90 Days In

April 1st, marks us at a just over 90 days into the this year. While I never came out and posted my goals for the year, I made some. There is the classic lose weight and get healthy, be more organized, and don’t go crazy. But I didn’t want to set myself up for failure with some crazy, lose 60 pound goal. I wanted to actually feel that I was making changes for the best.

This is the year that I get healthy, lose weight, and enjoy life.

Side plank, couldn't do this last year!
Side plank, couldn’t do this last year!

I then broken down this overall goal into small stages, with evaluating at the quarter. The first quarter, January through March, is over and I am not sure how I feel about it.

One thing I wanted to do, was a 90 day Whole30, made it 30 and crashed and burned. I have been meaning to do another 30 day round, but with the move, my mind has been elsewhere. (Have I not given details on our cross country move? I will have to work on that.)

I also wanted to finish Jillian Michaels 90 day Body Revolution. But I also want to run. Doing both, keeping a running training schedule and doing an intense daily workout program, was hard and I needed to listen to by body and not burn myself out.

With running, I have a goal to run 500 miles this year. Right now I am at, 48 miles, which is way under where I should be. (I should be logging 125 miles a quarter, about 40 miles a month, 10 miles a week, and running 4 days a week puts me at needing to run about 2.5 miles a day. To catch up, I neeguarwd to up to 4 miles a run day.)

The other thing that I am doing is trying to follow the recommendations of my doctor, taking the supplements that I need to for my deficiencies and not eating all the foods to which I have intolerance. I am not suppose to eat; gluten, dairy, legumes, corn, and sugar. (Basically, Whole30 is what I am suppose to eat all the time.) My original plan was take one out a quarter, compounding it. Gluten first, followed by dairy. Gluten has gone well, I have not willingly consumed gluten (I might have accidentally eaten some, but never on purpose.) Dairy, is going to be hard.

80 percent

Overall, quarter one, was good. Workouts happened, and health changes are happening. Looking forward to improving and continuing onward.

 

Body Revolution Phase One: A Review

Phase one is over, two weeks of workouts 1 & 2 and two weeks of workout 3 & 4. It has been hard, but I am impressed by my results.

I started this program Jan 4th at 214.6 pounds. Sunday Jan 31, I am at 202.6 pounds. 12 pounds!

I have been following the workout schedule, mostly. I try on the Cardio days (Wednesdays and Saturdays) to go for a run. Sometimes the weather doesn’t allow for that, so I will do the video. And when I am extremely sore on Sundays, I do a Yoga video.

The program comes with a food guide which limits you to about 1200 to 1400 calories a day. But I am not following that. I am doing Whole30, and try to stay under 2000 calories. I have been averaging right around 1600-1800. I am not sure how accurate calorie counting is, or how helpful it is. But it has helped me to keep from just binge eating, just because I think I am hungry.

I have been posting on instagram almost daily, follow me: @ashlgetsfit.

Some of my IG shots from this month.
Some of my IG shots from this month.

 

I haven’t seen any miraculous changes yet, but I have noticed, my pants not being super tight, a tighter tummy!, and I and feel muscle building in my arms and legs.

I am mostly enjoying the workouts. Sometimes I wish they would just move a step faster between sets. So I sometimes will just move ahead, or take a breather.

Workouts 3 & 4 are a big step up for 1 & 2, so I am nervous about phase two, but it will be good.

3-Month Food Storage

One thing that Mormon’s are known for is how they hoard food. I have been working on a little, yet huge project as part of an assignment for school. (Did I forget to tell you about how I went back to school, I will have to tell you all about the later.) For my project I am working on setting up a 3-month food supply of food my family will actually eat. 3-month food supply of food that fits our budget. 3-month food supply that fits our dietary needs.

For my family, I need our food storage to be gluten-free, mostly dairy-free (we can eat a bit of dairy but too much causes issues), and bean-free, no legumes here. One exception is that I can handle fermented yeast bread. So we will have some wheat flour in our storage for that. I will have to tell you more about fermented bread and how it is “gluten-free”.

With the help of Preparedldsfamily.blogspot.com, I was able to create a list of food items for us. Here is a link to PLDS Family’s plethora of knowledge. Seriously, there is no way I could even touch on all the information that site contains.

As a family of 3, having a 3 month supply hasn’t ever been this thing that I have felt I needed to get done ASAP. I also, would not consider myself a “Prepper” by any means. We have 72-hour kits, ready to go, will BASIC BASIC supplies. Ideally, I would like have a lot more for them, but funds are tight and so is space.

Monday, I was driving to do our Monday stuff, and I got to catch The Diane Rehm Show, one of my favorite shows on NPR. The part of the show that I caught was the interview with Ted Koppel. He recently wrote the book, Lights out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared Surviving The Aftermath. This interview really hit home the importance of getting our 3-month supply and getting it fast.

