Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Progress Report

Giving progress reports keeps me accountable. So here goes...

Two months into my "Making Better Life Choices" routine and I've learned some things about myself. I want to make my daily routine become what I want my life to look like. Feel better, move better, quilt better, all those things! And since lists are my love language, here's the list for the second month of my progress.

Eating Well

I've been really rigid sticking to my 1200 calories a day. I track every calorie on my fitness app. It's easy and it's become routine. However, I find that sometimes I don't make the best nutritional choices because I'm so fixated on the number. I think I want to start adding a little flexibility to increase some of my nutritional goals.

Moving More

Walking/hikes with hubby have increased in frequency from 1-2 times per week to 3+ times per week. I've increased my distance of each hike from 3ish miles to almost 5 miles each time. I have been adding a little each time. This sometimes requires a brief rest at the end of the last hill, but I do feel like I'm making great cardio progress. My knees are maybe not so happy though. I can hear them grinding when I go up hills and I have some soreness in my right knee. Hmm.

Quilting Adventures

I've enjoyed trying new designs on half a dozen donation quilts for other folks. I also have tried some additional thread options and enjoy tweeking things to get them just right. I've also done several customer quilts and can happily say they are work I'm proud of! I'm happy to report I have several 'repeat' customers, so they must be happy too! I do go through a bit of 'withdrawal' if I don't fire up the longarm for a few days. Could this be a sign of addiction? LOL

Routine Improvements

No real breakthroughs here, but small steady steps of progress. I'm generally doing better at going to bed earlier, thus waking up earlier is easier. Getting things done in the early morning makes my whole day feel like there are more possibilities! I think that's why I loved homeschooling my kids so much. We had a great 'routine' that really allowed us to get so much done during the day and still have lots of fun time in the afternoon. However, the cold mornings lately have been tempting me to pull the covers up and snuggle a while longer.

Tracking Progress/Results

I'm not great at giving myself credit for progress. I've lost more weight, I've increased my cardio and stamina. I have noticed that my clothes are fitting more loosely (mostly my bra...I wish I was kidding!) And I'm just being so much more conscious of my choices. That in itself is progress.

Sadly, I still HATE the walking/hiking and only do it when my hubby is home to drag me along. I try so hard to be optimistic about it, but I just really dislike it. I am proud of my progress, but I do not enjoy one moment of the exercise itself. And before you suggest I vary the form of exercise, I have tried that in the past, and never found one I like. Although Boomer is ALWAYS happy to go on these walks! So working on my attitude and trying to be more grateful is something I am really struggling with.

The Struggle is Real...

My biggest struggle right now is learning to cope with my 'empty nest'. I know this is my second year and I should be better at it but I'm finding it harder than ever. I have requested some books from the library but they weren't what I was hoping for. Honestly, I don't know where to find resources/support for this issue. If you have any suggestions I would gratefully accept them. One of the issues is that my husband travels 4 days every week and I'm home alone a LOT. I find myself avoiding coming home because the house is so quiet. But then I feel guilty about the dogs waiting for me. So I went from a house full of kids and friends and chaos, to just me and the dogs. I think the dogs feel it too. They are super clingy and needy now. So it's not just me. Sigh.

So how are you doing on your goals?
Just remember...
Progress is greater than perfection.



  1. I feel your pain this stage in life is very hard. I have five children the first four were all about two years apart & the last pumpkin was born nine years after the last four. I now realize he helped me tremendously get through the sadness of seeing his brothers & sister fly the nest. My last has now been on his own for two years & the empty nest hit me in the face harder as I realized they were all gone & I came to grips with 'where did all those years go'. My few friends are all younger than me & work all day so I am home alone a lot. Honestly quilting has kept me sane and walking my dog helps the day go by. My husband is retiring in another week so he will be home now (which will be another stage in life to deal with!!) I miss those days having the kids around too but it does get easier so hang in there, this is how its meant to be & you have to look at it as having done a fantastic job that your children are on their own. Before you know it there will be weddings & grandchildren! Keep smiling & doing what you're doing!

  2. You're making great progress with your eating and exercise goals. There are times in a middle of an endeavor that you have to muddle through to get to the other side. You can do it. My recommendation is to join a club or something where you are around people - maybe a quilting group or a book club, or do some volunteering. When I played the Sims, they had a "social" meter that you had to make sure was met, and it sounds like your social meter may be low.

  3. You are doing great! I think we are at similar points--my older two graduated from high school in '17 and '18. Your life went from its busiest and most chaotic to EMPTY really fast. We all feel it at our house, too, and I still have two girls at home (junior and freshman in high school). I'm acutely aware of how fast the time will go. One suggestion for working out--can you find a boot camp-style class and/or an activity that you want to do that requires a certain level of fitness? I also hate working out, but I started riding horses when my girls did. That requires strength, flexibility and balance, and it motivated me to go to a boot camp class three times a week and Pilates once a week. The added benefit is that I LOVE my boot camp friends, so now I also have that motivation--I get to see them! I'm actually not so much of an extrovert but I really have a good time there. Ask around...I'll bet one of your friends does something like this. My class is great--our teacher can modify any move to meet you where you are, keep you coming in spite of a sore knee or an injured hand. Wish you lived a little closer (I'm on the south side of Atlanta in Newnan horse land) because I'd invite you to mine! Keep up the good work...

