Couponing for the Rest of Us

Simplify Sunday

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Debby McCuiston, the “Queen of Clutter-Free”, does a segment for us each Sunday on simplifying our lives, getting rid of “clutter”, and focusing on what’s important. We look forward to her words of wisdom each week & hope you enjoy it too! Take it away Debby….

 

Do you ever have a day or week that you just have the blahs? Nothing is really wrong, or at least you can’t put your finger on the cause of this feeling. I have had one of those weeks! Nothing was really wrong; I just was in a blah mood for about 3 days. It started on Saturday, and hung on until Monday. I even felt sorry for those around me, I just couldn’t perk up.

It wasn’t until this “mood” passed late on Monday, that I realized what was happening. During the blahs I felt so unfocused and overwhelmed. I am usually a list maker; I make plans with my list of must dos, should dos, and would love to do. I can get very detailed in my list making, to the point it looks like a plan for a military take over. I realized I didn’t have a list, no desire to make a list, and definitely no plans to make a list. I had lost focus, directions, and my motivation.

I was determined that when I went to bed on Sunday evening that I would get back to riding my recumbent bike on Monday morning, bright and early. I must confess at 6am it can be very easy to find at least 100 reasons not to get out of bed, and drag my tired body upstairs to ride my little bike. Despite the overwhelming urge to crawl back in bed I made it up stairs and to my surprise I made it 2 ½ miles. This was the start to a much better day, a more normal day.

On Monday evening I realized the blahs were slowing, but surely leaving because I felt like I had a little more energy. I wanted to get out my homemade hula-hoop and give it a few whirls. After that, I got out my free weights and proceed to do 3 reps and then really extended my good mood by doing crunches on the exercise ball. WOW! I felt so much better, until it was time to get out of bed the next morning. Stink fire! It hurt, and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out if I was getting a stomach bug or if something else was going on.

It wasn’t until I was up on the bike Tuesday morning that I realized that I wasn’t sick, I was sore from exercising. It had been so long since I had taken the time to intently exercise that I forgot what “sore” felt like. Then it dawned

on me that was the source of my blah mood-lack of exercise. It wasn’t just the exercise itself. It was the lack of focus on my weight loss goal and all that goes into that on a day-to-day basis.

I need to see results to keep me focused on the task at hand. I have to have a plan to get up and move daily. If I don’t, anything and everything seems to wiggle its way to the top of the list. I wish it were easier to just eat the right things and the weight would fall right off. The hard thing for me is that my best friend is one of those lucky people. She finally got her head in the game and in a matter of a little over a year lost over one hundred pounds. Yes, at times I want to just pinch her skinny little head!! (I promise I don’t but on those rough days, I think long and hard about it.)

I will be honest; I work hard at this weight loss battle to the point that I will get frustrated at myself if I don’t see the loss on the scale. I know all the hard work is changing my body shape, I can tell I feel smaller in my space. But when I weigh in and the scale only moves two-tenths of a pound, boy oh boy, does my body image plummet!

I know I am never going to be the type of person that will drop the weight without a fight. I have to realize that anything would having is worth the fight. I am worth the fight!!!

I have to make a plan and stick to it every day for as long as I am breathing. This is not a short term plan; it has to be a lifestyle, long term for a life time.

It is so easy to let other things become a priority in our life, and sometimes they may need to for a season. It’s when we chose not to realign our lives when we can get back to our original plan. We just keep moving without stopping, reevaluating and making the needed adjustments.

Isn’t this is how we are with our walk with the Lord. We are going along great, and all of the sudden we realize we have veered off the road going in a direction we have no idea to where or why. It seems that as soon as I allow my focus to change direction off of my goal to be more like Jesus, even the slightest, I start to feel empty. If I am not willing to look up and see the problem and allow the Lord to steer me back, I can really lose my way. Then

that’s when Satan can start to creep in that little crack. He targets my weaknesses, and knows that self-worth what keeps me in bondage. I know that the desires of my heart are grounded in the fact that I want to be more like Jesus. So just like any journey in this life I work toward the high calling, but there will be days I will stumble and may even fall flat on my face. It’s the desire to change that makes me get to my knees. My desire to be used makes me stand, and my desire to show others Jesus makes me take a step on this journey again, moving forward stronger this time. Each time I fall, I don’t fail. I learn how to get up faster, stronger, and with more desire than before. I fail only when I choose not to get up!

