Friday, June 19, 2009

Books, Food, and Exercise!

So, it's been a few days, thought I'd write a post! Here's a few things I've been doing, thinking about, or discussing lately...

I'm nearly done with the Harry Potter series! I'm in the middle of book 5 to be exact, and I must say I LOVE it! My bf and sister had been telling me for at least the last year that I needed to read them all (Note: I was a poop and read book 7 right when it came out because I could not stand to be the last person on Earth to know how it all ended!) But, I hadn't prescribed to the whole phenomenon at that point. Well, right now, I'm pretty absorbed in Wizard-land and it's definitely something I look forward to daily!


I've also been doing a TON of talking to people about "diet" and exercise. I use the word diet carefully because I don't like it. I HATE dieting! But, alas, with my sluggish thyroid, glucose and insulin sensitivity and *ah hem* squishy belly, I just know I need to do something different or I'm never going to be in a swim suit again! So...while I know that sticking to a complete low carb diet like I've done before (Eat Right 4 Your Type, Atkins, etc.) is impossible long term, I still think that the lower GI- type diets work best and are best for me for my health issues. So, I decided that my focus should simply be on fresh, unprocessed foods! More vegetables, fruit, whole grains and good fats. I'm going to try and stay away from all things fried, processed, and definitely my biggest challenge will be SODA! I've been working on it a little this past week, dabbling in it you might say, and I lost a whole lb. even though I only went to the gym twice! But this next week, I'm going to really try and go for it a little more strictly. I do think I'll allow myself at least one "free" day a week at first, so I don't feel completely bored with life, but I'm gonna be careful too!

I have also decided I've been working out a bit the wrong way. I already knew this, I have piles of magazines and books in which I've read about it all before, but somehow I keep forgetting things I already know! I've been doing way too much cardio and not nearly enough weight training! Don't get me wrong, cardio is great for you, it improves your endurance and is good for your heart and definitely burns calories....but....if you don't lift weights to help build and tone your muscles too, you're not really going to change the shape of your body! And, even if you are able to, it will take so much longer just to burn off all the fat! Building muscle will also increase your overall calorie burn, and that will benefit any activity you do, plus it will help to build definition and help keep your skin taught as you lose the fat! So my new regimen will be at least 3 days of 20 min. cardio with 20 min weights, and since I am still training to run a half marathon with my dad in August, I'll be trying to increase my run distance on at least 2-3 separate days as well. Good luck to me!

I've just started reading another book that deals with metabolism and hormone balance and proper (read: healthy) diet from Jillian Michaels', of The Biggest Loser- called Master Your Metabolism. So, I'll let you know more as I find it out!
Anyway, I hope that was entertaining enough for tonight! I'll try to post some new financial tips soon, but I am so tired *yawn* that I simply must go to bed! Ciao!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Time off...

It was so nice to have some days at home to recover from surgery. I don't know how successful it was yet, but I'm optimistic and I know I'll be able to handle whatever happens!

I made this yummy, yummy salad on Friday...cucumbers, tomatoes, fresh basil, fresh mozzarella and Kraft Zesty Italian dressing...I highly recommend it!

I also felt well enough on Friday to take a walk near my neighborhood and saw some beautiful flowers...I just love wild flowers. I didn't even take my ipod with me, I just walked around and tried to notice my surroundings, it was so nice!

And now...back to work tomorrow! Oh...how I loved the last 5 days. :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Trials

So, tomorrow I am having, yet again, another ear surgery. Humm, I wonder what number this makes? 248? Just kidding, I'm sure it's not that many, but honestly, I've lost track of the real number. I would say it has to be over 50 now, but who knows! This time it's my left ear again, but there is no longer any infection, so this surgery they are going to try an reconstruct the prosthetic piece behind my eardrum so I can hear again out of this ear. I doubt this will be the last, but I hope it works and lasts a few years at least.

I've stopped asking 'why' and started focusing on what it is I need to learn from this
trial in my life. I had to give a talk in church a week ago on ADVERSITY and this was one of the realizations that I had during the preparation. There are so many worse things that could be my trial in this life, and I'm sure it won't be the last, so I'll thank God for blessing me with something I can deal with and learn to endure it through!

On a lighter note...here are some cutie, cute photos of my darling nephew Elias!






Financial Tip:
So you should know your interest payments on your credit cards are the major 'sucker' of all the money you could be using to pay off bills or to save. Generally, I'd rather spend that money on anything else EXCEPT giving it to the credit card companies. So...I ask you to please make sure you know the interest rate on any and all of your credit cards. If you are trying to stick to a budget and are working on a payoff plan, you always want to be paying off the cards with the highest interest first! Also, keep your eye out for 0% interest rate cards. It's always better (when you have a good enough credit score to qualify!) to transfer balances to lower interest rate cards, then you can pay them off faster, and pay less of your money to the credit card mafia!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Summer fun, here I come!

Hello friends! I'm so excited it's June, Summer begins! I don't know why, but even though it's already been 90 degrees already, it doesn't really seem like Summer until it's June. And June is great! Justin and my sister Kellie's birthday is this month...along with about 10 other friends and family members...what was 9 months ago anyway?? :)

I'm also going on a work trip this weekend to Dallas again, then next week I'm having another ear surgery. This time, hopefully, my hearing will be restored a little! No more infection in there at least, so this reconstruction will hopefully really help me improve.

But, I look forward to the fun things that I hope to do this Summer. I definitely want to go fishing, go to a water park (a few times!), go to Lagoon once, float down the Provo river, hike the Y, and train for my half marathon in August, finish reading all the Harry Potter books, lose 20 lbs., volunteer somewhere, visit family and friends, play tennis with Kellie (hopefully at least once a week), and more! If anybody has some more fun suggestions for me, especially things that are local, let me know!

Okay- here's my latest FINANCIAL TIP-
Did you know that when you pay off a credit card you should NOT close the account? Part of your credit score is determined by how much available credit you have open, in relation to your total credit limits. It's similarly bad if you have high balances that are at or near your credit limits, that will usually lower your score too. So, kudos, when you do pay one off, but keeping it OPEN makes your Available Credit higher, and that makes it seem like you know how to manage your money better because you don't use all the credit that is available to you! It may take a few months for a reflection (increase) in your credit score when you pay something off, but it will help!! Note that you want to keep your "used" credit to less than 30-50% of your total Available Credit for maximum score potential. (If you don't have any credit cards, or don't ever use them periodically, that's bad too!) So, keeping your accounts open will also help show your credit history in length, and the longer you have a good credit record...you guessed it...you'll get a higher score!
*Use it wisely!