June 1, 2009

Better U, Week One

AT LAST! June the Oneth is here. I am about to become Better. Last night, in preparation, I took my kids to see UP in 3D and accidentally strapped a feed-bucket full of candy corn on my head, nom nom nom. I, uh, thought it was the 3D glasses when I hooked it on my ears? Or perhaps I wanted a SHARP CONTRAST between the sugar-coated mouth sweats of yicky yesterday and the beautiful, Better-filled grilled chicken on organic greens festival I have planned today. *cough*

I read through Week One, and I have set my goals and rewards. Have you?

Goal One: Ride Elliptical for 45 minutes three times and attend Boot Camp at least three times. (This ups my weekly elliptical time by thirty minutes and raises Boot Camp from 2 to 3 times. My eventual goal is to work up to 4 boot camps a week, but OUCH if I jump from 2 to 4 I will be too sore to move. BABY STEPS, remember?)

Goal Two: Eat 5 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables a day, FIRST with every meal. This means at breakfast, I eat a banana, THEN cereal. At lunch I dip carrots and bell pepper strips in fat free Italian dressing FIRST, then see how much of my sandwich I want. I eat veggies first at dinner, and when I am full, all the veggies will be gone, but there may well be bread or some of the entree still on the plate. This goes for snacks, too. Celery sticks or an apple FIRST, then if I am still hungry have popcorn or trail mix.

If I meet these two goals, I shall be rewarded. They have some pretty cool reward suggestions on the site, like buying a (fashionable/cute/flattering) set of workout clothes (I should pick this one week…I currently wear ratty, cut-off sweats and my friend Lydia’s 20 year old, hole-filled, men’s XL Road Ponies T-shirt, the super-soft and comfy one I stole from her in 1998 when I moved away from Chicago, and WOW, I sure hope she isn’t reading this…)

Another reward suggestion was scheduling time for a long soak in a bubble-filled tub. Add a book and that sounds like heaven... Summer vacation is here, and up until yesterday it was RAINING and my kids were stuck inside and I could not (forgive the TMI) go into the bathroom to pee without having to have a conversation through the door that began with doorknob rattling and plaintive tappy-tapping and calls of “Moooom? Mooom? Are you in there?” and ended with me shrieking like a harpy, “MAY I JUST PLEASE USE THE BATHROOM IN PEACE AND THEN WE CAN TALK ABOUT WHAT KIND OF JUICE I BOUGHT? YOU TINY FASCIST MOTT’S TOTS OBSESSED DICTATORS?”* so the idea of banishing my children to the basement playroom, getting the (VERY GOOD) galley I am smack in the middle of reading and soaking my boot-camp sore muscles for an hour in blindingly hot water chock fulla bubbles that smell like gardenias is AWESOME.

*For the record, I did NOT actually call my beautiful children “tiny fascist Mott’s Tot’s obsessed dictators.” Well. Not out loud.

But I did not choose these things. Will you think I am too unendurably geeky if I confess my reward for this week, SHOULD I MEET MY GOALS, is to go to the theatre sans kids, like a grown-up, with my husband to OUR kind of date movie, which is to say, Drag Me to Hell. If your answer is, “Yes, that is unendurably geeky,” then please assume I went with the bath thing.

If you have not seen UP, may I recommend it as a possible reward, whether or not you have kids? It is one of those RARE family films that is not a trial of misery for the parents. Scott loved it and I misted up three times, laughed out loud fifty, and was so enchanted that in the car on the way home, I called half my cell phone list to tell them to go. We stacked the enjoyment deck by buying tickets for an 8:10 showing, when the audience was older kids, teens and adults. If it’s in 3D near you, it is worth the extra dollar for the goggles. We saved money (and our hearts) by eating a nice (HEALTHY!) dinner at home before, and passing on the transfat soaked movie popcorn and 5 dollar Icees.

MY FATAL ERROR: I stopped by Target for antibacterial wipes (I am always scared of getting pink eye off the 3D glasses) and while there I picked up some items from the “craft supplies needed” list for one of the little camps Maisy is doing this summer: 2 inch foam balls and…a BIG bag of Candy Corn. THERE I was in the theatre with my bag from Target. About halfway through the film, the candy’s life expectancy started dropping, going from “Eternal life, preserved in Elmer’s glue” to “About 10 seconds. 10…9…8…NOM NOM NOM. Oops, I meant 3 seconds.”
Well, at least I won’t make THAT mistake again. And I shared with the family. SO.

ASIDE: I keep getting e-mails and comments from you long-time readers, snickering about the Better U bio that calls me, “happy-go-lucky.” HEE. My favorite response was from a Best Beloved who pulled the “happy-go-lucky” line off the Better U site, cut and pasted it into an email, and then asked, in all caps, “HAVE THEY MET YOU??!?!?!?” Okay! Okay! It is kinda funny, but I strongly suspect the AHA is being kind. Happy-go-lucky is, I suspect, a EUPHEMISM for “Grinning Spaz.”
See also: “Neurosis-filled twitchy-pants.”

Oh, I have a couple of Posse Blogs for you., I actually have FOUR, but I can’t find one. She left her URL in the comments instead of emailing it, and I have the organizational skills of your basic Panda bear, so I can’t find it now. I have hunted through comments, twice, and I know it is there SOMEWHERE, but I also, apparently, have the finding-lost-things skills of your deluxe-edition legally blind Panda bear. SO. If you are blogging your Better Uing, please EMAIL me the blog addy and I will add it to my links page.

Fat Man’s Daughter

12 Weeks to an Awesomer Me

Results Not Typical

AND OF COURSE, my peeps at MamaLaw:

Go forth, and do Better!
(And leave a note in the comments or on my wall at Better U---I want to know your goals and rewards, too. It will give me ideas for goals and rewards to try next week.)