This life is a journey, not a race. It doesn’t matter the battle we are fighting, or how long it takes us to win, but being confident in the fact that we are called to fight the good fight; to get up when we fall, to put one foot in front of the other, to learn to be more like Jesus in all we do. That is why we know beyond a shadow of a doubt “WE WIN”!

This week this is the cheer I will be saying over and over: GO! Get up FIGHT! Get up again WIN! —Go! Get up Fight! get up again Win!!!

Love you to Jesus!

Debby


Simplify Sunday: 5-5

Debby McCuiston, the “Queen of Clutter-Free”, does a segment for us each Sunday on simplifying our lives, getting rid of “clutter”, and focusing on what’s important. We look forward to her words of wisdom each week & hope you enjoy it too! Take it away Debby….

Sometimes you don’t realize how bad something has become until you see it through someone else’s eyes. One evening I was in our bathroom putting on my makeup for my weight watchers meeting (because having makeup on makes me feel like I might look like I have lost some weight), when one of my little ones asked for some lipstick so she could look like a big girl. As I started looking for the lipstick with the lightest pink in the drawer, I realized I had at least 5 different shades of light pink. During this major excavation I also realized that I probably have 25 or so tubes of color, all ranging from long wear (guaranteed for 8 hours), to lip stain, or lip gloss for just a hint of color (I guess I might need that while I am pulling weeds because when I look my worst that’s when company is sure to come over).

To keep her busy during the makeup process I showed her how to pick out all of the lipstick and separate them into different boxes. Well, I am sure you understand where this is going to end up. Within a few minutes everything in the makeup drawer was on the counter and it was time for me to go. Isn’t that how it always goes, just when you get started, time runs out? That is why so many of us don’t get more projects finished, there is just not enough time or energy. So we never start decluttering, or we leave it half done until the next time we have time to finish it. I finally got back to working on this project two days later.

You know the drill, if you are cleaning out a space you may only put back what you are using, or know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you will use in the near future. Believe it or not, I found a few items that I can’t remember to save my life where they came from or why I even have them. I did run across a few bits of makeup from my daughter. I guess it was colors that didn’t work for her so she passed them on to me. The problem is she is very fair (she takes after her daddy) and I have an olive tint to my skin. I am not sure why I saved a shade that wasn’t working for her; did I think it would change colors if I kept it in that dark drawer? I tossed all of the items that did not work with or for my skin type. I was surprised how much stuff that I could not or would not use that I had kept for no rhyme or reason.

 

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Simplify Sunday

Debby McCuiston, the “Queen of Clutter-Free”, does a segment for us each Sunday on simplifying our lives, getting rid of “clutter”, and focusing on what’s important. We look forward to her words of wisdom each week & hope you enjoy it too! Take it away Debby….

I must be honest the last 2 weeks have been a bit rough! I am one of those people who eat when I am stressed, happy, sad, lonely, busy or bored. In reality, I can justify eating for any reason. The good news is that I am learning to recognize this and can even pinpoint the source of the problem. Not that it keeps me from mindless eating at times but it is getting better.

Two weeks ago on a sunny Sunday afternoon I received a phone call from one of my little ones. She wanted to go bike riding while her parents were turkey hunting. Needless to say, anytime I get to spend extra time with my younger friends I am all for it. I haven’t been on my bike since last summer so I knew I would be a little rusty. Surprisingly, I proved the theory that you never forget how to ride a bike. I may not have forgotten how to ride a bike but I did forgot that I do not have the balance and reflexes of a ten year old. I bolted downhill without my hands on the brakes…uh oh…oh no…not going to end well. I can’t remember ever having a bike wreck but I can now say I made up for it in one second of bad judgment.

I remember saying, “oh stink this is going to hurt” right before my head (yes, I had my helmet on) hit the pavement. IT HURT—BAD!! Thank the Lord I didn’t break anything!! I was hurt, scraped and bruised from top to bottom, but my ego hurt worse.

Here’s what I learned:

1. Hitting the pavement while going downhill very fast hurts…really bad.

2. Hold on to the brakes no matter how good you think you are.

3. The older you are the longer it takes to heal and get back on a bike (gone are the days of jumping on the bike and riding home).

4. I can decide if this becomes an excuse not to get back on the bike or just a bump in the road on the way to a healthier life (I plan on taking a bike ride this afternoon).

Over the past 2 weeks I have woken up to find a new bruise or sore muscle. I didn’t realize how many muscles and joints could hurt just from falling off of a bike. Head to toe, there must be one million different spots that can hurt at any time.

