Psst! Want a clear head?

I am in complete and total bliss right now. Want to know why? It’s simple and free. I was able to clean and de-clutter yesterday. Generally, I just tidy, dust, and clean every week and that’s about as far as it goes. I’m not usually much of de-clutterer (word?) but I always have “spots” that drive me crazy in my house. So I started this daunting task by making a mental list of the places that drive me nuts. Some examples are:

  • End of kitchen counter (envelopes, pens, headphones, etc.)
  • Messy drawers that could be useful if they were clean
  • Nightstand with miscellaneous items on it
  • Dresser covered with jewelry, lotions, makeup (you name it!)
  • Will and Erin’s dressers – Will had stuffed animals on his dresser from when he was a baby that he never really had an attachment to. Erin had hair bows and socks and other various items strewn about
  • Putting plastic containers into storage of kids’ and Bill’s clothing that no longer fits

So, I was able to conquer all of these things and more. I cleaned up little things that didn’t have a “home” and gave them one. Let me tell you – my life feels completely in order just from doing these things. Every room in my house is clean right now, and nothing is out of place. It is seriously the best high in the world!

Start the Spring season off right by cleaning and de-cluttering. It only took me about 5 hours to really make a dent. (If you don’t have kids, or have kids that can occupy themselves, it will probably only take you 2 hours ;-) ) I never knew that doing so little could make such a big difference. Once you come to the realization that you can conquer just some of the cluttered spots in your house, you’ll be able to do it all!

Do-Able Health Tips

Before I start writing, I just want to say that this isn’t meant to be a “pat on the back, look at me, I’m great” kind of post. I simply want it to be a source of motivation for my readers and a place to get some good tips for healthy living!

Last March when I went to see my doctor, he said, “Julie, when you come back next year I want you to have lost 30 lbs.” I pretty much laughed and made a joke about buying a new wardrobe. My exact thoughts were “Yeah, right, that will never happen. I’ve never lost any weight all the other times I’ve tried.” I had even begun to make excuses for myself, thinking that it was okay for me to be overweight because I have kids. About 2 months went by and what my doctor said had stuck in the back of my mind.

My husband came home from work one day and told me about this running program that a coworker recommended to him. It is designed for people who never run, called Couch (Potato) to 5k (C25K). The app for your phone guides you step by step in order to be able to run for 30 minutes, or 5k. I’m not sure why I quickly decided to try it, but I did. I stuck with it, loved it, and in turn starting loving running! I had never run in my life before and always claimed that I hated it. What helped me keep going was that I had a goal of running a 5k, no matter how slow, and I wasn’t going to “quit” until I reached that goal. Luckily, I didn’t even afterwards ;) Now I work out about 3-4 times a week, and run at least 3 miles when I do. I also lost the 30 lbs my doctor told me to!

On top of this, I follow these basic guidelines for food on the weekdays:

  • Oatmeal with a bit of brown sugar or strawberries/blueberries
  • Apples and peanut butter
  • Spinach with balsamic vinegar
  • Carrots
  • Yogurt
  • Almonds
  • Lots of water (or seltzer water)
  • Healthy dinner – but since this is my main meal of the day, I need a bit of good fat, calories, and protein
  • No alcohol during the week

Now for those who don’t know me…I love food. Actually, I don’t just love it. I’m obsessed with it. I crave it, and usually give into my cravings. So all of my food “guidelines” are within reason. I’m a huge believer that if you want to lose weight, you have to make a lifestyle change. So for me, cutting out beer, burgers, cake, etc. was just not reasonable. So occasionally during the week I do give in, especially if the demands of family life give in to quick – sometimes unhealthy – meals, but I really try to wait until the weekend.

Another useful tip I can leave you with is this: If you don’t want to be tempted to snack or eat late at night, don’t buy unhealthy food for your house!!! If it’s not there, you won’t eat it. And if you are tempted to go out and buy it, you’ll probably decide it’s not worth it in the end.

And one more tip for a sweet tooth: Make a smoothie! I just mix ice, frozen mixed berries, and soy milk. It’s delicious, filling, and healthy! Or, find a frozen yogurt place nearby. It’s much better for you than ice cream and tastes delicious!

Alter things so they work for you! Be creative, stick with it, and find someone to make the changes with so you can have a support team and be held accountable. Or, I’ll be your support team :)