Posted by joshilyn at June 1, 2009 7:38 AM


My mom had a great idea for a reward system, though I use it for more long-term goals. We bought nice charm bracelets, and every time we meet a significant goal, we add a charm to commemorate. The goals could be for every 10 pounds of weight loss, for losing an inch of stomach fat, for fitting into a pair of skinny jeans, etc. Just fit the goals to your health needs. It's difficult to stuff your face when you see that charm bracelet on your wrist as you bring your candy-corn-filled hand to your mouth.

Posted by: Rita at June 1, 2009 8:22 AM

Am I the only one who finds the it funny that in the commercials the end says "Drag Me To Hell" in a menacing voice, then it shows the Mac guy? Is it like, buy a Mac and go to hell?

Posted by: Laura L at June 1, 2009 9:51 AM

My husband and I heard the BEST plot summary for "Drag Me To Hell" on the radio last Friday. To wit: "Don't jack with the wonky-eyed gypsy." I try to work it into conversation at least once a day.

I set my goals. They are (1) to log at least 10,000 steps/day with my pedometer and to work in some other activity (aerobics, pilates, etc.) three times this week. My reward for that one is that I get to buy new workout clothes, since I'm working out in shorts I've had for 10+ years. And (2) to include heart-healthy foods in every meal. My reward for THAT one is that I get to buy one of my "save for later" books on my Kindle. I love my Kindle.

Posted by: Aimee at June 1, 2009 10:45 AM

My goal is to get out of bed and exercise, instead of lying there reading 'til I get ready for work (or getting up and eating!). I did some hand weights this morning. My reward will be a new pair of socks (the pair I got out this morning had a hole in it). They will be a nice color and made from organic cotton.

After reading the other blogs, though, maybe my reward for next week will be a pedicure - such a good idea!

Posted by: Diane (TT) at June 1, 2009 11:05 AM

Since I hurt my back (again. crud.) last Monday, my goals have shifted. I now plan to go to the gym tonight and see if I can do _anything_ on the elliptical. If so, I will go to the gym 4 times this week -- doing anything will be better than sitting still trying to prevent lightning bolts.
If I do not gain any weight this week, that will be success, as stopping the exercise usually means +1 lb and I do. not. want. to up that score.

Posted by: Lulu at June 1, 2009 11:24 AM

Now that I've convinced my daughter that my bathroom privacy is a good thing, I'm trying to teach her that I don't converse through the bathroom door. Think it will work?

My goals are:
1. Offer 2 separate veg at meals and eat them first.
2. Delay my daily chocolate milk until afternoon as a snack. Erm, part of a snack. And only one glass.
3. Buy a pedometer
4. Walk my daughter to or from school every day it isn't raining.
5. Visit the gym once this week.

Posted by: Jenn at June 1, 2009 12:16 PM

My husband and I have also said we want to go see Drag Me to Hell. I like that being the reward for the week. I'm not sure though; I'll have to think about this.

Posted by: Linda Sherwood at June 1, 2009 2:34 PM

CountryGirl-CityGirl wants to give you a little blog bling.

It isn't an award like a *real* prize, but we love you and we think you rock and we want you to have it. :o)

Here's the bling:

See this post for details: http://countrygirl-citygirl.blogspot.com

Posted by: CityGirl at June 1, 2009 3:15 PM

Joss, I LOVE your fruits & veggies goal, and I am totally stealing it. Sorry. :) I've also resolved to head to the fitness center and work out at least four times this week.

On a different note, my sister-in-law apparently thinks that watching "Drag Me To Hell" would invite the devil into her being. Or some such. Surprised the hell out of me (heh)! All I can think is - really? A Justin Long movie? I mean, I find the whole concept a little loopy, but a mainstream movie starring the "I'm a Mac" guy is the one that'll getcha... REALLY?

Posted by: thisgirlremembers at June 1, 2009 4:25 PM

Okay, delurking w/some goals for the week:
1. Spending 30 minutes on the eliptical each day.
2. Walking kids to daycare/me to work at least once this week, just to figure out how that will work with our routine.
3. More veggies!

Posted by: Jessica at June 1, 2009 7:19 PM

Dear Ma'am,

I am not pleased with your statement about our species not having organizational skills. Panda bears are highly organized in our own way, and this discrimination will not stand. You will be hearing from one of our lawyers as soon as he files the proper paperwork. He must find them first. His office is a mess.

Concerned Panda

Posted by: A Panda Bear at June 2, 2009 9:23 AM

One word,Joss - Smoothie. (Yoghurt, fresh fruit, ice, blender, Yummmmm).

Much sympathy.

Posted by: Sandra Leigh at June 2, 2009 3:56 PM

So, I'm not participating in BetterU, but I AM working on being a better me.

My goals:

- clock more than 10,000 steps per day on my pedometer.
- maintain a downward direction on the scale. So far, I have lost 7.5 pounds.
- walk with Leslie Sansone to one of two videos at least 5-6 days per week. Preferrably 6, but meh - life gets in the way sometimes.
- if hungry between meals, drink 1 large glass of water or iced tea (made with Splenda). Wait. Still hungry? Eat 100 calorie (or less!) snack.
- decrease by roughly half typical serving sizes of non-vegetable parts of meal.
- increase by roughly half typical serving sizes of vegetable parts of meal.

I haven't thought about what my rewards should/will be, but I'll come up with something. :)

Posted by: Erin at June 3, 2009 7:18 PM

Oh hai.

Posted by: Lydia at June 9, 2009 9:54 AM