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Simplify Sunday: 4-9

Debby McCuiston, the “Queen of Clutter-Free”, does a segment for us each Sunday on simplifying our lives, getting rid of “clutter”, and focusing on what’s important. We look forward to her words of wisdom each week & hope you enjoy it too! Take it away Debby….

Since this has been Easter week I have had some many sweet memories running through my head, memories of growing up and how we celebrated this very special day.

Of course with four little girls in our house we had to have matching dresses and most years mom made those for us. Needless to say we were so cute, with our little purses, white shiny shoes, hats and the perfect dress. I never realized how much trouble my mom went to just to get that all together, hair curled, bows in place and to church on time. I am sure the hardest part was to keep us out of the candy, nothing is worse than to discover chocolate drool on that new dress you spent hours making.

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Simplify Sunday

Debby McCuiston, the “Queen of Clutter-Free”, does a segment for us each Sunday on simplifying our lives, getting rid of “clutter”, and focusing on what’s important. We look forward to her words of wisdom each week & hope you enjoy it too! Take it away Debby….

 

Well I can finally say I have recovered from my first 5K. Since I walked the 3.1 miles my body was able to recover within the week but it took a little longer for my brain to catch up. I gave myself the week off after the walk, not a good idea. It wasn’t that my body didn’t bounce back after the break; it was getting my brain back in the game that has been the hardest.

The first sign that it’s a brain problem is the number of excuses I can think up at 6am for not exercising. It’s not that I have stopped exercising; it’s the intensity that seems to be lacking. I thought I would never settle for the easy way, but I have. I will confess I haven’t ridden my bike for 2 weeks! I know once I get started back I will be hooked again; it’s just getting back into the habit.

During the day I squeeze in lifting weights and using gravity straps. All this is great for the purpose of toning and tightening my upper body. I do this several times during the day and will push myself but it still doesn’t feel like I am working at my best level. I am not sure if I am really doing this to help (yes, I want pretty arms for those sleeveless cute summer shirts) or because it’s the easiest exercise I can do and still feel like I am in the game.

I am trying to regain my footing and figure out what made it work so well at first. I have traveled this road before and refuse to go back to thinking that something is better than nothing. I want to expect the best out of myself and to understand what it takes to achieve the results I desperately want.

I have taken some time to reevaluate what I was doing different a few weeks ago. Believe it or not it’s the simple things, like when I eat breakfast. Before, I was eating after I finished my morning routine. Now, for some reason, I have started eating in the middle of my routine. This doesn’t leave enough time to finish before I start my work day. Not sure how or why this happened but it did, so I will change this one simple thing and expect better results. Hey, when you are looking for an excuse anything will do.

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Simplify Sunday

Debby McCuiston, the “Queen of Clutter-Free”, does a segment for us each Sunday on simplifying our lives, getting rid of “clutter”, and focusing on what’s important. We look forward to her words of wisdom each week & hope you enjoy it too! Take it away Debby….

Today I want to give you an update on “climbing out of the pit” and the ever changing world of getting my health in order.
Saturday March 10, 2012 I crawled out of bed at 6:00am wondering why in the world anyone in their right mind would be doing this. To tell you the truth normally I would have been able to talk myself out of going on this latest adventure but I made a promise to myself to do this and this time I was determined to keep that promise.
Since I am a firm believer in the motto “misery loves company” I invited anyone and everyone to join me in the first great adventure of this new year: run\walk a 5k. I know I know how crazy is that! I thought the more that would join me maybe that would help me run like the wind. Well, I had several friends and family commit to going with me. Needless to say in reality only my sweet husband and Keylee (a 9 year old family friend) came to walk with me. But I really don’t blame anyone for not coming because it was 35 degrees when we arrived at the track. To make matters worse the track ran beside the river so that gave us a very cold breeze blowing when we started the run. At least I knew my friends where still all snug in their warm beds while I stood waiting to start walking freezing my toes off.
My number was 329, that means there were at least 328 other crazy people out of bed and ready to start the day with a brisk run. We made our way to the back of the line, back with the moms with strollers, older people and the other walkers. As I found my place I realized that I was surrounded by about 320 tall skinny, healthy, lean, young men & women that couldn’t wait to run. As I sized up the competition and I was close to the oldest and hands down I won the coveted award for heaviest. About this time I could have kicked myself for ever thinking this was a good idea ( this about the time that the little voice in my head kicked in and gave me the same list about why i shouldn’t be there and what a waste of time it was)

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Simplify Sunday

Debby McCuiston, the “Queen of Clutter-Free”, does a segment for us each Sunday on simplifying our lives, getting rid of “clutter”, and focusing on what’s important. We look forward to her words of wisdom each week & hope you enjoy it too! Take it away Debby….