  4. Staying busy is great but use this time to get to know “yourself” (or get reacquainted with yourself). I was forced to go thru this (divorce, kids growing up, etc.), but I came out on the other side finding I actually liked myself. I’m comfortable with myself and enjoy my alone time as I sew or read a good book or just love on my dog, etc. In fact, I’ve found I even agree with myself on a number of issues 😂. And, yes, I have a boyfriend and family and friends but when I get home, it’s just me and my dog and it’s peaceful.

  5. Wow - 1200 cal/day is a good challenge, but tough to stick with. Kudos to you! Hope you find some ways to keep it working, but keep it healthy.
    I'm with you - I don't enjoy exercise just for the sake of exercise. If it's a side benefit of another activity - fine. Hubby and I used to walk every morning at 5 am (ugh!). Now he's on a different schedule and wants to walk at 4 am (no way!). I'm just not motivated to walk by myself.
    I do have more quilts to send you, but I need to get caught up on other things first. I have not even begun to bind the quilts you did for me this summer!
    I didn't realize you home-schooled your kids. I can see why Empty Nest is hard for you, especially with your hubby gone for long stretches. When my kids started school full time, I decided I needed something to do besides housework and quilting. I did a lot of volunteering. I worked at my kids' school and also at some different community organizations. The time required was flexible and it gave me a lot of satisfaction to do something helpful.

  6. I hate walking for exercise also. It wasn't such a core when we had a dog but now we only have the 2 cats and they are indoor cats, so no walking them. LOL
    I've rearranged my studio so I have to walk around my design/sewing table to get to the cutting mat and iron board, that's something, right?

  7. I think you're making good progress. You've set some big challenges and shouldn't expect equal progress on all of them at the same time. May I suggest two authors I've really enjoyed; Janice Kaplan (The Gratitude Diaries) and Gretchen Rubin (The Happiness Project and Better than Before, among others). New habits don't form overnight and you may just be trying to tackle too many issues at the same time. I have no wisdom on the "empty nest syndrome". I would see it as a form of grieving and time may be the best healer.

  8. Yay! Congratulations on making the positive changes and sticking with them!!
    How about taking photos of what you are observing on your walks. If you are "looking" for something interesting to share you may get through your walks faster.
    I have no thoughts on the empty nest issue. You sound like you are doing what you can do to stay busy. You've raised them to be loving and kind and mature! Take pride in that and know you and your husband did a great job (doing a great job still) raising them.

  9. Diane, I thoroughly enjoy your blog and the progress you are working on. I have 4 adult kids and when the last left he joined the Air Force, no coming home for the summer! He's been out of our home now for 10 years and I am still getting used to the empty nest. 2 of the kids live 1,500 miles away and another lives in the next town. I also work at home and that doesn't help with the quiet house but I do make a point of getting out every day. Hang in there. Sharon in Colorado

  10. I wish there was some magic thing to tell you how to deal with the empty nest. I know how it is when you children go off to college. All of a sudden, not only have they left the nest, but it's rare to hear from them very often as they are so busy with studies and new friends and learning all the new things they can find to do in a college/university setting. Maybe you might find other quilters in your area and have them over to your house once a week or every two weeks or so for a quilting day. Maybe each time, you all take turns showing a new technique you've learned, or know already. That might help somewhat. OR, maybe speak to a local school to see if you can somehow get your name out there to see if there are some in high school, or even grade school who want to learn to sew. That might be fun if it's possible and see if there are any sewing machine companies who might donate a few machines to you so the kids have something to use. I don't know how that would work in your home and how it might affect any local ordinances and/or your home insurance as well so that would be something to check out too. Or maybe you can do a Mom/Daughter type class so they can both be there and then the parent would be responsible for their child and they can learn together if neither know how to sew. Just an idea.

    Those knees grinding? Please get that checked. Go see an ortho doc to question if there may be a problem you weren't aware of. It's possible there has been something there, but because the lack of walking and using the knees as you are now, it hasn't surfaced. Also, I have a good friend who is a runner and she swears (as do her friends who run with her and post to her FB page) by the store Fleet Feet https://www.fleetfeet.com/ she's spoken about how they have machines in all their stores which can check your walking and running out and then will let the store personnel know the exact type shoe you need based on how you are landing on your feet and if your foot might be turned off to a side without you even being aware of it. That may help you a tremendous amount with the pain.

    I live with knee pain daily from osteoarthritis in both my knees. I know how frustrating it can be. If you can do anything to help that grinding not turn into something worse, please check it out. I would not wish this on my worst enemy.

    Good luck. It sounds like you are trying to help yourself get better so that's good.

  11. To counter the "home alone" feelings I started a small "quilting" group on Tuesday evenings at my house. I started by inviting 3 people I wanted to get to know better. Mostly we did hand work but I had space available for sewing machines on the dining room table. We sat and stitched and chatted. We had show and tell and brought projects for help with a technique or ideas on what to do next. We met for several years and grew to 7 or 8 people. It had many positive benefits for all of us and I developed a new best friend.

  12. You're making great progress. Try not to get discouraged. One small step at a time. It seems you're aware of the parts or situations that are a challenge. KEEP GOING!!

  13. good for you for sticking to your goals. I know it can be really challenging.
    The empty nest is a tough one. Maybe find a group of women who are going through it too? When I'm sad about Hanna moving, I try to remember how happy and well she is and that she is forging a life for herself. I still miss her terribly.
    I walk because it makes coco happy and I get a lot of audio book time in. I hope you'll like it more eventually too. it must feel good to get so much supportive feed back.

  14. Good for you at working on some difficult things! My kids are all in their own homes and with their families now. They are close by so I can see them often but I too miss that chaos of kids and all that goes along with it. I will tell you it gets better and pretty soon their will be grand kids to fill that silence!


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