercise for 40 minutes - DONE! Insanity - Cardio Power & Resistance - I'm happy to say that I actually enjoyed the workout a little bit today which I've been struggling with since starting back up. Also, I felt like I was more "into" it today. May be because I did it at 4:30 in the afternoon and not 6 in the morning. Plus, I made a pot of coffee beforehand. :)
5. Take a vitamin - DONE! - I bought some chewable adult vitamins at CVS today and plan to keep some in my car and keep some at the office. Then, I'll be able to take them on a full stomach. Eventually, I'd like to add in some fish oil supplements and maybe others as well.
6. Be accountable - I blog about my progress in the evening or next morning -

Overall, a decent two days. I need to work harder on my water intake and make it an ABSOLUTE PRIORITY to fit in the exercise. So many things are coming at me from many angles that I feel like I'm doomed. I have to make it work. My mornings are now out for the most part as Josie has to be up at 6:45 and out the door at 7:25 and Jack and Tessa are up at 6 for some reason. I'm working on my plan, but today worked OK by leaving work at 4:30 and having Tom pick up the kids. 

Also, I have to really work on my patience. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I was really hoping for more than 1.5 pound loss the first week. The weight loss is a journey that will not get me there right away. I tend to sabotage myself when I see a little loss. I really need to stick with it this week. I can eat very reasonably if I keep up the intense exercise. I don't feel deprived on those days, but very much so on days I don't "earn" the exercise calories. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Change Change Change

(I understand this blog post title has probably been used by every blogger under the sun, but it fits so deal with it.)

This has certainly been a season of change for the Joyner household. When I really sit back and think about how different things are today then they were even three months ago, it's no wonder I feel like we're in a tailspin half the time. Change is a very difficult thing to maneuver and I think we're doing an "OK" job. Mind you, just OK.

Tomorrow brings another change and then Wednesday yet another.

Due to staff cutbacks at Josie's new school, they had very full kindergarden classes - 27 in the AM and 28 in the PM. Luckily, they were able to get some of the money raised last year in the Save Our Staff (SOS) events to add an extra kindergarden class in the morning. This is a great way to use the funds and I hope that parents and community members understand how much something like this means to a parent like me. Smaller class size is very important and I think all of our kids will blossom, despite the next part of the story.

Since you've probably already read the title of this post, you probably know where I'm heading with this next part. After three weeks of school, Josie will be changing classes. Since she's in the PM class, she'll not only be changing times, but also changing teachers. I know she will do great - she's a very adaptable kid. But, she's already grown fond of her teacher and is catching on to the schedule of the day and all that good stuff. I'm sure the new teacher is going to work hard to make the transition easy on the kids. Luckily, the new teacher has been working with the classes, so Josie's already familiar with her.

Now, this does wonders for our schedule however. On days Tessa was in school and I worked, (Wednesday), this is what our schedule would have looked like once preschool started...

8:50 - Out the door with all three kids
8:55 - Drop Tessa at preschool
9:00 - Drop Josie & Jack at sitters
10:55 - Tom pick up Josie and drop her at school (30 minutes)
11:00 - Sara pick up Tessa and drop her at sitters (30 minutes)
2:00 - Sara pick up Josie and drop her back at sitter (30 minutes)
5:15 - Pick up all kids at sitters

Of course, if Tessa didn't have school (Tues/Thurs), you could cut that out. Or, if I didn't work (Mon/Fri), we wouldn't have to go to the sitters in the AM & PM. But, still, you get the point.

But, now, I'll take Josie at 7:30 to school, come back and pick up the kids to take to the sitter or school. Work for an hour-ish, go back to Josie's school at 10:30, then Tessa's at 11 and get them all to the sitters' at 11:15 and have the afternoon to really get things done at work.

I keep telling myself it's just for a few months. Next year, we'll figure something else out.

Then for the final change, Tessa starts PreK on Wednesday. I'm really hoping that's the end of big changes around here until moving to the new house. I'm not sure how much more this mama can take. I know it's wearing on the kids too having to adapt to everything so quickly. But, I am assured by my Aunt Trena (a wonderful preschool teacher) that change is so very good for them. They'll be stronger after all of this - I just hope the adults fare as well.

Back on the Horse - Day 8

Blech! Well, vacation always throws me off. Of course, we do tend to treat every weekend, especially long ones, like a vacation. I did get a run in on Saturday (Sunday was supposed to be a rest day anyway) so today is the only day I didn't get to exercise. And, if I'm truly looking for positives, the eating could have been way worse. Still not super proud.

Oh well. What's done is done. Tomorrow is a new day. Here are my goals:

1. Log what I eat - I use and their iPhone app
2. Eat under 1250 calories of high protein, good carb food - this is net of exercise calories
3. Drink 64 oz. of water or green tea
4. Exercise for 40 minutes
5. Take a vitamin
6. Be accountable - I blog about my progress in the evening or next morning

And, tomorrow will be the first day to track my longer term goals:

1. Run the Riley Run 5K in 25 minutes
2. Lose 10 pounds by October 31 - a pound a week

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Back on the Horse - Day 5

Well, I'm here and I did OK. Not great, but OK.

Here are the results...

1. Log what I eat - I use and their iPhone app - DONE!
2. Eat under 1250 calories of high protein, good carb food - this is net of exercise calories - Not a failure, but probably not awesome either. Stuck close to calories, but had more than I needed of processed flours, sugars, etc.
3. Drink 64 oz. of water or green tea - Up to 48 ounces - need to down another 16 before bed tonight. 
4. Exercise for 40 minutes - DONE! - Today was just the Cardio Recovery for Insanity today which is technically 32 minutes, but I did the warmup twice because I started in the morning and couldn't finish because the kids were up so I redid the whole thing tonight.
5. Take a vitamin - DONE! Just got off the couch to make it happen.
6. Be accountable - I blog about my progress in the evening or next morning - DONE!

As I mentioned, the kids were up early again today. I try to start my workout by 6:45 so I'm done by 7:30 or so, but today they were up by then. (I wake up between 6-6:15 because I have to have a cup of coffee before the workout.) I'm sure they're starting to hear things moving around here - my alarm going off, the coffee maker, etc. Either way, it's getting bothersome. I'm going to have to wake up earlier and be quieter if I want this to happen in the morning.

This weekend should be interesting. We're heading to the lake which makes it difficult for a number of reasons. We usually stop for fast food both directions on the trip. Then, mom and dad always have great food for us there. Of course, then there's the alcohol. My goals for the weekend may be a little different then they've been during the week. 

Here are my goals for tomorrow...

1. Log what I eat - I use and their iPhone app
2. Eat under 1250 calories of high protein, good carb food - this is net of exercise calories
3. Drink 64 oz. of water or green tea
4. Exercise for 40 minutes
5. Take a vitamin
6. Be accountable - I blog about my progress in the evening or next morning

This will mean I have to get up and exercise before heading to the lake. It also means no junk on the trip. Finally, it will mean a glass or maybe two of red wine and a very reasonable dinner. 

I'll be recounting my long term goals on Monday. So far, I think I'm down 0.5 pound. Blech. But, I also know that working out makes your muscles retain water. (DOMS - Delayed onset muscle soreness) Either way, I still hope I'm down 1.5 pounds this week so I can still be on track to hit my goal. Plus, I think Tom and I will shoot to run this weekend while at the lake. Sunday will be our "off" day.