This is the part that really got me:

KOPPEL: …the government doesn’t have enough food to supply tens of millions of people for a period of a month or two.Even if they were to invest, let’s say, $100 billion in buying freeze-dried foods, which keeps for 25 to 30 years, it would take years before that much food could be grown, harvested, processed and accumulated. We need to start beginning. We need to start doing something. We need to talk to people about what would happen if one region of the country were blacked out and how we would accommodate those people if they needed to move to another region of the country.
REHM: What…
KOPPEL: Without plans we can’t do it.
REHM: What about investing greater resources into our own cybersecurity?
KOPPEL: I think those of us — I’m not sure that we can individually protect ourselves in the context of cybersecurity. Can we protect ourselves in terms of having adequate food and water available? Look, I’m aware of the fact there are millions of people in this country who can’t put food on the table every day. But those of us who can afford to have a supply, if we did and if we began rotating that supply — so it’s not a question of sitting on a three-months supply and never using it, rotating, eating it, consuming it and then replacing it, then at least if the government steps up to help those who can’t afford it, it would be a lot easier and there would be fewer people to take care of.

(continue to read or listen the interview here) I know it isn’t a shock the the government won’t be able to support us. But, having 3-month supply isn’t just for me and my family, it is for all of those around me.

One of my goals for my 3-month food supply, is to create rotating food storage, and a one that is affordable. Our goals is to create a weekly shopping list keeping the items to under $15 a week.

It is taking a lot of work, and it is frustrating. There are things that we go through SUPER fast, and things that take a while. So finding the balance of when to buy something so that we always have it, has be hard and I think I have finally done it. PHEW!

We are lucky that in the place we are staying, has this really nice setup in the basement perfect for storing 75 pounds x 3 people…

 

Budget: Software

Our first month of budgeting is done, and man it was bad.

Overbudget

In one word… yup, we had already spent our entire budgeted total and have gone over by the middle of the month.

We took this month as more of a how much do we really spend, so that we can figure this budgeting thing out. Check out this post about what we, or at least I learned while budgeting in August.

It was very eye opening.

We started the month using Everydollar. About halfway through we do not like the EveryDollar budgeting tool from Dave Ramsey. Our income is so inconsistent, and we feel like he teaches more towards a salary based income.

So we went looking, and tried a couple different budgeting tools out there and we have come to love the newest version of YNAB. Now, we have used YNAB before, the original version, what an upgrade!

The sleek new budget.
The sleek new budget.

 

First off it is so much more visually appealing, and it also, isn’t an excel file, it is its own freaking program now.

Statistical Reports!
Statistical Reports!

I really like the statistical reports you can print from YNAB. They have a bunch of free webinars about their software. I have only taken one so far and you can also sign up for their emails and they send out a bunch of short email lessons.

Their philosophy in very much in line with Dave’s, but we feel like it is a little more reasonable and forgiving. Like their overall goal is to get you out the the paycheck to paycheck cycle. Which is where we are. We know we need to get out of debt, but when you aren’t sure if you can have enough for groceries and rent, you have a bigger problem.

Check them out. I will say this, you have to buy YNAB to use the budget past the 32 day free trail (If someone knows why 32 days, let me know!) It is $60. One time though! and you have software rights for life! Dave’s software, you can get it linked to your bank for $99 a year…

And YNAB is not linked to your bank, which for those of us worried about the internet stealing your life, this is nice.

 

Budget: August, a Review

 

Well, August has come to a close, we stuck to budgeting.

We did not stick to our agreed upon budget.

Life happens, and I was shocked when come the middle of the month, and our budget was no longer fitting.

Dave Ramsey’s budget tools were not working for us and so we switched to YNAB, click here for a short review of why we like YNAB better.

I wanted to give a summary of what we learned in our first month of budgeting.

  1. Gazelle Intensity is not for us.
    1. while we REALLY want to get out of debt, we are not ready to give up the few extras we have.
  2. Saying “NO!” is really really really hard.
    1. Saying it to your two year old at the grocery store, “No, I am sorry you can’t have crackers, we can’t afford them this week.” Made me want to cry, and I felt like the meanest mother in the ENTIRE world.
  3. Pray before a Budget Meeting
    1. Dave closes his radio show saying something like, “You can’t reach financial peace without walking daily with the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ.”
    2. Praying together, just made our budget meeting go smoothly, we will be doing this always before our bi-weekly budget meeting.
  4. Have a budget meeting at every pack check
    1. We started just me figuring it out and Mr. Wonderful looking it over and approving it. It worked, but having a meeting, where WE BOTH sat down to hash out what went where made it easier to say NO!, later.
    2. Mr. Wonderful gets paid every other week, so we hold bi-week sit down budget meetings. Any other income, if under $1,000 we just have a quick verbal confirmation on where it goes.
  5. Share!
    1. I want to tell everyone, we are being weird and trying this budgeting thing. Hey, this crazy thing is happening while we do it, I like my husband more!
  6. Increase Intimacy
    1. And no I am not talking sex
    2. I am talking about mental intimacy.
      1. I am an analytical thinker and so is Mr. Wonderful, so talking numbers and trying to find extra money has brought us closer. I like it.
  7. Make Mistakes and have fun.
    1. We did not give each other any spending money in August, MISTAKE. It just made it miserable. This month we have decided fun money needs to be included.

After this first month, and looking at where all the money went we have decided some budget line items that need to be tightened. Number one on our list to get reduced is how much we spend on food.

Yikes!
Yikes!

We spent almost $600 just on food. Not just groceries. On groceries we spent over $400, on eating out including dates we spent over $150. This does not need to be this outrageous. Our goal for September spent half of this!

It wont be easy, and telling Mr. Z that our grocery shopping lunch dates of Mac ‘N Cheese from the co-op deli are over is going to result in some serious tears. Hopefully, he will understand.