This week I want to share with you a personal struggle I deal with every day and how God has changed the way I think about the daily choices I make.

Around the first of November of last year I decided to buckle down and get serious about losing weight. I have been working at this off and on for several years and have lost the amount of weight equal to a kindergartener. So in reality that’s not too bad but when you still have a 3rd grader to lose (yes, I am very visual and needed something to relate the amount of weight I needed to lose) makes you realize there is a lot of work left to do.

If you have been at this weight loss thing as long as I have, at some point it becomes like second nature to feel guilty about anything you put in your mouth except a small lettuce leaf. The problem is not that I didn’t know what to do; the problem is that I knew what the right thing was but time after time I chose not to do the right thing. Just having information is not the answer. I tried to find a reason strong enough to motivate me.

As a mom, I tried to balance taking care of my home, outside activities, church, finances, etc… The need to make my health a priority continued to get pushed to the end of the list day after day, year after year. One day I woke up unhappy, overweight, and my self-esteem was in the pits. But being a mom I could not, or let me be honest, I chose not to find time to figure out what I needed. Much less follow through with a plan to make it happen. I was afraid if I took the time to concentrate on the things I needed to do for myself I would be selfish and the dreams of “mother of the year” would be down the tubes. Then, I took the “sacrificing mother” part farther, by letting my appearance go and throwing anything on just to cover my body. I stopped wearing makeup to work, and then I stopped wearing makeup to church. My hair on the other hand was always fixed! (That was all I thought I had going for me). By then, the downward spiral had begun. I wanted to cover up what I was doing to myself, all the while hoping I would still appear to be the BEST MOM.

The strange thing about not taking care of me (mentally, physically or spiritually) is that when that block is starting to fall the others slowly start to tumble into the pit also.  Financially we went through heck and back because I began to try to fill a void by shopping for my kids, they needed to look good so people would think I was a good mom. Yes, we need to take care of our children, but I was over the top out of control. I spent money to make my house look perfect, once again so I would look the part of a good mom. I remember my mom doing the same thing for me and my sisters and I was setting up the same pattern for my children. Give till it hurts and then some became a way of life for me.

The guilt from what I was doing to myself and our finances began to change the person I used to be. I became unhappy, grumpy, and short tempered. Even the paint on the wall could set me off some days. Everyone was walking on egg shells, I was unhappy so everyone would pay for that in one way or another.

I was out of control and going down fast! At times I even felt like God Himself couldn’t even love me because of what I had become. I blamed my unhappiness on everyone and everything around me and kept trying to fill that void. Then my dad died. I thought if I get this weight off I still had a chance to make him proud of me, even though he was gone. Believe it or not, for a while that motivation worked, until I realized that he really was gone. He wasn’t sitting up in heaven looking down on all of my hard work. (See how crazy we can get!!)

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Simplify Sunday: 2/19

 

   

Debby McCuiston, the “Queen of Clutter-Free”, does a segment for us each Sunday on simplifying our lives, getting rid of “clutter”, and focusing on what’s important. We look forward to her words of wisdom each week & hope you enjoy it too! Take it away Debby….

 

Do you ever sit around and dream about things you want to accomplish in your life time? It’s one of my husband’s and my favorite things to do on Saturday mornings. We sleep until we are ready to get up (or our bones start to ache) then we move to the living room for a cup of coffee. If we don’t have anything that has to be done or anywhere to go, we can talk for hours. We talk about our dreams about projects for our house, we plan new exercise programs, and things we want to do- budget wise. We even talk about how to solve the world’s problems, and what we will do when we retire.

It’s my favorite way to waste a day!

We’ve dreamed about some of the same things for years. We have planned projects, some we have completed, some we have reworked and some are still in the dreaming stage. But to be honest some dreams are always going to be dreams. There will always be things that stand in our way; money and time seem to be the biggest road blocks. Realistically, our biggest challenge is failing to plan the project from start to finish. As a result we have unfinished projects; some are waiting for the time and/or money to magically appear.

Dreaming is my favorite part of any project, we dream big! There is no cost involved and can be finished before days end. However, nothing ever gets finished when all we do is dream, talk and drink coffee.

 

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